Telegram, a messaging app with more than 550 million active users, has decided to allow its consumers to send and receive cryptocurrency
. Users can make crypto payments directly from chats within the instant messaging service.
Users can now send and receive Toncoin, according to a tweet from The Open Network (TON) Foundation. The tweet also included a short video showing how crypto transactions work on the platform.
"You can now send Toncoin directly within Telegram chats. It's a new way to send Toncoin without transaction fees to any Telegram user. With this service, you no longer have to enter long wallet
addresses and wait for confirmations," said the TON Foundation, a non-profit organization.
The foundation, which is responsible for developing the TON blockchain, announced last week that it had raised $1 billion in donations to further its development efforts.
The accompanying video in the tweet said users will not have to pay transaction fees. They will also not be required to enter long crypto addresses thanks to the wallet functionality built into the app.
The development comes two years after Telegram was embroiled in a protracted battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2019, which forced it to shut down its own cryptocurrency operation, including its own token "Gram," in 2020. Telegram CEO Pavel Durov and his brother Nikolai had developed the project, originally known as the Telegram Open Network (TON).
After Telegram dropped the TON project, a group of developers continued to work on it. They later renamed it The Open Network and renamed Gram as Toncoin.
"We expect this new Telegram functionality to expand into consumer-to-business payments, allowing people to easily acquire goods and services by sending Toncoin through bots in the Telegram app," the TON Foundation said.
Telegram is one of the largest messaging apps in the world, so it says a lot that it, too, is now engaging in cryptocurrency payments. Another very well-known social-media app that supports crypto payments is Twitter, which was recently in the news with its acquisition of Elon Musk.
Twitter supports Bitcoin
payments on its platform with the help of Stripe, the provider of the payment infrastructure. However, Telegram currently outpaces many other major apps like Twitter in several areas, including speed and ease of crypto payments.