Telegram adds global self-custodial crypto wallet, excluding the US

Thursday 14 September 2023 14:34 CET | News

Chat app Telegram has integrated a self-custodial crypto wallet to tap into the crypto community that has emerged from its platform and drive crypto adoption.


Chat app Telegram has integrated a self-custodial crypto wallet to tap into the crypto community that has emerged from its platform and drive crypto adoption.

The crypto wallet, known as TON Space, was jointly announced by Telegram and TON Foundation. Following the FTX debacle, the cryptocurrency community has recognised the importance of self-custodial wallets over centralised ones that leave users with no authority over their digital assets. Notably, TON Space was not developed by Telegram, and this joint announcement highlights the complex history of Telegram's involvement with blockchain technology.

In 2020, the chat app abandoned its Telegram Open Network (TON) blockchain project after the US Securities and Exchange Commission sued it over a massive initial coin offering. A group of open source developers and blockchain enthusiasts subsequently founded The Open Network Foundation (TON Foundation), which now supports the development of The Open Network (TON), the blockchain powering a number of applications on Telegram, including the self-custodial wallet.

The wallet is the brainchild of a company called The Open Platform (TOP), which includes a wallet development team and a venture-building division, the TOP Labs, that works closely with the TON ecosystem and has a portfolio of TON-based apps.

Starting in November 2023, TON Space will be available to Telegram’s global users without the need for any wallet registration. The feature is an extension to the existing custodial version of the Telegram wallet. The self-custodial wallet has excluded certain jurisdictions for now, such as the US, which has launched a series of crackdowns on the crypto industry and promoted many crypto apps to geofence users from the market, as reported by

A mini app ecosystem supported by blockchain

TON Space is just one of a growing list of third-party mini apps that run inside Telegram. The messenger is evolving into some sort of a ‘super app,’ an idea first popularised by WeChat. But its approach has been quite different from that of the Chinese chat app, which builds and controls its own payment solution. First, Telegram has opted for decentralised payments. Secondly, developers can create crypto-compatible mini apps by integrating with the TON Space wallet, rather than through some centralised solution built by the messenger.

The benefit of having a crypto wallet in Telegram is the potential to introduce a substantial number of users, many of whom are unbanked populations in developing countries, to digital assets.

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Keywords: digital assets, cryptocurrency, digital wallet, crypto asset, blockchain
Categories: DeFi & Crypto & Web3
Companies: Telegram
Countries: World
This article is part of category

DeFi & Crypto & Web3


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