Telegram’s integrated crypto wallet bot, known as Wallet, has made the strategic choice of custody over self-custody to simplify the onboarding process for new cryptocurrency users. According to Wallet’s Chief Operating Officer, Halil Mirakhmed, this decision is aimed at introducing as many people as possible to the world of cryptocurrency.
Mirakhmed emphasized that self-custody, which requires users to manage their own seed phrases, can be a daunting task, especially for individuals unfamiliar with cryptocurrencies. Managing and securely storing seed phrases for non-custodial wallets can be challenging, and the risk of losing access to funds is significant if the seed phrases or private keys are misplaced.
In contrast, custodial solutions offer a more user-friendly experience. They can often help users recover access to their funds, even if they forget their password, making them less intimidating for beginners. With Telegram’s adoption of a custodial approach, the onboarding process becomes significantly simpler. Users will only need to share their contact information on Telegram to send money, and the need for managing complex public blockchain keys is eliminated.
Starting from November, Telegram’s Wallet will be fully integrated into the messaging app’s settings, accessible to all users. The comprehensive rollout will begin in select African and Latin American countries, with plans to expand further into the Middle East, South East Asia, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe. This integration will empower Telegram users in these regions to buy, sell, and send cryptocurrencies, including popular options like Bitcoin (BTC), Tether (USDT), and The Open Network’s native TON token.
Telegram’s Wallet team had previously introduced a feature allowing merchants to receive payments for goods directly through Telegram using BTC or USDT. Despite its potential, Telegram’s Wallet currently has only around 2 million users, a fraction of the app’s massive user base of over 700 million individuals. This move to facilitate custodial solutions is part of Telegram’s broader strategy to make cryptocurrency accessible to a wider audience, particularly those new to the crypto space.