Telegram Users Can Now Send, Receive Crypto Following 2-year Hiatus

Telegram users can now send and receive Toncoin, as well as make purchases in bitcoin, following the abandonment of the project in 2019

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key takeaways

  • The TON Foundation announced Tuesday a new bot for use within social app Telegram, enabling users to send and receive Toncoin to one another
  • It marks the first time Telegram has added crypto functionality onto its platform following a bout with the SEC in 2019

Cryptocurrency functionality has been added back into the social app Telegram following a more than two-year hiatus stemming from a lengthy bout with the SEC in 2019.

Users can now send and receive Toncoin, as well as make bitcoin purchases via the app, according to a Tuesday tweet by The Open Network (TON) Foundation. Telegram boasts more than 550 million active users and is one of the world’s most popular social networks.

The foundation is responsible for the development of the TON blockchain which enables the crypto infrastructure for use within the social app. Last week, the foundation announced that it had raised $1 billion in donations to further its development efforts.

Following that announcement, Toncoin rose 14.3% from around $2.03 on Tuesday to $2.32 by Wednesday before succumbing to sell-side market pressure. As of press time, the token is down 10% over a 24-hour period and is changing hands for $2.06, data by provider CoinGecko shows.

Users are not required to pay transaction fees and will no longer need to enter long crypto addresses with wallet functionality embedded into the app, according to the announcement.

It marks the first time the app has restored crypto functionality since its battle with the SEC in October 2019. Telegram abandoned the project shortly after being requested by the securities regulator to cease the sale of its native “Gram” tokens. As part of a 2020 settlement, Telegram was required to return the $1.2 billion the company raised in the token sale and ordered to pay an $18.5 million fine.

“Telegram’s active involvement with TON is over,” Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov wrote at the time.

By May 2020, Telegram’s involvement with TON became less clear, and the development of the TON blockchain was overtaken by various enthusiasts and projects, who forked the original project’s open-source code.


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