Telecom Giant Orange to Back Bitcoin in Silicon Valley

The Silicon Valley division of global telecommunications giant Orange is planning to invest in the bitcoin space.

Orange Silicon Valley (OSV), which lists cryptocurrency as one of its main focus areas, is looking to spend up to $20,000 per startup and is currently in talks with two bitcoin companies, according to Bloomberg.

“There’s something intriguing in this technology,” Georges Nahon, OSV’s chief executive officer told reporter Olga Kharif, adding “so we want to be there as early as possible. This could be a digital platform for the future”.

The news comes after Orange expanded its VC effort with the creation of Orange Digital Ventures, announcing its goal to support 500 startups worldwide by 2020 in March.

Other telecommunications companies have embraced investing opportunities in the digital currency sector. DoCoMo, Japan’s predominant mobile phone operator, invested in San Francisco-based bitcoin exchange Coinbase during its $75m round in January.

Bitcoin payments are also seeing increasing adoption in the communications industry. Perseus Telecom, a high-speed, heavy-bandwidth communications channel provider for major global stock and securities exchanges, partnered with GoCoin to begin accepting bitcoin payments in early 2014.

T-Mobile Poland also announced that it was trialling bitcoin mobile top-up payments in February, following a partnership with local bitcoin processor InPay S.A.

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