Telegram Launches Self-Custodial Crypto Wallet, Token Price Surges


September 13, 2023


Iara Kaiser

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Popular messaging app Telegram has officially unveiled its much anticipated cryptocurrency wallet. This announcement marks a major milestone, arriving nearly three years after the initial plans to establish a Web3 ecosystem were introduced. The launch of this wallet took place during the Token2049 event in Singapore, an annual conference which brings together industry experts to discuss the trends and advancements in the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

Developed on the Open Network (TON) blockchain, the crypto wallet is now accessible to Telegram’s wide-ranging user base of over 800 million individuals worldwide. This integration had an immediate impact on the price of the TON coin, leading to an impressive increase of approximately 34% after its announcement.

The TON Foundation has disclosed that projects developed on the TON blockchain will have privileges, including access to Telegram’s advertising platform, Telegram Ads. While existing users can currently find the wallet feature in their settings, a global roll-out is scheduled for November of this year excluding the United States and a handful of other regions. 

Telegram had initially planned to incorporate a TON based crypto wallet in 2019. However, these efforts faced setbacks when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) took legal action against Telegram in 2020. The lawsuit was filed in response to their $1.7 billion initial coin offering (ICO) which was deemed by the regulatory body as an issuance of unregistered securities. An agreement was ultimately reached between the messaging app and the SEC, with Telegram agreeing to pay a fine of $18.5 million and reimbursing investors for any unutilized funds.

With the partnership between Telegram and the TON Foundation, there is a shared goal of developing Web3 infrastructure within the popular messaging platform. The project’s founders aim to address onboarding challenges by creating a seamless gateway for all Telegram users to explore cryptocurrencies.

To strengthen its presence in the rapidly growing crypto community that emerged within their chat platform, Telegram has taken a significant step by introducing a self custodial crypto wallet. This initiative has the potential to onboard a broader audience to cryptocurrencies, considering Telegram’s massive user base of 800 million monthly active users.

Telegram's journey into blockchain technology has been particularly complex. After abandoning their TON project due to the SECs legal actions in 2020, the TON Foundation was established with the purpose of supporting the development of TON.

The TON-based wallet, known as TON Space is a collaborative effort with The Open Platform (TOP), which also includes TOP Labs, a venture-building division. Starting in November, Telegram users from around the world will have access to TON Space without requiring wallet registration. However, certain jurisdictions, including the United States, have imposed restrictions on a number of crypto-related activities and as a result, these regions will not be included in the initial roll-out.