Telegram now lets users send Toncoin, the cryptocurrency built off of Telegram’s abandoned blockchain effort, directly from chats within the messaging app (via Protocol). In a post on Twitter, TON (The Open Network), announced that Telegram now supports Toncoin transactions with no fees attached.
TON included a short video showing how crypto transactions work on the platform. To get started, you’ll have to add Telegram’s Wallet bot to your attachment menu, which allows you to “purchase cryptocurrency by bank card, exchange, and transfer to other wallets.”
When you’re ready to send crypto, you can pull up the Wallet from your attachment menu while in a chat, enter the amount of Toncoin you want to send, confirm all the details, and then hit “Send.” Your recipient will receive the Toncoin through the chat.
In 2020, Telegram shut down its own cryptocurrency operation after facing pressure from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The project, originally known as the Telegram Open Network (TON), was developed by Telegram CEO Pavel Durov and his brother Nikolai in 2018. A year later, the SEC ordered Telegram to halt its sales of Gram, the token linked to the TON blockchain, after saying it failed to register the $1.7 billion in sales collected as part of its pre-Initial Coin Offering (ICO).
Even after Telegram abandoned the TON project, a group of developers kept it afloat, renaming it The Open Network and rebranding Gram as Toncoin. Durov expressed his support of the project last December, noting “I’m proud that the technology we created is alive and evolving… TON is still years ahead of everything else in the blockchain realm.” Earlier this month, the TON Foundation managed to raise $1 billion in donations.