Telegram: The Next Big Consumer Platform for Brands?

If you haven't, you should pay attention.

Hi, it’s Marc. ✌️

Today we’re going to deep dive into one of the most exciting consumer engagement platforms: Telegram.  

If you haven't, you should pay attention. Here's why: 

Recently, Telegram announced it brings crypto to 900M users, including payments, a layer 1 network, and a plethora of apps and games seamlessly integrated into the chat interface. 

Buckle up, folks. Telegram is a huge opportunity for brands as a new engagement and data acquisition channel. 

In our deep dive, we’ll look at:

  • The TON Ecosystem

  • TON, Gaming, and data acquisition

  • TON: The next super-payment app?

  • So what?  

  • What’s next

Ready? Let’s jump in. 

Telegram Goes Crypto: Wait, What? 

Telegram is bringing crypto to 900M users. 

What happened: Tether's USDT stablecoin with a $110B market cap was integrated into Telegram, the world's 4th largest messenger app, via TON, enabling peer-to-peer payments within the app.   

Zooming in: TON (The Open Network), initially developed by Telegram in 2018, aimed to be a high-speed, scalable blockchain focusing on micropayments and dApps. After Telegram's legal issues with the SEC, the project was handed over to the TON Community, which formed the TON Foundation to continue its development.

In 2024, Telegram re-entered the TON ecosystem, launching an ad platform with shared revenue with creators where all ad payments are processed using Toncoin (TON), TON's native cryptocurrency through @wallet after endorsing TON blockchain as its "official Web3 infrastructure.” 

Key Integration Features:

  • TON Mini Apps: Lightweight applications within Telegram conversations, leveraging TON's blockchain for payments, storage, and decentralized services.

  • Toncoin Payments: Telegram's ad platform now processes payments exclusively in Toncoin, highlighting the cryptocurrency's utility and promoting its adoption, powered with Tether (USDt) integration.

Why it matters: Web2's distribution edge and network helped platforms like Instagram's Threads and Coinbase’s Base grow rapidly. TON's integration with Telegram offers similar advantages. It saves time and money on user acquisition, leveraging Telegram's 900M users and infrastructure. This integration brings web3 to the mainstream with seamless user experiences through mini apps for gaming, payments, trading, and others.

The big picture: Through TON's wallet integrations on Telegram apps, you can accept crypto, trade coins, buy NFTs, stake, and literally everything from the chat interface.   

This means: global, unrestricted P2P payments surpassing regional limitations of existing super app – and much more. Wow. 

By the numbers:

  • Telegram has over 900M monthly active users, primarily concentrated in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

  • The Open Network (TON) hosts 650+ decentralized apps, boosted by popular "Tap-to-Earn" apps like Notcoin (NOT) and Hamster Combat (HAMSTER).

  • It has exceeded Ethereum in daily active addresses transacting on-chain, with an average of 172K daily wallet activation.

  • TON Foundation aims to onboard 30% of Telegram’s active users in the next 3-5 years.

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TON Ecosystem & Platform Overview

In recent months, TON has experienced remarkable growth: 

  • TON recently made its way into the Top 10 coins by market cap.   

  • TON’s total value locked (TVL) increased to $721M, the highest on record.  

  • Active monthly accounts on TON have increased six-fold to 38M since the beginning of 2024.   

  • Animoca Brands: Animoca Brands has officially become the largest validator for TON, to integrate web2 to web3 gaming, focusing on scalability and mainstream adoption through TON Play and validator status.

TON is more than a blockchain: It's becoming a super-ecosystem of thousands of apps, games,  decentralized storage, websites, and more – all running on the TON blockchain.  

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