Telegram now accepts crypto payments after earlier giving up on its own coin. It allows its 550 million active users to send and receive cryptocurrency.
According to Protocol, this feature may make crypto payments on chat services more widespread.
The fall and rise of Telegram Open Network(TON)
On May 12, 2020, Telegram officially abandoned its $1.7 billion crypto project- The Telegram Open Network(TON).
The company had launched the program with its 2018 ICO in an attempt to monetize the messaging platform. However, Telegram was forced to give up on its upcoming blockchain network following a lengthy, protracted dispute with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
“Telegram’s active involvement with TON is over, ” wrote Pavel Durov, co-founder of Telegram, in a blog post. Later, community organizations such as Free TON, NewTON, and the TON Chinese Community brought the project back to life using Telegram’s open-source code.
Now the TON Foundation oversees the toncoin token which allows fee-free crypto payments in the Telegram app. It includes the option to send crypto to other users and purchase bitcoin from within the app as well.
The TON Foundation made this announcement via their official Twitter account.
Other Telegram payment options
Telegram allows merchants to create bots that enable their customers to checkout on Telegram seamlessly. Merchant bots can send specially formatted invoice messages to users, groups, or channels.
Invoice messages feature a photo and description of the product along with a prominent Pay button. Tapping this button opens a special payment interface in the Telegram app. In this interface, users can choose a tip amount (if allowed by the merchant) and enter additional details like shipping info, phone number, or email address.
Telegram does not process payments from users but rather relies on different payment providers around the world. It supports payments from more than 200 countries through providers like Stripe, EcommPay, PayMega, and Sberbank among others.
It is the payment providers that handle and store all sensitive information like credit card details and Telegram does not have access to it.