Telegram on Thursday launched its new marketplace built on the TON blockchain that will hold auctions for rare usernames. This marketplace will enable Telegram handles, including both usernames and channels, to be bought and sold using Toncoin.
In fact, the idea of auctioning usernames first mentioned in August 2022 on the Telegram channel of the app founder Pavel Durov after the TON Foundation successfully auctioned TON DNS domains. Telegram will begin with four- and five-character handles. Each handle put up for auction will end in one week with a minimum auction value at 10,000 Toncoin, the native token of the TON blockchain.
Individual Telegram users can also bid on their own usernames. According to the announcement, owners of a particular handle will have the option to move and resell their purchase on some markets as desired. Andrew Rogozov, a founding member of the TON Foundation, believes this move will help accelerate the company’s blockchain adoption. “For the first time, social media users will be able to transparently prove that they own their handles”, he said.
Telegram has a large user base in both the crypto and Web3 communities and has put a lot of effort into incorporating blockchain features into its operations. The company first announced the TON blockchain in 2018 but then they had to cut ties with the project due to a legal battle in 2020 with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), accusing Telegram of running an unregistered securities offering.
Despite that, the project was revived after the remarkable efforts of the TON Foundation. In April 2022, after the TON Foundation successfully raised $1 billion to promote TON, Telegram Wallet Bot allowed users to send in-app crypto via the TON blockchain.
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