The internationally popular messaging app Telegram is pushing further into the cryptocurrency field, and now allows merchants to accept payments within the messaging app via the TON-blockchain-based Wallet. The service adopted crypto in 2022, enabling users to buy, hold, and sell cryptocurrencies via its Wallet bot. Now, merchants can also benefit from this step and accept payments from customers in three different digital coins via Wallet Pay. Streamlining cryptocurrency payments within the messaging app is another step forward towards making digital coins more widely acceptable as a form of payment for goods and services.
Merchants will be able to accept Bitcoin, Tether and Toncoin
Wallet is a custodial wallet bot on Telegram that was built on The Open Network (TON; previously Telegram Open Network) blockchain. As of July 13, when the company revealed the new feature, merchants in select jurisdictions can accept cryptocurrency for payments from their retail users within the messaging app. The system supports payments for goods and services using Bitcoin (BTC), Tether (USDT), and Toncoin (TON), TON’s native token.
The new feature introduces the option for retail business to receive direct cryptocurrency payments from users seamlessly within the interface of the Telegram app. Different features are available, such as the option to make payments directly within chats, as the company announced. To take advantage of the new payment service, users can access it through a dedicated Telegram bot or the official Wallet Pay website.
It’s the next step for Telegram into the cryptocurrency industry. The messaging app provider had already introduced cryptocurrency purchases and sales in April 2022 and allowed users to send Bitcoin to other users via the Wallet bot. Funded by a multi-billion dollar ICO, the messaging service had previously developed the TON blockchain with a Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism, which the custodial Wallet services and native Toncoin are based on. However, in 2020, the development of the blockchain project was abandoned by the instant messaging provider and has since been run by members of its community. Still, Telegram continues to focus on digital assets, trying to make it easier for users and merchants to send and receive payments using cryptocurrencies.
In theory, Telegram aimed to make sending digital assets as easy as sending instant messages. Despite its more than 700 million members that make Telegram one of the most popular messaging apps in the world, just around 2 million of them have reportedly used the Wallet cryptocurrency service since its launch. It’s therefore obviously still a very niche product. However, cryptocurrency payments have been gaining traction and popularity around the world as paying for goods and services using digital assets becomes increasingly widespread.
Cryptocurrency payments continue to evolve
The new addition of cryptocurrency payments within the Telegram app shows how payments made with digital assets continue to evolve and gain traction. Paying for goods and services both online and offline using Bitcoin and Co. has become much more widespread and easier in recent years. While still a niche, more online and brick-and-mortar companies allow customers to make cryptocurrency payments.
Payment service PayPal has been a major player in the cryptocurrency payments industry. Customers can use the payment app to buy, hold, and sell cryptocurrency. While not yet available in the UK thus far, US customers can even use their cryptocurrencies to pay millions of merchants within the PayPal network when buying goods and services.
Many stores and businesses from different industries accept cryptocurrencies outright, with tech giant Microsoft having been one of the first ones to implement this new type of payment method. The trend can even be seen in the classic gaming industry, as more online casinos around the world, such as the best bitcoin casino Canada as reviewed by experts, have started accepting cryptocurrencies to make deposits, for cash-outs and bonus offers. By taking advantage of cryptocurrency debit cards such as BitPay or the voucher platform BitRefill, users can even easily buy console and PC games using their digital assets.
From travel businesses such as CheapAir and Alternative Airlines to online shop Etsy and cosmetics store Lush and many more, cryptocurrency payments have made their way into all kinds of industries and continue to gain traction.
As Wallet expands its chat-centric payment service, merchants now have the option to accept cryptocurrency payments within the popular Telegram app. With this, Telegram is building on its already crypto-friendly concept as it continues to evolve into an ideal messaging platform for business to consumer messaging.