Telegram, the popular chat app with 800 million monthly active users, is rolling out a self-custodial crypto wallet. The move is set to solidify its presence in the lively crypto community that has emerged from its chat platform and can potentially help drive the masses into the crypto space.
Telegram and TON Foundation jointly announced the new self-custodial wallet, called TON Space, on Wednesday at Singapore’s Token2049 crypto conference which boasts more than 10,000 attendees.
Telegram’s relationship with blockchain has been a complicated one. In 2020, the chat app abandoned its Telegram Open Network (TON) blockchain project after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued the messenger over a massive initial coin offering. A group of open-source developers and blockchain enthusiasts subsequently founded The Open Network Foundation (TON Foundation), which is now supporting the development of The Open Network (TON), the blockchain powering a growing number of applications on Telegram, including the wallet.
The TON-based wallet is the brainchild of The Open Platform (TOP), which also includes a venture-building division, the TOP Labs.
Starting in November, TON Space will be available to Telegram’s global users without the need for any wallet registration. The feature, however, has excluded certain jurisdictions for now, such as the U.S., which has launched a series of crackdowns on the crypto industry and promoted many crypto apps to geofence users from the market.
TechCrunch has some more details from our conversation with TON Foundation on-site today. Check back for more details.
The article was corrected on September 13, 2023, to clarify the relationship between TON, TON Foundation and TOP, and the wallet’s launch schedule.