Telegram Becoming Crypto-Based Everything App, What Will Happen to TON?

After months of Elon Musk teasing about turning X into an "everything app" and introducing peer-to-peer crypto payments in 2024, Telegram is now making waves as the first major platform to embrace the Web3 ecosystem.

In a recent interview with Tucker Carlson, the founder of Telegram praised Musk for his innovative mindset and efforts to build the SocialFi platform, aiming to empower content creators with fair ad revenue returns.

SocialFi represents a fusion of social media and decentralized finance (DeFi), offering users control over their content without reliance on central authority. Creators retain ownership of their content and data, unlike in Web2 platforms. Users can monetize their engagement and following without limitations, opening up new financial opportunities.

With Telegram's recent adoption of TON, Tether and other features, the platform has garnered more attention from the crypto community than ever before.

Does TON belong to Telegram?

The Open Network TON was initially developed by Telegram, but a subsequent legal battle with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission saw the messaging application abandon its development efforts in May 2020.

The blockchain was originally designed to integrate with Telegram, but its initial attempt was foiled by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Telegram was able to reunite with TON after the network was relaunched by independent developers, making it the only major messaging platform to incorporate Web3.

In a post dubbed “What Was TON And Why It Is Over,” the Telegram CEO said that they made the decision in response to a U.S. court prohibiting Telegram from distributing its Gram tokens anywhere in the world. Durov wrote:

“The US court declared that Grams couldn't be distributed not only in the United States, but globally. Why? Because, it said, a US citizen might find some way of accessing the TON platform after it launched,” Durov complained.

Durov decided to part ways with TON, which became an independent community of validators, launched the TON blockchain independently from Telegram on May 7.

However, Telegram endorsed TON in September last year, saying the blockchain and the associated token would be its "official Web3 infrastructure."

"To limit Telegram’s share of TON at ≈10% of the supply, we’ll be selling the upcoming surplus of our TON holdings to long-term investors — under 1-4 years lockup and vesting plan, but at a discount to the market price. This way free-floating TON will get locked up, stabilizing the ecosystem and reducing volatility," he stated

New Web3 infrastructure

In September 2023, Telegram introduced its long-awaited crypto wallet built on the TON blockchain.

The TON Foundation announced that projects operating on the TON blockchain would receive priority access to Telegram's advertising platform, Telegram Ads. While the wallet feature is currently available in settings for existing users, a global rollout is scheduled to commence in November, excluding the United States and select other countries.

In February 2024, Telegram revealed a plan to share ad revenue with channel owners and pay rewards using the Toncoin TON token. Telegram recently implemented that plan and allowed users to purchase in-platform ads with TON.

On March 31, Telegram introduced a reward system that would allow channel owners with substantial subscribers to earn 50% of the revenue from ads shown in their channels in Toncoin TON, the project’s native cryptocurrency.

Durov said that 50% of the revenue Telegram receives from displaying ads and broadcast channels would be shared with channel owners and content creators using TON’s network.

To further extend the Web3 infrastructure, Telegram plans to tokenize its stickers and emojis by transforming them into NFTs on the TON blockchain. This announcement was made at the Token2049 event in Dubai, where Durov highlighted the potential of socially relevant NFTs integrated into human culture and communication.

Tether joins Telegram

In a big move with potential game-changing repercussions, Tether recently launched its USDT token and Tether Gold (XAUT) on TON, marking a significant expansion to 15 blockchains. The integration with Telegram, boasting over 900 million users, is expected to enable seamless peer-to-peer (P2P) payments within Telegram's user base.

By introducing USDT and XAUT on TON, Tether aims to enhance value transfer between users in the TON ecosystem and other blockchain networks, with increased speed and reduced costs.

💎 𝐓𝐎𝐍 𝐱 @Tether_to 💎$USDt - $TON Reaches $100M in issued and circulating USDt in under 2 weeks 🤯💎

Making it the fastest growing launch of Tether's USDt in Web3 history.#TONxTelegramxTether pic.twitter.com/HcavE5h7TY— TON 💎 (@ton_blockchain) May 3, 2024

The addition of USD₮ and XAU₮ on TON is expected to enhance liquidity and activity while offering users a financial experience comparable to traditional systems, advancing Tether's mission of open financial infrastructure across blockchain technology.

The Open Network claims to “revolutionize” global peer-to-peer payments, allowing Telegram users to send money instantly without needing a blockchain address or downloading a new app.

Notably, USDT on TON will be complemented by fully integrated on-ramps supporting most fiat currencies globally. Additionally, integrated global off-ramps will facilitate users’ withdrawal of supported fiat directly to their bank accounts or cards.

The TON Foundation has allocated 11 million TON tokens as incentives to drive adoption. Five million TON will be utilized to boost rewards in USDT/TON liquidity pools across TON decentralized exchanges (DEXes) like StonFi and Dedust.

Another 5 million TON will be distributed to users who deposit USDT to the Earn campaign of Telegram’s wallet. Furthermore, withdrawals to TON from supporting exchanges such as OKEx, Bybit and KuCoin will be free for all users until the end of June 2024.

The TON community lead urged other cryptocurrencies to join:

Even more money for TON builders!

DeFi teams from $ETH, $SOL, $AVAX - time for diversification and mass adoption inside Telegram.

Just the same DeFi you are building, but for 900M people ready to start using it. https://t.co/nDouHV96Od— Alenka | @TON Foundation 💎 (@alenka_w3) April 18, 2024

New investment

Following the news of Tether’s involvement in Telegram, Pantera Capital, a multibillion-dollar hedge fund and venture capital firm, announced its investment in the platform.

Pantera sees TON as a platform to broaden cryptocurrency adoption, expecting TON's continued growth among Telegram users, highlighting its scalability and cost-effectiveness.

"We believe TON has the capacity to introduce crypto to the masses because it is used extensively within the Telegram network. Telegram has over 900 million monthly active users on its future-facing, fast, and secure messaging platform that is used for personal and group communications, large-scale community building, content sharing, and more," the company stated. 

Toncoin price

In February, Toncoin embarked on a series of initiatives, demonstrating continued positive momentum. The most recent initiative involved distributing 30 million TON for user participation in ecosystem projects.

In late March 2024, Toncoin TON surged by 31.83% to $3.68, hitting a two-year high, driven by anticipation of Telegram's upcoming IPO. Trading volumes for TON spiked by 301.96%, reaching $269 million.Source: CoinMarketCap

The integration of the TON wallet into Telegram led to a nearly 7% surge in the price of Toncoin upon the announcement. Following the disclosure of the partnership with Tether, the Toncoin price reached $8.02.