Deutsche Telekom invests in public blockchain network Celo

Deutsche Telekom is investing in the future of the decentralized financial economy – with a significant purchase of Celo’s native asset (CELO).


Celo is an open-source blockchain ecosystem focused on making decentralized financial (DeFi) systems and tools accessible to anyone with a smartphone. Deutsche Telekom will be the first telecommunications company to join the global Celo Alliance for Prosperity. 

“Our investment in Celo, combined with infrastructure operated by T-Systems, allows our company to take a strategic approach to participating in a public blockchain network. We are able to secure the Celo network with our investment and our own cloud infrastructure while facilitating user onboarding and use-case development on top of the Celo network, “ says Adel Al-Saleh, Member of the Board of Management Deutsche Telekom AG and CEO of T-Systems.

Deutsche Telekom will operate infrastructure across the Celo ecosystem. To do so, Deutsche Telekom’s subsidiary T-Systems MMS will operate as a validator utilizing the Open Telekom Cloud (OTC). The OTC fulfills the strict security and compliance requirements of the European regulatory framework, ensuring secure financial services are available via smartphone the world over.

Making mobile payments on Celo.
Making mobile payments on Celo.

In addition, Deutsche Telekom will open up its SMS API to allow validators to send verification text messages using their service. Increasing the diversity of SMS providers on the Celo platform improves both the security and reliability of the decentralized phone verification protocol, which plays a central part in making the Celo blockchain easy to use.

With its more than 130 Alliance members, Celo’s mission is to build a financial system that creates the conditions of prosperity – for everyone. “We’re excited to have Deutsche Telekom help secure the Celo network, develop the Celo infrastructure, and make meaningful contributions as a validator,” said Rene Reinsberg, co-founder of Celo. “The powerful combination of owning CELO and building on its mobile-first platform will help accelerate mass market adoption of digital assets and enable safe, secure and cost-effective payments for smartphone users everywhere.” The resources used to run the Celo network are carbon-neutral.

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Deutsche Telekom’s CELO purchase will be made by the Telekom Innovation Pool (TIP). TIP is Deutsche Telekom’s strategic investment fund and is advised by Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners (DTCP).

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