Telcoin eyes fundraising as cryptocurrency demand in Asia rises

Telcoin is the latest cryptocurrency set to raise funds through an initial coin offering (ICO) to capitalise on Asia’s rising demand for digital currencies despite the controversy surrounding their validity and risks to investors.

“We believe that being in Asia for us is going to be an asset more than anything else. Asia is leading the pack in terms of regulation when it comes to cryptocurrency, and we’re not seeing the change in the other side of the world, that will mean that they will catch up with Asia,” said Claude Eguienta, CEO and co-founder of Telcoin.

An ICO is a fundraising mechanism whereby start-ups issue digital “tokens” or “coins” to fund a particular blockchain-related project.

Based on ethereum’s blockchain, Telcoin will create 100 billion virtual coins that people can use for making payment remittances across countries through mobile phone operators, catering especially for migrant workers or those without bank accounts.

According to the World Bank, there are nearly five times as many mobile phones in the world as there are active bank accounts which total 1.2 billion.

By partnering with telecommunications operators, the Tokyo-based firm aims to access more than 100 million subscribers in the next 18 months, with a “remittance corridor” established between East Asia and Southeast Asia, and another corridor for Europe and Africa.

“It is for migrant workers who want to send money home. They can transact money in 17 seconds, then they will have usable money without leaving the sofa,” Eguienta said.

“We want to leverage existing infrastructure, trust and details that people share with telecom operators to provide services. We are turning phone providers into banks.” […]

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