Telegram username auction marketplace ‘almost’ ready to launch

The popular messaging app Telegram has developed a new marketplace that doesn’t involve nonfungible tokens (NFTs). The social messaging platform said that it is all set to launch its marketplace for auctioning unique usernames for social platforms, an idea first floated in August.

In an official announcement on its Telegram channel, the firm said that the development phase of the marketplace is near its end. The marketplace is based on its native blockchain called The Open Network (TON).

The idea was first teased by the company founder Pavel Durov in late August this year when he proposed a marketplace that could utilize “NFT-like smart contracts” to auction highly-sought after usernames. Durov made the suggestion after the “success” of domain name auctions by The Open Network (TON), a layer-1 blockchain originally designed by the Telegram team.

Durov said at the time that a new marketplace, where username holders could transfer them to interested parties in protected deals — with ownership secured on the blockchain via NFT-like smart contracts, could become a sought-after service in Web3. He added that other elements of the Telegram ecosystem, including channels, stickers, or emojis, could later also become part of this marketplace.

Telegram didn’t respond to Cointelegraph’s requests for comments at the time of publishing.

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Telegram started its Web3 and crypto endeavor with hopes of launching a digital payments platform for Telegram. However, like many other platforms from the initial coin offering (ICO) era, Telegram also ran into trouble with the United States regulators for the unregistered sale of its Gram token.

After losing a court battle against the US Securities and Exchange Commission in 2020, Durov stepped away from the project to focus on Telegram. Since then, open-source developers have revived the project under the banner of The Open Network.