Telegram revived its blockchain project Toncoin (TON) to enable in-app crypto payments similar to Twitter's Bitcoin payments
By Shashank Bhardwaj
The TON Foundation announced on Twitter that users will now be able to send cryptocurrencies within the app via Toncoin. To access the crypto payments feature, users will first be required to opt-in via the app’s Wallet Bot. The feature is limited to BTC and TON cryptos as of now. Telegram boasts 550 million users today.
The users can click on the ‘Wallet’ icon in direct messages to start using the feature. Users will be able to send BTC and TON without any transaction fees. The tweet said that users will no longer be required ‘to enter long wallet addresses and wait for confirmations.’ 800,000 Telegram users have already used the bot, the TON Foundation reported.
TON Foundation said, “We anticipate that this functionality will extend into the consumer to business payments so that people can easily acquire goods and services by sending Toncoin via bots in the Telegram app.”
TON Foundation’s website states that 52 million transactions have been conducted via 486,000 wallets so far. Recently, the foundation was able to raise $1 billion worth of TON tokens for the advancement of the TON ecosystem.
The TON Project had been abandoned by Telegram in 2020. TON is a layer-1 blockchain developed by Telegram for delivering decentralised services like anonymous networks, decentralised storage, instant payments, DNS, etc., in 2017. The crypto payments feature introduced by the TON Foundation is similar to the Tip Jar feature on Twitter. Twitter activated the feature in September 2021. The feature allows only Bitcoin payments facilitated via the third-party payment platform Stripe.
The Toncoin token was issued in 2019-2020. The US SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) blocked Telegram’s $1.7 billion worth of token issuances for an ICO (Initial Coin Offering) in August 2020. Telegram had to abandon its blockchain project following a stretched-out battle with the US SEC regarding the unlawful selling of unregistered securities via its ICO.
Stephanie Avakian, co-director of the US SEC’s Division of Enforcement, had then reiterated, “Our emergency action today is intended to prevent Telegram from flooding the US markets with digital tokens that we allege were unlawfully sold.” Avakian further alleged that Telegram had failed to inform its investors with information on ‘Grams and Telegram’s business operations, financial condition, risk factors, and management that the securities laws require.’
The writer is the founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash
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