Telegram's auction marketplace for usernames is 'almost' ready to go live

By: Henry Felix

Telegram's auction marketplace for usernames is 'almost' ready to go live

October 23, 2022 5:23 AM

Telegram has announced that the final stages of its marketplace's development are nearing completion, and that a launch date will be announced soon.


Telegram, a widely used messaging app, has introduced a new marketplace that does not use nonfungible tokens (NFTs). The social messaging platform announced the imminent launch of its marketplace for auctioning custom usernames for use on social media, an idea that had been discussed previously in August.


In a company-wide Telegram post, the company announced that the marketplace's development phase is winding down. The marketplace operates on top of its own blockchain, dubbed "The Open Network" (TON).


Company founder Pavel Durov first hinted at the concept in late August, proposing a marketplace that could use "NFT-like smart contracts" to auction off valuable usernames. Based on the apparent success of domain name auctions conducted by The Open Network (TON), a layer-1 blockchain developed by the Telegram team, Durov proposed the idea.


With ownership secured on the blockchain via NFT-like smart contracts, Durov predicted that a new marketplace where username holders could transfer them to interested parties in protected deals would become a sought-after service in Web3. He also mentioned that channels, stickers, and emojis from the Telegram ecosystem might eventually be added to this market as well.


With its initial forays into Web3 and crypto, Telegram aimed to create a system for making and receiving online payments within the Telegram app. Telegram, however, ran into trouble with United States regulators for the unregistered sale of its Gram token, as did many other platforms during the initial coin offering (ICO) era.


When Durov's legal case against the SEC was ultimately unsuccessful in 2020, he abandoned the project in favor of Telegram. Developers working under the open-source umbrella of The Open Network have since resurrected the project.