The cryptocurrency payments industry continues to grow as Telegram messenger integrates new payment methods.
Wallet is a Telegram bot that allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and has just introduced blockchain-based payment solution The Open Network (TON).
Called Wallet Pay, the new service offers digital currency payment transactions between users and retail businesses, allowing payments directly within the Telegram interface.
Announced on July 13, Wallet shared that the new payments feature is available immediately in all jurisdictions that support the wallet service.
A Wallet spokesperson said the current list of jurisdictions supported by Wallet Pay includes most countries except the US and those blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force. For example, Wallet Pay does not serve countries like Iran, Myanmar, and North Korea.
Since some of the countries where bot wallets operate do not allow residents to pay with cryptocurrencies, the wallet service places the onus of compliance on local businesses.
Jurisdictions that do not allow residents to pay for products and services with cryptocurrency include countries such as Russia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Iran, Egypt, and others. Russia, which officially banned cryptocurrency payments in the country from 2020, is the second largest country in terms of Telegram downloads, after India, according to data from Statista. Indonesia, Egypt and Vietnam are also among the top 10 countries with Telegram app downloads.
Wallet representatives noted that the platform does not know which retail companies will be the first to test its payments feature because they have not yet implemented the Verify Business (KYB) process.
Wallet representatives also emphasized that the company operates operations independently of Telegram. The Wallet app and bot are based on an open protocol called Telegram Web App, allowing developers to create their own apps and services on Telegram.
The payment service is available through a dedicated bot on Telegram or through the official Wallet Pay website. Users should be careful to ensure authenticity of the bot’s source if thinking of trying it.
Wallet’s new payment feature supports three cryptocurrencies currently available on their wallet service, including Bitcoin, stablecoin Tether (USDT), and Toncoin (TON).
Unlike self-custodial or non-custodial wallets like MetaMask, Telegram Wallet Bot operates a custodial wallet and has its own fee structure.
According to Wallet Support data, the Telegram Wallet bot also currently receives a commission of 0.0004 BTC ($12) for withdrawing cryptocurrency from this custodial wallet. USDT and TON withdrawal fees are 2 USDT and 0.05 TON respectively.