Telegram founder proposes auctioning usernames and links as NFTs

The CEO hopes to ‘add a little bit of Web 3.0’ to the Telegram platform.
August 24, 2022 - Tom Peters

Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov has plans to sell usernames and channel links for his platform as NFTs on a dedicated marketplace.


He raised this idea on his private Telegram channel on Monday, where he suggested that usernames could be transferred between holders in secure deals on the blockchain using NFT-like smart contracts. 


According to Durov, his latest idea was encouraged by The Open Network (TON) 's impressive domain name sales which made about US$ 3 million from more than 2,000 '.ton' domain names. The Open Network (TON) is a layer-1 blockchain initially designed by the Telegram team but is currently managed by The Open Network community.


'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,' Durov said.


The first sale on TON DNS went live on July 30, and just like the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) '.eth' domains, the '.ton' helps users to access decentralized applications easily without having to insert incomprehensible alphanumeric codes from their wallet addresses.


The CEO also said stickers and emojis could also be sold on his proposed marketplace.


TON was supposed to serve as a digital payments platform for Telegram, but following a controversial case with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the firm had to cede ownership to the current holders.


Still, the Telegram platform works with the TON blockchain; it lets users transfer Toncoin – the network's token – through automated bots.


Durov believes TON's scalability and speed would be valuable to his new plan. He also thinks the company can create "bullet-proof" smart contracts for the network since they were the ones that developed it in the first place.


According to CoinMarketCap, Toncoin (TON) rose by 18.42% in the past 24 hours and is currently priced at US$1.35 at the time of writing.


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