Telecom Giant AT&T Joins the Crypto train for Payments
AT&T announced today that it will now support crypto payments through Bitpay. Bitpay is a popular payment service which supports multiple major cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Ethereum. This was followed by a short press release noting the completion of the integration process and users can now make payments with Bitpay using either the AT&T website or with the help of their mobile application.
If you are interested in finding out how, here is a video from the Bitpay official Youtube channel explaining how you can sign up for Bitpay merchant account.
2019: Crypto Hype Becoming Reality
AT&T is no small company. We already have Facebook making its strides with blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Now with a telecom giant like AT&T backing cryptocurrencies, the future looks bright for the crypto industry.
The Vice President of Communications Finance Business Operations, Kevin McDorman stated the following:
“We’re always looking for ways to improve and expand our services. We have customers who use cryptocurrency, and we are happy we can offer them a way to pay their bills with the method they prefer.”
The news follows a recent incident of SIM-jacking incidents in which AT&T customers lost cryptocurrencies as a result of a customer service mess up following representatives being scammed into reassigning SIMs belonging to people known to hold cryptocurrencies personally. Especially when SMS-based two-factor authentication is the primary security measure, SIM-jacking is a major concern. Similar incidents led to a user filing a high-profile lawsuit against AT&T.
The user claims:
The case against AT&T is still ongoing.
AT&T is not just focussing on Cryptocurrencies. It has also decided to bank in on the technology behind Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain. It is one of many major U.S. companies to obtain a blockchain-based patent. Their patent is based on “mapping” social media interactions of users and using the distributed ledgers to store an immutable record of social media activity mainly for advertising purposes. They have also secured another patent involves a subscriber server powered by Bitcoin. Amazon has also been looking for a patent that involved blockchain and cryptography.
Billion Dollar Companies and Blockchain
With this recent announcement, AT&T becomes the first major telecom company in the US to accept cryptocurrencies.
They soon will have a complete set of enterprise blockchain services joining IBM, Starbucks, Facebook, Whole Foods, and many other billion dollar companies. This is not just in the US, telecom companies around the world have been backing blockchain for a long time. South Korea’s KT Corp is an example.
IBM’s HyperLedger is gaining popularity in providing a platform to build private Blockchain systems and are trying to get Indian telecoms to use this platform or blockchain in general for do-not-call registries. Starbucks has started accepting crypto payments in select locations too. Overstock.com is another example of a vocal crypto supporter and accept payments in the form of cryptocurrencies. Facebook is also said to be working on a cryptocurrency that will help users perform transactions with one another on WhatsApp. Google and Amazon are both using Ethereum and its public blockchain creation toolkits to improve their services.
However, all is not good. Cryptocurrencies still have the public image of being used in the Dark Web. Its highly volatile nature makes many investors skeptical and news of crypto companies scamming their users doesn’t help further its cause either. Major companies like Expedia and Rakuten have also backed off from their initial crypto support. Rakuten is now working on a blockchain protocol to verify whether the goods sold are verifiably Japanese and not fake. They are said to be doing this with the help of a Blockchain company in China.
Crypto enthusiasts all over the world are looking at billion dollar companies embracing cryptocurrencies and blockchain as a positive step and they believe this adoption will one day lead to the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies may be far away from being as mainstream as paper currency. Yet, by the looks of it, we may see cryptocurrencies being in the position of where credit cards and debit cards are today within the next 2 years.