Rare usernames up for grabs on Telegram’s new marketplace

Telegram’s new marketplace live

Encrypted messaging app Telegram announced that its new marketplace built on the Telegram Open Network (TON) blockchain is live. The marketplace will serve as an auction platform on which rare Telegram handles will be up for sale. Telegram had revealed plans to launch a new marketplace to utilize NFT-like smart contracts to auction popular usernames in August.

Telegram founder Pavel Durov announced the news on the messaging platform yesterday. The new marketplace is motivated by the success of the TON Foundation’s auction of domain names. The sale generated 2,392,002 Toncoin, around $3 million.

With a user base of around 700 million, Telegram’s incorporation of Web3 features will help accelerate blockchain adoption, Andrew Rogozov, founding member of the TON Foundation, said.

More about the auction process

The auction is being hosted on Fragment.com, a website dedicated to the auction for users wishing to participate. Telegram will start with auctions of four- and five-letter handles. The auction will be on for a week, with a price minimum for a four-character handle set at 126 Toncoin ($200). Some of the highest value auctions live right now are for handles like bank, casino, and auto, all with minimum bids above 30,000 TON. However, the initial price will be less if no one places a bid higher than the minimum bid.

TON is the native token of the Open Network (TON) blockchain. For context, the TON token was originally called the Telegram Open Network. It was Telegram’s independent blockchain project, but federal regulators rejected it two years ago citing regulatory issues. Hence, Telegram is launching the auction via the TON blockchain thanks to past ties. Besides, TON offers more scalable transactions than Ethereum. Moreover, Telegram developers who have worked on the core technology of TON are familiar with the programming language, the company said.

Individual Telegram users will also be able to auction off their own usernames and have the option to move and resell their purchases across several marketplaces

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