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Telegram founder proposes utilizing NFT-like smart contracts to auction usernames

Telegram Will Not Repay Investors with Gram Tokens
Telegram Will Not Repay Investors with Gram Tokens

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The founder of the Telegram messaging app, Pavel Durov, has proposed creating a marketplace that will use “NFT-like smart contracts” to auction popular usernames in high demand.

Telegram to use NFT-like smart contracts to auction usernames

Durov’s proposal follows The Open Network (TON) auction of domain names. TON is a layer-one blockchain network created by the team behind Telegram. The TON DNS service was launched to allow users to have human-readable names for their crypto wallets, smart contracts, and websites.

Durov shared his proposal using his Telegram group known as “Durov’s channel.” The statement shared on August 23 said that he was impressed by the “success” of the auction conducted by TON recently for domain or wallet names.

According to Duron, Telegram’s 700 million users would provide immense success if there were reserved usernames, channels, and groups. He further suggested that Telegram could leverage the same technology to create a new marketplace to support trading different addresses such as “@storm or @royal.”

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He added that this would create a new platform where the holders of different usernames could transfer them to the interested parties through protected deals. The ownership of these digital assets can be secured through blockchain technology using NFT-like smart contracts.

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The other features of the Telegram ecosystem include stickers, emojis, and channels, which could also make up part of this ecosystem.

Auctions on the TON network

The first auctions on TON DNS launched on July 30. Similar to the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domains, the “.ton” domain allows users to access decentralized applications (DApps) without the need for long numbers and letters.

The TON network uses the FunC programming language that employs the TON Virtual Machine. If TON launches NFTs, they would most likely use this standard. The same integration would be easier for Telegram as Durov, together with his team, were behind the launch of the Telegram Open Network (TON).

The TON Network was initially created as a digital payments platform for Telegram. However, the company faced regulatory scrutiny from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on an unregistered sale of $1.7 billion of Gram tokens.

In mid-2020, Telegram lost its case with the SEC, and it stepped away from the TON Network and instead focused on the Telegram messaging app. Open source developers have since revamped the project under The Open Network.

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