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China Telecom jointly creates web3 SIM card with blockchain firm

blockchain SIM mobile phone

State-owned China Telecom and Conflux have jointly created a Blockchain SIM card (BSIM) to be used to store the keys needed for a blockchain wallet and digital signatures. By storing the data on the SIM, it claims to reduce the vulnerability to malware.

Although the SIM card looks the same as a conventional one, it can store far more data.

“The storage space of BSIM card is 10-20 times larger than that of SIM card, and the computing power is increased by dozens of times, which realizes the generation and storage of user public and private keys in the card,” said Long Fan, director of the Shanghai Shutu Blockchain Research Institute (Coinflux), according to Xinmin Evening News.

However, it also associates the private keys with the user’s phone number. That’s fine if know your customer (KYC) compliance is required, but may not be ideal for other scenarios. This was described as the “supervision required for digital economic governance.”

China Telecom plans to initially deploy it in Hunan and Hong Kong for use cases such as metaverse digital assets, digital identity and Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

China’s aversion to cryptocurrencies is on display regarding the SIM development. The partner in the development was the Shanghai Treemap Research Institute, founded as the Conflux blockchain research arm. 

Conflux describes itself as the first regulatory compliant public blockchain in China. However, another Chinese publication that wrote about the BSIM deliberately avoided mentioning Treemap Research. It said China Telecom jointly developed the BSIM with “a certain unit in Shanghai.”

The tone of Conflux’s Western site and the Chinese Treemap site are very different. The Chinese site triumphantly states, “Conflux breaks the computer technology monopoly of Europe and US with its state-of-the-art capacity of the fully decentralized underlying public chain system.” There’s no mention of the crypto token.

In contrast, the Western Conflux site pushes the CFX token, which has a market cap of $663 million. It also supports stablecoins for the Hong Kong Dollar and Chinese Yuan issued by a third party, Trust Reserve.

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