Competition in the blockchain space
Telecommunications is a lucrative market and heavily dependent on technology. Technologies with revolutionary potential, including blockchain, will always try to penetrate, disrupt, and claim shares in such markets. Therefore, it is normal to see projects exploring the industry.
Blockchain can disrupt the telecom industry in many ways.
Many projects focus on providing mobile payment systems, digital identities, and additional security, but none are currently working on the disruptive aspects blockchain can provide.
After reviewing the competition in the blockchain space, we are confident that we have a unique business model that makes us stand out from other projects in this space. As we mentioned, we are creating our own market and setting a high entry barrier for the competition.
Telcoin is undoubtedly the most prominent project connected to telecoms in the blockchain space. Although Telcoin initially focused on telecoms, it has since evolved into the “mobile money” market, aiming to become the most adopted mobile payment system.
Telcoin claims to be an easy fit for connecting to existing fee models of carrier billing and incentivizing a low-fee service that is attractive to end users and profitable for networks. It also offers a pricing and exchange API for easy integration with carrier billing platforms.
It aims to achieve financial inclusion through its partnerships, which does not include any telecom partner. Telcoin is exploring a different market to 3air with different business plans and strategies.
At the time of writing, Telcoin is ranked #58 on CoinMarketCap with a market capitalization of $1,7 billion (down from $3B+ during the bull run of May 2021).
Dent describes itself as a revolutionary digital mobile operator offering eSIM cards, mobile data plans, call minutes top-ups, and a roaming-free experience. It uses blockchain to create a global marketplace for mobile data.
Its core business offers an eSIM with data plans that work in 60 countries, thus providing a seamless data roaming experience.
As of now (July 2021), there is no actual use case for the Dent token as the marketplace has not yet been built. According to their roadmap, the DENT Mainnet should launch in 2022.
Compared to 3air, Dent aims for the global data roaming market and enables voice calling with mobile data within its app. Dent is contracting different telecoms, stopping them from selling directly to the end user. As such, it acts as a telecom service provider.
3air focuses on bringing broadband to Africa, creating its own user base, and then expanding as a global platform for other telecoms and ISPs, enabling the exchange between them and the users.
DENT coin is listed on Binance and KuCoin and reached a market cap of over $1B in April 2021.
Corda is a blockchain-based platform designed to help users build permissioned distributed solutions and networks. A part of Corda’s platform is dedicated to the telecom industry. It claims to provide a secure, scalable, and efficient platform where multiple parties can share data, logic, and records. They streamline KYC, onboarding, and improve clearing and settlement. They leverage digitalization to shift costs to Opex and deliver scalability. They enable atomic or deferred net settlement and 24/7 exchange.
Overall, Corda seems like a good platform with telecom as one of its target markets. It offers a blockchain platform for telecoms to build their own dApp solutions. 3air, on the other hand, specializes in providing out-of-the-box solutions with minimal development and programming needs for the user.
Ammbr is developing a blockchain-based wireless mesh network for internet sharing. It enables users to connect their routers to a wireless mesh network and share their bandwidth with others in a secure way without privacy breaches. The user can, in a way, resell their unused bandwidth.
Lately, Ammbr has focused on providing on-chain financial services and is advertising as a Quantitative Market Maker. They are also moving into the NFT space. All these commitments may count against their commitment to the telecom markets.
QLC is a Chinese startup built upon the NEO blockchain. It currently provides mobile payments through SMS-based billing systems and integrations with telecom companies. It also provides digital identities and the QLC Chain wallet.
Its roadmap scheduled development to end in 2019, but it appears to have stagnated since then.
BitMinutes provides another option for mobile payments. It connects its BitMinute token to prepaid mobile minutes that can be used the same way as prepaid cards. Blockchain technology provides additional AML options and fraud prevention while making the buying process easier for the end customer.
BitMinutes is entering the payment and DeFi space, focusing on some emergent nations such as Nigeria. However, its roadmap ended in 2020.
The token is untracked on CMC and shows a meager volume and market cap on Coingecko.
FIX aims to provide blockchain-based cellular security solutions. It allows smooth transitions between different devices through digital identities and a digital currency.
It currently operates in the IoT space as it explores mobile operators.
World Mobile Token (WMT) is a new project in its pre-launch phase. It aims to bring affordable connectivity to rural areas of emerging economies using a mesh network on a hybrid spectrum, renewable energy, and blockchain technology.
WMT is building a native blockchain on Cardano to help facilitate traffic through its nodes and Wi-Fi mesh network infrastructure, using solar-powered routers and hotspots. It offers affordable mobile services with peer-to-peer sharing and online payments.
WMT and 3air are not direct competitors as one focuses on rural areas, and the latter explores urban areas of emerging economies. The technologies and user bases are different, and the possibility of customer overlap is minimal.
WMT completed its presale in August 2021. It sold 10% or 200 million WMT tokens for $0,20 during the public sale and raised $40 million. It sold an additional 2,5% or 50 million WMT at ~$0,14 for $7 million in a private round.
With a token supply of 2B WMT, they had a fully diluted market cap of $400M at launch.
Helium calls itself the People’s Network and the world’s fastest-growing wireless network. It provides special HW hotspots that allow users to connect to their internet and share with other members of the Helium network. They currently have 541,372 hotspots connected all around the globe.
Users providing hotspots can earn HNT token rewards, and users connected to the hotspots are charged for it.
This idea is similar to our bandwidth sharing model, with the main difference being the presence of ISPs. This model becomes unsustainable when scaling without thinking about the ISP as the one who actually needs to buy the original bandwidth.
Helium has still built a strong community and user base around its project. It is also probably 3air’s biggest contender within the crypto and bandwidth space.