Telegram partners with TON Foundation to introduce a crypto wallet, marking a renewed collaboration after past SEC challenges.
In a recent unveiling, Telegram, the popular messaging application, rekindled its association with The Open Network Foundation (TON Foundation). This move places TON back to its foundational ethos, especially with the introduction of a self-managed crypto wallet specifically tailored for Telegram users.
In 2020, Telegram had distanced itself from its TON project, following a lawsuit from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This regulatory pushback was due to concerns over the initial coin offering (ICO) of the project’s token, Grams. However, as the dust settled, Telegram seems to be gravitating back to its original vision.
The TON and Telegram Partnership
The TON Foundation’s digital wallet, known as TON Space, made its debut on Telegram. With this addition, an estimated 800 million Telegram users now have the opportunity to explore the world of digital currency. Furthermore, Telegram will prioritize advertising for projects developed on the TON platform through its ad platform, Telegram Ads.
Users looking to access the wallet can find it within the Telegram settings. While the feature is currently in the process of being rolled out worldwide, it’s worth noting that certain regions, including the U.S., will be excluded from this update, with the full launch expected in November.
The history between TON and Telegram is a bit complicated. TON, a blockchain platform operating on the proof-of-stake mechanism, was supposed to be Telegram’s next big venture. The platform, which took over two years to develop, unfortunately, didn’t see the light of day due to regulatory hurdles. Telegram’s vision of integrating crypto transactions within chat conversations was abruptly halted.
From Regulatory Hurdles to Rekindled Ambitions
Back in 2019, the SEC had raised concerns over the whopping $1.7 billion amassed during TON’s ICO phase. Allegedly, this collection of funds violated the norms of securities registrations. As a result, Telegram resolved the issue by repaying the unused portions of these investments and further agreed to pay a fine of $18.5 million.
At the time, Telegram had committed to refunding investors if the platform remained unlaunched beyond a specific date in 2020. With the mounting legal pressures, Pavel Durov, the co-founder of Telegram, had expressed concerns about other crypto projects using TON’s technology and name. Interestingly, his stance seems to have evolved with the recent partnership.
Despite the setbacks, the ideals behind TON didn’t fade away. Organizations like FreeTon, NewTON, and the TON Chinese Community took the baton forward, ensuring the project’s dreams remained alive.
One of the chief proponents of this renewed partnership is Telegram’s Chief Investment Officer, John Hyman. Emphasizing the significance of digital ownership, he highlighted how this collaboration complements Telegram’s commitment to freedom of speech in today’s digital age.
A New Chapter for TON and Telegram
Recently, the TON Foundation established its base in Switzerland and now operates as a registered nonprofit. Steve Yun, TON Foundation’s president, drew parallels between TON’s objectives and Telegram’s user-centric approach. By sharing a mutual DNA, both entities seem poised to redefine the digital communication landscape.
It’s noteworthy that when Telegram decided to part ways with TON, it had nearly 400 million users. As per the latest data from TON Foundation, this number has since doubled, making Telegram one of the top 10 most downloaded applications worldwide. This rejuvenated alliance between Telegram and TON might just be the beginning of an exciting chapter in the realm of messaging apps and cryptocurrency.