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Telegram plans decentralized crypto exchange, wallets following FTX collapse

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Social media site Telegram Messenger LLP plans to build non-custodial wallets and a decentralized exchange for cryptocurrencies following the collapse of the FTX platform, Telegram’s founder and Chief Executive Officer Pavel Durov said on Wednesday. 

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Fast facts

  • The 38-year-old founder said his and other blockchain-based projects should return to their decentralized roots, allowing cryptocurrency users to make transactions from self-hosted wallets that don’t rely on any single third party.  
  • “We, developers, should steer the blockchain industry away from centralization by building fast and easy-to-use decentralized applications for the masses. Such projects are finally feasible today,” Durov said in his post.
  • FTX’s bankruptcy shows that reliance on centralized entities leads to investors losing money at “the hands of a few who began to abuse their power,” said Durov.
  • Sam Bankman-Freid’s FTX has been accused of mismanaging client funds after filing for bankruptcy on Nov. 11, leaving an estimated 1 million customers and other investors facing billions of dollars in losses.  
  • Telegram recently completed the development of Fragment, a decentralized auction platform, according to Durov. 
  • The platform was launched in October on decentralized layer-1 blockchain The Open Network (TON), a protocol created independently in 2021 after the Securities Exchange Commission blocked Telegram’s proposed version. 
  • Fragment has already raised US$50 million worth of TON’s native token (Toncoin) by selling tokenized Telegram usernames on the blockchain, said Durov. 
  • This week, Fragment will expand beyond just usernames, said Durov, who added Telegram’s next step is to build a set of decentralized tools, including wallets and exchanges, which will allow millions of users to safely and securely trade and store crypto. 

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