Telegram commits to TON blockchain, plans to support tokenized emojis and stickers NFTs

Telegram founder Pavel Durov has committed the messaging application’s future to blockchain technology, announcing major plans to tokenize features, share ad revenue with users and onboard Tether’s stablecoin at Token2049.

Speaking in front of a packed house in Dubai, Durov sang the praises of blockchain’s ability to promote freedom and privacy before outlining ambition plans to build out functionality on The Open Network (TON).

“The reason we love blockchain. It’s a technology of freedom. We care about freedom. Even our logo, the paper airplane symbolizes freedom to move in three dimensions,” Durov said.

The founder of the app, which reportedly has over 900 million monthly users, said the company strives to give its users the ability to build tools, apps and businesses on Telegram.

Related: TON continues to attract Web3 firms as Telegram Ad Platform goes live

Durov said Telegram has adopted a different approach to monetizing user bases than other major messaging and social media platforms, which sell user data to advertisers. Telegram recently announced plans to share revenue with content generators on its platform through its Ad Network.

Durov described the move as one of the most generous revenue-sharing models in the history of social media. He also said that 50% of the revenue Telegram receives from displaying ads and broadcast channels would be shared with channel owners and content creators using TON’s network:

“All these transactions, the payments for ads, withdrawals of ads are powered by blockchain. We will use the TON blockchain exclusively for that.”

Durov estimates that the advertising market running on blockchain rails could be worth tens of billions of dollars and that users, from owners of large group chats to content creators, will get a decent share of the revenue.

Related: Crypto-like communication devices could break gov’t surveillance — Telegram founder Durov

The use of a blockchain protocol will also allow Telegram to mitigate the limited in-app purchase mechanisms enforced by…


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