Popular messaging app Telegram has finally unveiled its highly-anticipated crypto wallet after almost three years of anticipation. The exciting announcement was made at the Token2049 event in Singapore, where Telegram showcased its innovative Web3 ecosystem plans.
The crypto wallet, developed on The Open Network (TON) blockchain, is now available to Telegram’s 800 million users worldwide, offering an exciting opportunity for users to engage with cryptocurrency. This integration has caused Toncoin’s price to increase by a staggering 7%, indicating the enthusiasm surrounding this development.
To further promote projects on the TON blockchain, the TON Foundation has announced that these projects will receive priority access to Telegram Ads, the messaging app’s advertising platform. This strategic integration enhances the potential for success within the TON ecosystem. Current users can already access the wallet feature in their settings, with a global rollout scheduled for November, excluding specific countries such as the United States.
Despite initial setbacks, Telegram’s plans to integrate the TON-based crypto wallet have been reignited. After a legal dispute with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regarding its unregistered security status, the messaging platform settled with an $18.5-million fine and a commitment to reimburse investors for any unspent funds. Now, with a renewed partnership between the two firms, the TON Foundation aims to establish the Web3 infrastructure on the widely-used Telegram platform, overcoming onboarding challenges and providing a gateway to cryptocurrency for all users.
A Revolutionary Mini-App Ecosystem Powered by Blockchain
TON Space is part of a growing trend of apps that are turning messaging platforms into “super apps,” taking inspiration from WeChat. However, Telegram has chosen a different path compared to its Chinese counterpart. Instead of a centralized payment solution, Telegram has opted for decentralized payments. Moreover, developers can integrate with the TON Space wallet to create mini-apps that are compatible with cryptocurrencies, rather than relying on the messenger’s centralized solution.
Having a crypto wallet within Telegram brings the advantage of potentially introducing a large number of users, including those in unbanked populations in developing countries, to the world of digital assets. Andrew Rogozov, CEO of TOP and former CEO of Russian social networking media VK, emphasized the benefits of having a self-custodial wallet in an interview with TechCrunch. He explained that developers can effectively manage the flow of digital assets through their projects, using the wallet to grant access to exclusive communities. Rogozov compared this concept to obtaining an NFT-based key or entry card, which users can receive directly in their self-custodial wallet.
However, Rogozov also highlighted the limitations of other crypto wallets outside of the Telegram ecosystem. He pointed out that creating these wallets can be a complex process, leading to low conversion rates. Additionally, website-based wallets lack proper distribution. To promote decentralized apps, Telegram is providing priority access to TON projects and partners on its global advertising platform.
On the other hand, the encrypted chat app Signal offers its own crypto payments solution through a third-party partner, MobileCoin. While some may perceive these solutions as competitors, Halil Mirakhmedov, COO of Wallet (the team behind TON Space), believes they attract different users. He explained that Signal lacks the platform and community for social interaction and discussions about crypto within its app, as it is end-to-end encrypted and does not have the ability to create communities.