Telegram Founder Suggests NFT-Like Smart Contracts to Auction Usernames

Jamal Molla
Written By Jamal Molla
Jamal is an English teacher and freelance writer with a passion for NFTs, metaverse, crypto and technology.

On Tuesday, via a message to Durov’s Channel, his Telegram group, the Telegram founder suggests NFT-like smart contracts to auction usernames. 

In his message, the encrypted messaging application founder wrote that “Imagine how successful Telegram with its 700 million users could be if we put reserved usernames, group and channel links for auction.”

The idea of a marketplace where highly-sought after usernames can be auctioned via “NFT-like smart contracts” was conceived after the successful auctioning of domain names by The Open Network (TON).

Designed by the Telegram Team, the layer-1 blockchain project launched a special TON DNS service which allows users to give smart contracts, crypto wallets, and websites human-readable names in mid-July.

In his message, the successful founder expressed his satisfaction at the successful launch, noting that he was “really impressed by the success of the auction Ton recently conducted for their domain/wallet names.”

Durov also toyed with the idea of tapping into this technology to create a new marketplace where Telegram users can sell and buy catchy Telegram names such as @royal, @storm, and a host of other related four-letter user names.

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Explaining the rationale behind the proposed new marketplace for Telegram users, he noted that “This would create a new platform where username holders could transfer them to interested parties in protected deals – with ownership secured on the blockchain via NFT-like smart contracts.”

He added that “Other elements of the Telegram ecosystem, including channels, stickers, or emoji, could later also become part of this marketplace.”

On July 30, Ton DNS conducted its first live auctions. It adopts a “.ton” which gives users access to decentralized applications without typing a long string of numbers and letters when using their wallet addresses.

While sharing the strategy he intends to adopt to achieve his mission, Durov wrote: “Our team can write bullet-proof smart contracts for TON (since it was us who invented its smart-contract language), so we are inclined to try out TON as the underlying blockchain for our future marketplace.”

Cointelegraph noted that “The TON network utilizes a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism, and it supports various features such as staking, NFTs, and decentralized applications.

According to data from CoinMarketCap, its native asset Toncoin (TON) has pumped 14.70% over the past 24 hours to sit at $1.33 at the time of writing.”

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