This week, The Open Network (TON), a blockchain developed by the popular instant messaging service Telegram, enabled cryptocurrency payments on its service, effectively allowing a "wallet" bot to perform crypto transactions for free.
Telegram boasts over 550 million users and the move is heralded as a step forward to ease crypto adoption.
“It is hoped that this simplification of the cryptocurrency transaction process will enable greater adoption around the world, and help to embed blockchain payment solutions into people’s daily lives,” said a representative from the TON Foundation.
The chat app Telegram will allow users to send payments and transactions in Toncoin, the native cryptocurrency of The Open Network. When users add Telegram’s wallet bot to their attachment menu, they will be able to buy crypto via debit cards, crypto exchanges, or transfers to other crypto wallets. According to the company, users will not need to wait for confirmations or enter a lengthy wallet address when carrying out transactions.
Two years ago, Telegram was forced to shut down its work on crypto after the SEC declared that it had violated federal securities laws by offering unregistered digital tokens known as "Grams." The company had to return $1.2 billion to investors and pay $18.5 million in penalties to the SEC.
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The company decided to remove itself from the project, but a small cohort of developers rebranded it as The Open Network and redesigned Gram as Toncoin.
"When Telegram said goodbye to TON last year, I expressed the hope that future generations of developers would one day carry on with our vision of a mass-market blockchain platform," said Telegram founder Pavel Durov.
"I'm proud that the technology we created is alive and evolving. When it comes to scalability and speed, TON is still years ahead of everything else in the blockchain realm," he said. "It would have been a shame to see this project not benefiting humanity."