News - How Deutsche Telekom is creating awareness for non-fungible tokens

By Mike Hesp

How Deutsche Telekom is creating awareness for non-fungible tokens

Crypto acceptance

Aren't NFTs already extinct? The hype: certainly. The technology: not at all. With a practical demonstration, Deutsche Telekom wants to get people thinking.

In 2021 were NFTs totally in. The colorful images of monkeys, cats and dogs sold like hotcakes - and at top prices. Justin Bieber, for example, invested 500 Ether - $1.3 million at the time - for a copy of the NFT series "Bored Ape Yacht Club" (BAYC). The value today: about $60,000 - a drop of nearly 95 percent.

The price drop has hurt one thing above all: the image of NFTs. Unnecessary images clogging the blockchain, which can be saved with a simple right-click instead of purchased, according to criticism on social media. The actual benefit: ignored. After all, non-fungible token (NFT) technology has potential. Many are convinced of that, including Deutsche Telekom's blockchain division. A scavenger hunt was organized in Cologne to raise awareness about NFTs - and so it worked.

The idea: a practical demonstration with the wallet solution from youba, a start-up from Berlin. It presents the utility of NFTs directly in the hands of users. "Since the boom of NFTs, many people have mistakenly viewed NFTs as just overpriced digital images stored on an abstract blockchain," reads a statement. Deutsche Telekom has realized that this narrow view overshadows the technology's potential - and wants to change that.

NFTs make their appearance in Cologne

The challenge: to create a social but also educational atmosphere that makes the concept of unique digital objects (NFTs) tangible and understandable. The solution: an interactive trail at Digital X, a digitalization fair in Cologne.

The entrance badge: youbas One-Tap Wallet. Equipped with the wallet and a Start NFT, visitors could visit various checkpoints in the exhibition center. These checkpoints are physical devices that were set up on the fair grounds. There, visitors could stamp their own NFT, for example a picture of Rudolfplatz in Cologne.

"This approach created an environment where participants could come together, network and exchange ideas, making each checkpoint a hub for learning and interaction," Telekom said.

The interactions can be measured. By using blockchain data, Telekom can manage interactions both retrospectively and prospectively, enabling personalized relationships based on portfolio activity, Telekom said. In addition to NFTs, particularly diligent visitors received additional rewards, such as airdrops.

Telekom conquers crypto sector

The NFT scavenger hunt in Cologne is not the traditional German company's first foray into the crypto sector. Telekom is supporting Ethereum and Bitcoin on the road to decentralization with its own in-house technology. But that's not all: the telecom company wants to become the leading blockchain infrastructure provider in Europe.

It will not be an investment in the traditional sense of the word. The company explains to German BTC-ECHO: "Telekom MMS does not invest in crypto projects, but supports the decentralization of a wide range of protocols with its own infrastructure - for example, our highly secure Open Telekom Cloud."

Unlike many other node operators, Telekom's validators and oracles do not run on hyperscalers such as AWS or Google, according to a request. Using these providers reinforces the centralization of many crypto protocols - even for Bitcoin.

Right now, Deutsche Telekom is focusing mainly on B2B business. Collaborations and partnerships with crypto projects focus on providing reliable infrastructure, BTC-ECHO was told. Planned for the future: An expansion of the Web3 strategy and even more blockchain adoption.

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