Telegram’s integrated crypto wallet bot, Wallet, has decided to prioritize custody solutions over self-custody. This shift aims to streamline the onboarding process for new cryptocurrency users, as stated by Wallet’s Chief Operating Officer, Halil Mirakhmed.
Mirakhmed explained that self-custody can pose significant challenges when introducing a larger audience to cryptocurrency. Managing seed phrases for non-custodial wallets can be a complex task, especially for those who are new to the world of cryptocurrency.
By opting for a custodial solution, Telegram simplifies the onboarding process, making it “very simple.” With this approach, users only need their contact information on Telegram to send money to someone, eliminating the need for handling public blockchain keys.
Well-known self-custodial wallets, such as Ethereum’s web extension wallet MetaMask, require users to take responsibility for their own seed phrases. If a user loses the seed phrases or private key to a non-custodial wallet, the funds stored in that wallet are irretrievably lost.
In contrast, custodial solutions often have mechanisms in place to recover funds, even if a password or access credentials are lost. This feature can make custodial wallets less intimidating, particularly for newcomers to the cryptocurrency space who may be concerned about losing access to their funds due to a forgotten password or other issues.
Wallet to be integrated into Telegram’s settings
Telegram’s Wallet, which previously required users to set it up separately, will now be fully integrated into the messaging app’s settings for all users, starting in November. This integration is part of a comprehensive rollout, beginning with select African and Latin American countries.
Following this initial phase, Telegram users in the Middle East, South East Asia, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe will also gain access to Wallet. This integration will allow users to buy, sell, and send cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Tether (USDT), and the native TON token of The Open Network.
In July of this year, the Wallet team announced a functionality that enables merchants to accept payments directly through Telegram using BTC or USDT.
Currently, Telegram’s Wallet has around 2 million users, a fraction of its more than 700 million Telegram users.