Vodafone’s senior management is looking to integrate blockchain technology into its operations. The concept of crypto wallets has also caught the attention of the UK-based telecom giant recently. David Palmer, head of blockchain initiatives at Vodafone, talked about some of the company’s plans during a recent interview with Yahoo Finance. Palmer hinted that blockchain networks, crypto wallets, smartphones and SIM cards could come together for a big Web3 twist on Vodafone services around the world.

In the next six years, Palmer predicts billions of smartphones will be in circulation. During the same period, the number of crypto wallets is also expected to see a big jump, given that the sector is already moving towards regulated adoption in several nations.

“By 2030, we expect over eight billion mobile phones to be in use, many of them smartphones that act as a touch point for people to use apps, conduct business. Essentially, there will be SIM cards in these mobile phones. So we focused on connecting the SIM to the digital identity, connecting the SIM to blockchains, and using the cryptography that we have on those SIMs for that integration,” Palmer said during his interview.

The Vodafone official predicted that by 2030, around 5.6 billion digital wallets will be in operation, acting as gateways between people and financial services. They will also be used to store digital IDs and other credentials.

“We’re looking at connecting digital wallets to SIM cards that have the necessary hardware, so for example the hardware security module, public-private key encryption and symmetric key writing, which are absolutely critical. As wallets expand and hold identity and financial credentials, they will be a target for hackers and others,” Palmer added.

As part of its plans to give its business a Web3 twist, Vodafone is considering using public blockchains like Ethereum and Avalanche, as well as private blockchains like Ripple and Hyperledger. However, the former seems more interesting to Palmer, especially the Layer-2 chains maintained on top of popular mother chains like Ethereum itself.

Overall, Vodafone’s plans to take a pro-Web3 approach to revamping its operations could see it make its services both Web2 and Web3 compatible. This could lead to a major inflow of capital into the company’s coffers – putting it in a strong position to arrange a major loan of a whopping $1.8 billion for its Indian subsidiary Vodafone Idea. The company it is reported is seeking the loan to turn around its loss-making operations in India.

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