This Thursday (27th), Pavel Durov, CEO of Telegram, announced that the auction of inactive messenger usernames has started. Advance last August, the initiative applies to individual accounts and channels. As expected, the “identifier market” was built on the blockchain The Open Network (TON).
the auction, as Durov had saidis hosted at Fragment, a “separate site” from the messenger, made for anyone who wants to participate. There, users will be able to log in using Telegram, the Tonkeeper app, or their TON-based wallets.
Anyone who is interested and wants to buy a username can search freely. However, for now, the company is only auctioning off inactive usernames between four and five characters long — although some six-letter identifiers are easily found.
At the time of writing this article, “bank” is the most disputed username; to try to obtain it, you must bid a minimum of 73,500 TON (about R$640,000). “Casino” and “self” they are also among the most expensive, costing, in that order, from 52,500 TON (R$ 456 thousand) and 31,500 TON (R$ 273 thousand).
Whoever stays with any users, Fragment will help link them to their Telegram accounts. In addition, everyone is able to put their own identifiers to be auctioned.
It is worth mentioning that each auction started has a period of one week with an extra hour for the final bid. In some cases, the minimum bid will decrease each day, that is, if no one bids higher than the current offer.
TON cryptocurrency was developed by Telegram
Toncoin (TON) cryptocurrency belongs to The Open Network, considered the “spiritual successor” to Telegram’s ambitions. The company had plans in the Web 3.0 world, but they were thwarted by regulators about two years ago.
The project received support from major companies, including Benchmark and Lightspeed Capital. At the time, both companies invested a total of US$ 1.7 billion. However, the courier fought a legal battle with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and was forced to abandon the project.
After Telegram stopped working directly at TON — which before it was called Telegram Open Network — independent groups continued to develop Toncoin with Durov’s support, although he tried to distance himself from the project.
Fact is: the messaging app tries, in various ways, to earn money to stay in the market. In 2021, he introduced public channel ads. Earlier this year, the company launched a paid plan which offers additional features to users.
Now, the username auction appears to be another attempt by the company to keep accounts “in the blue”.