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Telefonica, Blockchain Startup Team Up to Secure Smartphone Apps

Telefonica, Blockchain Startup Team Up to Secure Smartphone Apps
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By: Annaliese Milano May 11, 2018 Coindesk

Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica has partnered with security technology startup Rivetz to develop smartphone security solutions for blockchain-based transactions and messaging, the companies announced on Thursday.

The partners will combine Telefonica’s network security services with Rivetz’s blockchain and trusted-computing technologies to explore decentralized solutions for security and data controls. The work will specifically be aimed at improving applications for secure messaging and cryptocurrency wallets.

The firms said they intend for their end product “to provide cybersecurity controls and protection to hold multiple cryptocurrencies, assuring the digital assets and processes are protected within a device’s hardware.”

“Trusted computing technologies are not an end by themselves,” said Sergio de los Santos, head of the Discovery and Innovation Lab at Telefonica’s cybersecurity arm, ElevenPaths. Instead, they “are an opportunity to improve mobile users’ security, providing a research and innovation framework in the context of cybersecurity.”

The companies also intend to examine new ways to automate the backup and recovery of user identity information by leveraging existing mobile hardware security.

“Blockchain access and secure messaging are core building blocks to automating the user experience when it comes to digital services,” Rivetz CEO Steven Sprague said in the statement. 

Rivetz and Telefonica cited the growing body of projects related to blockchain and the internet of things (IoT) as the impetus for the partnership, noting that Rivetz’s technology has been in beta since January of this year. The partners will merge their “enhanced” version of the tech with Rivetz’s current app developer and plan to offer the product to chosen partners by June.

Neither Rivetz nor Telefonica is new to the blockchain space. This week Telefonica announced that it had joined a blockchain settlement trial for the telecoms industry led by Colt Technology Services and PCCW Global. Rivetz has been involved in the industry since 2014, when it first developed cybersecurity protection for bitcoin wallets.

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