Telegram Messenger has unveiled a self-custodial crypto wallet for its more than 800 million active users worldwide. This move comes almost three years after the popular messaging platform initially revealed its plans to delve into the Web3 space.
The crypto wallet is built on The Open Network (TON) and will be accessible via settings on Telegram’s messaging app. On the back of this announcement, the price of Toncoin (TON’s native token) surged by almost 8%.
On Wednesday, September 13, The Open Network announced the partnership with Telegram at the Token2049 event in Singapore. This collaboration will provide the messaging platform’s 800 million users access to a self-custodial crypto wallet.
As part of the integration, projects built on the TON blockchain will receive priority access to Telegram Ads, the app’s advertising platform. This was confirmed via an X (formerly Twitter) post by Anthony Tsivarev, Director of Developer Relations at TON.
John Hyman, Telegram’s Chief Investment Officer, commented on this development:
Telegram’s mission has always been to enable freedom of speech, but speech is so much more in this digital age. We believe users have the right to own their identities and assets. With TON Space, users now have the technology to make that convenient. With this announcement, we are putting digital ownership rights in the hands of our entire user base. While also giving TON projects the tools to reach our audience in the largest Web3/Web2 integration there has ever been.
Telegram initiated plans to build a Web3 ecosystem as far back as 2019. Unfortunately, the messaging platform had to cool off its initiative with The Open Network in 2020 due to a lawsuit from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
In 2019, the SEC filed a lawsuit against Telegram for raising $1.7 billion through the initial coin offering (ICO) of a token (called Grams), which the regulatory body deemed as an unregistered security. The messaging platform resolved this issue by paying an $18.5 million fine and returning unused investor funds.
In the wake of this announcement, Toncoin registered a nearly 8% price spike. The cryptocurrency currently sits as one of the top gainers in the market today, with a substantial 13% price increase in the last 24 hours.
Interestingly, this latest price movement only underscores the token’s market performance in recent weeks. According to data from CoinGecko, the price of TON has soared by more than 36% in the past month.
This positive performance is even more impressive, considering the sluggish condition of the cryptocurrency market in the past few weeks. Most top altcoins, including ETH, XRP, and SOL, have been struggling due to the current market sentiment.
While the TON token is currently valued at $1.94, seeing if this latest burst of positivity can drive the cryptocurrency above $2 would be interesting.
Nevertheless, Toncoin ranks as the 12th-largest cryptocurrency, with a market cap of roughly $6.68 billion.
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