Telegram to launch auction marketplace for username NFTs

Usernames as NFTs are becoming popular with Twitter recognizing an NFT art work as authentic representation of an account. The avatars are also given an official tick. Telegram is the latest to give a boost to the trend, and has announced that it will be setting up an entire marketplace for buying and selling of usernames as NFTs. The marketplace will be built in collaboration with The Open Network, or TON, a blockchain created by Telegram in 2018.

The auction marketplace will be powered by the Toncoin (TON), which is a native token of the blockchain. In addition to usernames and channel links, other little things that may be put on auction are emojis, stickers and channels. TON is available for purchase on crypto exchanges, and is currently trading above $1.

The upcoming marketplace for NFT usernames will be an auction-based platform running on the TON blockchain (not to be confused with the popular TRON blockchain). The founder of Telegram, Pavel Durov showed interest in creating such a marketplace this year. TON went ahead with an auction where users could buy and sell NFTs related to domain names and wallets – these could be easily read and understood by humans, unlike the usual wallet addresses that are long hash strings. The auction by TON attracted a good user base, and thus Telegram decided to take the idea further and create an entire marketplace.

Durov believes that Telegram, with its huge user base of over 700 million users, could effectively use reserved usernames and even channel links and put them on auction. Telegram has in the past tried to float its own cryptocurrency token GRAM, a native token on its TON blockchain (earlier known as the Telegram Open Network). The sale of the token however had to be taken off after the US SEC described the token as an unregistered security. Cryptocurrency has a dual nature of working like money or like a share or security that can be traded.

The TON blockchain has been renamed as The Open Network, and work continues with encouragement from Telegram. Durov believes it will be the platform to launch any future NFTs.

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