Telegram Unveils ‘Stars’ Currency, Integrating Seamlessly with TON Blockchain

June 7, 2024

In a bold new move, Telegram has launched an in-app currency called Stars, as announced by CEO Pavel Durov on Thursday. This innovative currency allows users to make payments for digital services within the platform’s mini apps, marking a significant advancement in Telegram’s ecosystem.

Stars enable seamless transactions within Telegram’s mini apps, which are experiencing a massive surge in user adoption. Developers can accept Stars as payment and then exchange them for Toncoin (TON) via the exchange Fragment. TON is the native currency of The Open Network, a blockchain platform formerly called Telegram Open Network, which was first developed by the creators of Telegram.

“Mini app developers can withdraw their Stars via Fragment using TON,” Durov detailed. “They can also use Stars to further promote their apps on Telegram — on preferential terms!” This flexibility offers developers an attractive proposition to monetize and enhance their applications within the Telegram ecosystem.

Telegram’s mini apps are becoming a central feature of the platform, drawing millions of new users daily. This surge has positioned Telegram as the “main destination” for launching new apps, as noted by Durov. The convenience of using Stars within these mini apps simplifies transactions and incentivizes developers to create more engaging and innovative applications.

“[TG] mini apps are like pwas, they dont require client side updates or app store approvals”, stated Alex Wettermann on X. However, he expressed curiosity about when Telegram will eliminate the need for this, suggesting the platform’s ongoing evolution.

However, the adoption of Stars comes with a catch. Apple and Google will receive a 30% commission when users purchase Stars through their respective app stores. This aligns with the standard commission model but might influence pricing strategies within the Telegram ecosystem.

Telegram’s endorsement of TON in September 2023 marked a significant step towards integrating blockchain technology into its platform. The messaging giant declared TON and its associated token as its “official Web3 infrastructure.” This move was further bolstered in April when TON announced that Tether tokens could also be issued on its blockchain, allowing Telegram users to send the stablecoin to each other within the app. This integration enhances the utility of Telegram as a multifaceted platform for both communication and financial transactions.

The success of Telegram’s previous ventures, such as the NOT coin launched in January, sets a promising precedent for Stars. NOT garnered nearly 35 million players by mid-May, showcasing the potential success of apps utilizing the new Stars system. This previous success indicates a strong user base ready to embrace the latest innovation.

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