Telegram founder floats new auction marketplace

Quick Take

  • Telegram founder Pavel Durov floated the idea for a new marketplace where users could use “NFT-like smart-contracts” to transfer usernames.
  • The Durov-designed TON blockchain would be likely to host the new feature, he said.

Telegram may launch a new marketplace to allow users to transfer usernames via “NFT-like smart-contracts,” founder Pavel Durov said in a message on the platform.

“Imagine how successful Telegram with its 700 million users could be if we put reserved @ usernames, group and channel links for auction,” Durov wrote on Monday. “In addition to millions of catchy t.me addresses like @storm or @royal, all four-letter usernames could be made available for sale.” 

TON jumped around 10% after Durov sent the message. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Durov is eyeing the TON blockchain, which he designed, to host decentralized sales, saying the Telegram team can “write bullet-proof smart contracts for TON.” He cited the success of a recent auction TON conducted for domain and wallet names, including wallet.ton which sold for 215,250 Toncoin (about $260,000) and casino.ton for about $244,000.

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“Let's see if we can add a little bit of Web 3.0 to Telegram in the coming weeks,” Durov said. 

In addition to t.me addresses like @storm or @royal, all four-letter usernames could be made available for sale, such as @bank, @club and @game, he said.


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Stephanie is a senior reporter covering policy and regulation. She is focused on legislation, regulatory agencies, lobbying and money in politics. Stephanie is based in Washington, D.C.

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