Telegram merchants can now accept crypto payments with new in-app feature

The new Wallet Pay feature provides crypto payment transactions between users and retail businesses, enabling direct payments within the telegram interface.

Telegram merchants can now accept crypto payments with new in-app feature
Design by Ifeoluwa Awowoye for Mariblock. 

Merchants on the popular messaging app, Telegram will now be able to accept cryptocurrency payments, thanks to a new feature —Wallet Pay — by Wallet, an in-app telegram bot that allows users buy and sell crypto.  

Need to know  

  • The new Wallet Pay feature, announced on July 13, is an independent bot built on The Open Network (TON) blockchain. It allows merchants to accept payments in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin (BTC), tether (USDT), and toncoin (TON). 
  • The telegram wallet bot operates a custodial wallet with fees ranging from 1% to 3% during the beta period.
  • Moreover, the new payment feature is only available within jurisdictions supported by the wallet service.  
  • The bot developers have also said compliance responsibility lies on the businesses planning to use the service. This is particularly important for regions where cryptocurrency is deemed illegal.
  • For example, crypto is illegal in Northern African countries, including Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. Earlier, a Moroccan court reportedly jailed a French national who purchased a Ferrari car using bitcoin

Key Quote  

“With Wallet Pay, merchants can now seamlessly accept cryptocurrency payments within the telegram app with features available such as ability to make payments directly within chats,” the announcement read.

Key background  

  • In 2022, TON introduced @wallet bot that allows users buy and sell crypto within the app.  
  •  At the time of its launch, the bot only supported bitcoin and toncoin, the native cryptocurrency of the TON blockchain.  
  • Telegram first ventured into cryptocurrency a few years ago with the development of its TON blockchain. However, the project was abandoned due to the legal clashes with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  
  • However, the TON Foundation, a non-profit organization that markets the TON blockchain network, remains committed to its original goal of natively integrating crypto use cases with Telegram. The TON foundation is independent of the Telegram app developer. 
  • This recent feature from TON is the latest attempt to integrate crypto payment into social apps. Last year, Twitter partnered with Stripe, the U.S. based digital payment giant to facilitate crypto payments for merchants via Twitter.  

Signup for Mariblock Weekly

Stay up-to-date with the latest blockchain developments in Africa

Sent weekly, on Sundays. Read past editions

Already a member?