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Telegram now transmits Tether: Messaging platform enables instant USDT transfers through chat

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(Kitco News) - In a major step forward for crypto integration, the over 700 million users of instant messaging app Telegram can now buy, sell and transfer the Tether U.S. Dollar stablecoin (USDT) seamlessly through chat.

The announcement was made on Wednesday afternoon by Telegram’s blockchain team, The Open Network. "Imagine being able to buy and sell crypto via a messaging app,” they wrote in a tweet. “Now imagine it's already here."

USDT is the largest stablecoin in the world by market cap at over $75 billion, more than double US Dollar Coin (USDC) at $35 billion. Tether has made significant gains against USDC in recent weeks after Circle, the company responsible for issuing USDC, found itself implicated in the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, causing it to briefly depeg from the U.S. dollar.

The new functionality means Telegram users can now select USDT as well as the native TON coin from inside their chat boxes and transfer funds to their contacts instantly. According to Decrypt, at present Telegram will only support the USDT run on the Tron blockchain.

On Nov. 30, Telegram founder Pavel Durov announced the messaging platform’s intention to release a suite of decentralized cryptocurrency products, including a decentralized crypto exchange (DEX) and a non-custodial wallet.

“The blockchain industry was built on the promise of decentralization, but ended up being concentrated in the hands of a few who began to abuse their power,” Durov said at the time, referencing the collapse of FTX a few weeks earlier.

“The solution is clear: blockchain-based projects should go back to their roots – decentralization. Cryptocurrency users should switch to trustless transactions and self-hosted wallets that don't rely on any single third party,” he said.

Telegram launched The Open Network, together with its native Toncoin (TON) token back in May 2020. The project ran into a major roadblock, however, as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged the platform with conducting an unregistered offering of digital tokens and ordered Telegram to return more than $1.2 billion to investors along with a $18.5 million civil penalty.

After hitting highs of $2.45 following the USDT integration announcement, Toncoin sold off sharply. At the time of writing, TON is trading at a price of $2.31, down over 4% on the day.

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