Telegram Intends To Auction Usernames In Exchange For Crypto

Telegram, the instant messaging app that rivals the likes of WhatsApp, plans on auctioning usernames on a public marketplace. This will allow users to see if others consider their username to be worthy of a hefty price.

In an official Twitter thread, Telegram announced that they’re ready to launch an auction marketplace for usernames located on the TON blockchain. Also known as the Open Network, Telegram initially developed and operated the blockchain.

It’s likely that transactions on the marketplace will be made via Toncoin, the Open Network’s native cryptocurrency.

Telegram Founder Shows Interest in Auction

In August, Pavel Durov, the founder of the messaging app, said that he gained an interest in an auction marketplace, with his primary reason being how popular the concept was getting.

On the TON blockchain alone, users made plenty of crypto by auctioning off their domain names and wallet names.

He mentions that considering how TON was able to receive such great results, Telegram can do an even better job with its 700 million users. The plan is to put unique reserved @ usernames, channels, and group links for auction.

Moreover, he explained that the ownership of these names would be completely secured on the TON blockchain, making them similar to NFTs.

He also went on to say that other aspects of the messaging platform, like emojis, channels, or even stickers, could be put up for auction.

This means big news for the platform’s 500 million active users who prefer it or its end-to-end encryption.

All Four-Letter Usernames Can Be Put Up for Auction, Says Durov

The Telegram founder also states that besides usernames, which are characterized by the ‘t.me’ address, four-letter usernames would be available for auction as well. So these can include @gift, @game, @club, or @bank.

But despite the fantastic idea, it’s nothing new. According to The Block, selling usernames is a very old occurrence that has been taking place on the Ethereum blockchain, via the Ethereum Name Service, for a long time.

Similarly, there are a variety of other projects in the works, such as in the gaming industry, announcing that they’re selling usernames. For instance, online gamers can now can NFTs of their own gamertag.

Telegram Dabbles In Digital Assets after TON Closure

Although this isn’t Telegram’s first crypto endeavor, it had to stop the development of its Telegram Open Network blockchain and Gram token.

This came after the firm was under investigation by the SEC for illegally trading unregistered securities. In the consequent legal proceedings, the federal judge ruled in favor of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Hence, Telegram abandoned the TON and Gram projects. In 2021, the original developers handed over the keys to the TON blockchain to the TON foundation.