Popular messaging app Telegram has unveiled its long-anticipated crypto wallet, marking a significant step in its journey to establish a Web3 ecosystem. This wallet, introduced at the Token2049 event in Singapore, has been in the works for nearly three years.
Built on The Open Network (TON) blockchain, the Telegram crypto wallet is now accessible to the app’s vast user base of 800 million people worldwide. The integration of the TON wallet into Telegram had an immediate impact, driving up the price of Toncoin by nearly 7% upon its announcement. The TON Foundation also revealed that projects operating on the TON blockchain would receive preferential access to Telegram’s advertising platform, Telegram Ads. Currently, the wallet feature is available in the settings for existing users, with a global rollout scheduled to commence in November, excluding the United States and select other countries.
Telegram initially laid out plans to incorporate a TON-based crypto wallet back in 2019. However, the messaging platform was forced to sever ties with the blockchain foundation in 2020 following a lawsuit from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC alleged that Telegram’s $1.7-billion initial coin offering (ICO) constituted an unregistered security offering. In response, Telegram reached a settlement with the SEC, agreeing to an $18.5-million fine and a commitment to reimburse investors for any unutilized funds.
Now, with their renewed partnership, the TON Foundation envisions building the Web3 infrastructure directly into Telegram, aiming to eliminate onboarding challenges and create a seamless gateway to cryptocurrency for all Telegram users. This move represents a significant leap forward in bridging the gap between mainstream communication platforms and the decentralized world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, potentially fostering broader adoption in the future.