Telegram users can now send Tether (USDT), the world’s largest stablecoin by market cap, to each other within chats in the messaging app. According to an emailed announcement shared with CoinDesk on Wednesday, USDT has been added to Telegram’s @wallet bot, expanding the messaging app’s facility for buying and selling cryptocurrencies.
Integrating crypto payments into messaging apps like Telegram could significantly contribute to mainstream adoption by rendering sending cryptocurrency as easy as sending a text or a photograph. Last April, bitcoin (BTC) and toncoin (TON) were added to @wallet’s marketplace, with the latter also available to send within chats.
Stablecoins such as USDT offer many benefits as other cryptocurrencies do, but without the price volatility that often besets the likes of bitcoin and ether. Therefore, they are a vital component for users who wish to keep their money in the crypto ecosystem but without risking it being on the receiving end of any sharp swings in value.
The addition of USDT could prove to be an important development for Telegram’s crypto service. Telegram’s cryptocurrency journey dates back to its development of the Open Network (TON) blockchain project, but this development was abandoned in 2020 owing to legal battles with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). However, TON was kept alive by members of its community, calling themselves The TON Foundation, who have continued to advance the project.
Despite not being directly involved in TON, Telegram maintains an interest in the network, exemplified by building its blockchain-based auction platform Fragment atop it late last year.