Telegram’s TON Wallet Won’t Integrate Its Messaging App at Launch, Firm Says

Telegram has issued a notice clarifying that when its TON Wallet launches, it won’t be integrated into its privacy-centric messaging app.

According to the notice, the company’s application to store the native Gram tokens, the TON Wallet, will be a stand-alone service that will be competing with the cryptocurrency wallets supporting the Gram token offered by other service providers, without being integrated into the Telegram app.

The notice adds the integration may come in the future:

In this regard, the TON Wallet is expected to compete with any other wallet applications designed and offered by third parties. Telegram may integrate the TON Wallet application with the Telegram Messenger service in the future to the extent permitted under applicable laws and governmental authorities.

In the notice Telegram stressed it’s independent from the TON network, noting it hasn’t promised to develop any applications for the blockchain, and may not develop any after it goes live. Per the notice, it will be the “sole responsibility of third parties and the community to adopt and implement such applications or smart contracts on the TON Blockchain.”

It adds Telegram doesn’t guarantee “that anyone will adopt or implement such features or provide such services, on any given timetable or at all.” The notice comes ahead of the TON blockchain’s scheduled launch in April of this year, after investors voted to delay it from October 2019.

Telegram has recently refused to share “highly relevant” records with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding its allegedly illegal initial coin offering, in which it is said to have raised a total of $1.7 billion.

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The Coronavirus Outbreak Is Delaying China’s Digital Currency Research

China’s research into the launch of its own digital currency has reportedly been delayed over the coronavirus outbreak, which according to recent data has infected over 81,000 people worldwide and claimed the lives of 2,765.

According to the Global Times, an anonymous source close to the matter has detailed that the outbreak forced several government institutions to slow down. The source was quoted as saying:

The coronavirus outbreak has led to postponed work resumption in government institutions, including the People's Bank of China (PBC). Policymakers and research staff involved in the DCEP project are no exception, which weighs on the development process.

Commenting on the case the CEO of a Shenzhen-based blockchain firm involved in the launch of the digital currency, Shentu Qingchun, noted the People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, was expected to make an important announcement during Q1 of this year.

Qingchun added, however, there’s only a month left and as such “chances that the announcement could be made on time are slim.” The currency, called Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP), is still being developed and officials are discussing scenarios in which it could circulate as cash.

The source noted that the digital currency could still be launched on time as the central bank has “abundant talent” that can help it deal with the delay in research. Per Shentu, since the DCEP is a digital currency it would help reduce hand-to-hand contact among individuals, which has helped the coronavirus outbreak spread. As such, policymakers could give the DCEP more attention.

The Global Times’ source added that research into the DCEP has “achieved fruitful results” and that it’s close to an end. The central bank’s research institute, per the report, has applied for 65 patents involving digital currencies, while its institute of printing science and technology has applied for 22.

Featured image by Floriane Vita on Unsplash.