Telegram Mulls NFT Usernames as Part of Web3 Integration Into Messaging App

Telegram founder Pavel Durov says the messaging app is thinking about integrating web3 with username auctions seen as a potential vertical.
Image source: App Store

Quick take:

  • Telegram is planning to integrate Web3.
  • The messaging app founder Pavel Durov expressed his admiration of the TON project, which has integrated name and wallet auctions.
  • Durov thinks Telegram could replicate the same concept by putting custom usernames and groups on auction on the blockchain like NFTs.

Telegram is thinking about integrating Web3 into the popular messaging app. The company founder Pavel Durov said Monday in a long post on his channel that he was particularly impressed by the TON project web3 adaptation. TON has leveraged blockchain technology to integrate domain and wallet auctions, allowing users to participate in non-fungible tokens (NFTs) like auctions.

Durov thinks Telegram could use the same concept to offer username, groups and channel auctions on the blockchain.

Telegram will be joining a growing list of companies leveraging the next iteration of the internet to disrupt the intellectual property market. 

Leading blockchain network Ethereum has already launched its own blockchain-based name service ENS, which according to the company has already crossed 2 million registrations. 

Unstoppable Domains is currently the leading pureplay company in the space with its NFT domain service. The company has teamed up with several web3 companies to bring UD logins to their platforms, including blockchain game platforms and crypto wallet services providers.

Unstoppable reached unicorn status when it raised $65 million at a $1.6 billion valuation this May.

Blockchain-based usernames are encrypted with NFT technology, allowing users to manage their web3 profiles and assets from one platform.

Durov cited TON’s recent domain and wallet auctions that saw casino.ton sold for ~$244,000 while Wallet.ton went for 215,250 Toncoin (~$260000) as primary examples of why Telegram could experience greater success with username, groups and channel auctions.

“If TON has been able to achieve these results, imagine how successful Telegram with its 700 million users could be if we put reserved @ usernames, group and channel links for auction. In addition to millions of catchy addresses like @storm or @royal, all four-letter usernames could be made available for sale (@bank, @club, @game, @gift etc),” he wrote highlighting some premium usernames.

If Telegram pursues the web3 integration, its username auctions could be hosted on TON blockchain, which Durov lauded for its scalability. 

“Our team can write bullet-proof smart contracts for TON (since it was us who invented its smart-contract language), so we are inclined to try out TON as the underlying blockchain for our future marketplace.”

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