Telegram’s integrated crypto wallet bot, Wallet, has opted for custody over self-custody to facilitate a smoother onboarding process for new crypto users, according to Wallet chief operating officer Halil Mirakhmed.
“If you want to introduce as many people as possible to crypto, self-custody becomes exceedingly difficult,” Mirakhmed told Cointelegraph in a comment on Monday.
He went on to explain that sorting out how to write down and store seed phrases for non-custodial wallets can be a challenging task, particularly for those who are unfamiliar with crypto from before.
With Telegram’s choice to go for a custodial solution, however, onboarding becomes “very simple,” the Wallet COO said, adding that all a user then will need to send money to someone is their contact information on Telegram, and no public blockchain keys will be necessary.
Popular self-custodial (also called non-custodial) wallets include Ethereum’s web extension wallet MetaMask, which requires users to manage their own seed phrases.
If the seed phrases or private key to a non-custodial wallet are lost, all funds held in that wallet will also be lost.
Custodial solutions, on the other hand, can often recover funds even if a password is lost, perhaps making them less intimidating for beginners.
Wallet to be integrated into Telegram’s settings
Telegram’s Wallet, which previously had to be set up by users in order to be visible in the Telegram app, will from November be fully integrated into the messaging app’s settings for all users.
According to Mirakhmed, a comprehensive rollout is scheduled to begin in November, initially targeting select African and Latin American countries.
Following this, Telegram users in the Middle East, South East Asia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe will gain access to Wallet, enabling them to buy, sell, and send cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Tether (USDT) and the The Open Network’s native TON token.
The team behind Wallet announced in July this year that it had enabled a functionality for merchants to receive payment for goods directly through Telegram using BTC or USDT.
At present, Telegram’s Wallet only has around 2 million users, compared to over 700 million Telegram users.
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