In its latest update, the messaging app has introduced a feature that will allow users to log-in to their accounts using blockchain-powered numbers and usernames that can be purchased on the Fragment marketplace with TON tokens.
Popular instant messaging platform Telegram has released a new update to its app that will allow users to activate their accounts without having to link a mobile number. The update builds on Telegram’s existing mantra of providing privacy-focused services to customers by taking it to a whole new level.
In earlier versions of the app, users had to sign-up with the sim card powering their mobile phones which meant the account cannot be used on multiple devices like Facebook or Twitter. However, the platform’s privacy features gave users the control over their private information like whether they wanted their phone numbers to be visible to the public or who are allowed to find them by searching their numbers on the app. Users could also create unique usernames that can be shared with others instead of their mobile numbers.
With Telegram 2.0, users will be able to log-in to the app using blockchain-powered numbers that will be anonymous to others. The numbers will be available to purchase on the Fragment marketplace on the TON (The Open Network) blockchain, using TON tokens. Fragment, which was launched by Telegram in October, is a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace for numbers and usernames. Earlier this year the instant messaging app released a feature that allowed users to connect their TON wallets to Telegram in order to send and receive TON directly within chats.
TON is a Layer-1 blockchain developed by Telegram and headed by CEO Pavel Durov back in 2018. It was supposed to be the official digital payments network for the messaging app. The proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain then called Telegram Open Network allows users to assign human-readable names to their digital wallets, smart contracts and Web3 domains. In 2019, the company was sanctioned by the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), who claimed that the preliminary sale of £1.39 billion worth of Telegram’s native GRAM tokens violated securities law. Telegram was accused of selling unregistered securities to customers and had to pay a hefty fine to settle the case in 2020. After the issue, Durov distanced himself from the project to focus on the messaging platform but promised to collaborate with the blockchain company in the future. TON was revived by open-source developers who renamed it as The Open Network.
Pavel Durov has long been teasing plans to integrate blockchain-based features on Telegram. In June, the CEO was impressed by a Web3 domain and wallet names auction conducted by TON. This inspired Durov to come up with an idea for a NFT marketplace for Telegram usernames, groups and channels. According to sources, the founder mentioned in a private group conversation that if Telegram were to launch NFTs, it would be done using smart-contracts built on the TON network.
Apart from blockchain-based numbers, Telegram 2.0 also introduced several other features including QR codes, timer to automatically delete previous chats, new emojis and group messaging tools. Users that wish to keep their mobile numbers private can add others by sharing a temporary QR code. The code can be scanned by a user to add you as a contact on Telegram without finding out your number. The auto-delete for chats allows users to set a periodic timer for older messages to be deleted automatically. New custom and interactive emojis, and the option to organize separate discussion areas on groups were also added.
At the time of writing, TON is trading at £1.51. With 1.4 billion tokens currently in circulation, the TON network has a total market valuation of £2.21 billion.