Telegram users can now transfer the world’s most popular stablecoin, tether (USDT), through chats.
The news was tweeted by the TON blockchain, with the team writing: “Imagine being able to buy and sell crypto via a messaging app. Now imagine it’s already here,” adding the link to the Wallet.
Kirill Malev, Partner at First Stage Lab, an ecosystem builder and VC firm on the TON blockchain, tweeted about the “big news for the [TON] community”, saying that USDT is integrated within the popular instant messaging app and added to the @wallet bot, enabling the users to “easily send USDT to their friends, alongside the native TON coin.”
This means that users are now able to select the USDT altcoin within their Telegram chat boxes to transfer money to their peers directly and instantly.
Per Decrypto, however, Telegram will for now only support the USDT run on the Tron blockchain, TRC20.
The t.me/wallet also allows users to convert USDT TRC-20 tokens to purchase TON, Malev added.
This latest development should, theoretically, be positive for the industry. Malev argued that,
“This is a great step forward for crypto adoption! […] This is not just a major milestone for the TON blockchain community, but also a significant step in bridging the gap between cryptocurrency and mainstream users. Now we all can easily *show* how crypto works to our non-cryptonative frens.”
He also named some possibilities created by this Telegram/USDT move, including new and different types of transactions, shopping, and crowdfunding.
Telegram is said to have 700 million monthly active users, per Demand Sage, with projections of over one billion users by the end of the year. The user count has increased by 175% since 2018. Furthermore, the app has 55.2 million Daily Active Users as of 2023.
Meanwhile, USDT is the world’s largest stablecoin per market capitalization ($78 billion), and the third among all cryptocurrencies, behind bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH), respectively.
Though initially dismissive of the network, Pavel Durov, the mastermind behind Telegram, last year praised the efforts of TON – a blockchain project built from the ruins of his own vision of a global stablecoin.
Durov’s original TON was scuppered at the eleventh hour by American regulators back in 2020. It no longer stands for ‘Telegram Open Network’ as it was renamed by the breakaway developers and the community – known as The TON Foundation – who have repurposed the project and called it ‘The Open Network.’ Instead of the original gram coin, this new TON project makes use of toncoin.
Durov also suggested that Telegram may one day launch a blockchain technology-powered marketplace for usernames, emojis, and other app-based assets. Such a marketplace would ensure that username ownership was “secured on the blockchain” via “non-fungible token (NFT)-like smart contracts,” he claimed.
Without committing to anything, Durov suggested that TON and its native toncoin might be the best choice of network and currency for such a marketplace.
In October 2022, TON developers announced the launch of a peer-to-peer (P2P) market, allowing Telegram users to trade toncoin directly on the messaging platform. Users have been enabled to buy and sell the crypto directly from and to one another with the wallet service acting as a guarantor of the transaction, they said.
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