In slightly less than one month, Telegram has sold $50 million usernames on The Open Network, a blockchain that the company developed, Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov claimed.
Last month, Telegram in October gave users the ability to buy usernames for its app via a blockchain-based platform called Fragment. The platform lets interested parties buy available usernames and secure ownership on its “The Open Network” blockchain, known as TON.
When buying a name, users pay with the TON cryptocurrency, the native asset of the network. In the last four weeks, Fragment sales surpassed $50 million, Durov said in a Telegram message. Some individual Telegram usernames have brought in large sums of money on Fragment. For example, the username @news was auctioned for 994,000 TON, about $1.7 million, per data from the official website.
Durov said that in future Fragment will expand beyond usernames and build a host of blockchain tools for Telegram including crypto wallets and decentralized exchanges. Such services may be accessed from within the Telegram app, Durov suggested.
“Telegram’s next step is to build a set of decentralized tools, including non-custodial wallets and decentralized exchanges for millions of people to securely trade and store cryptocurrencies,” Durov said.