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Telegram users can now exchange crypto through the platform

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In a Twitter post released on April 26, Telegram Open Network blockchain (TON) announced that users can now send Toncoin (TON) directly within the Telegram chats. @ton_blockchain said in their Twitter post ‘It’s a new way to send Toncoin without transaction fees to any Telegram user. With this service, you’ll no longer need to enter long wallet addresses and wait for confirmations.’

TON Foundation told CoinDesk on April 28 that they ‘anticipate that [Telegram’s crypto] functionality will extend into consumer business payments so that people can easily acquire goods and services by sending TON via bots in the Telegram app.’ As of now, users can only send TON within the app. However, users can purchase Bitcoin (BTC) using the @wallet bot. 

In the same CoinDesk report, TON Foundation shared that the aim of this crypto feature is to make sending TON feel like ‘sending a text message’ to other users. This proves to be a success with over 800,000 Telegram accounts already using the TON service. 

This crypto-exchange feature within Telegram was first introduced in 2017 and was supported by Lightspeed Capital, Benchmark and several other Russian investors. However, the US court made it impossible for Telegram to continue TON’s development after its foundation failed to register an early sale of $1.7 billion prior to launching, which created a securities law violation. The $1.7 billion funds were raised in Telegram’s pre-ICO offer in 2018.  

But on May 13, 2020, Telegram’s CEO and co-founder Pavel Durov published a Telegram article, saying that the Telegram Open Network (TON) blockchain is still under development and that the concept isn’t completely abandoned by Telegram even after the issue with SEC. Durov said ‘I am proud that the technology we have created is alive and evolving. When it comes to scalability and speed, TON is still years ahead of everything else in the blockchain space.’

In August 2020, the TON crypto project was abandoned by Telegram after it faced a lawsuit against the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and lost. However, Telegram developers kept the idea afloat and renamed ton as an Open Network while rebranding its Gram coin as Toncoin.

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