The crypto community is well-known for its love of a giveaway. Entire weeks of market movement have been dominated by the hunt for airdrops. In particular, the BLUR airdrops from earlier this year.
So, recent news that Telegram will launch a “Giveaways” feature should feel right at home amongst crypto traders and investors.
The new Giveaways feature will allow channel owners to randomly distribute prizes like Telegram Premium subscriptions, according to the announcement . The feature also allows channel owners to distinguish between all subscribers and only new subscribers. A useful trick to keep new members on-side.
Telegram CEO Pavel Durov is putting his money where his mouth is, too. To celebrate the launch of Telegram Giveaways, Durov announced he will be awarding 10,000 followers with 6-month Premium subscriptions.
According to a statement within the app, Durov purchased $200,000 worth of Toncoin (TON)—Telegram’s cryptocurrency of choice—on an exchange. He then used the Fragment app to distribute the funds, prepaying for the Premium gift codes.
While Telegram has yet to explicitly specify what other distributable prizes may be supported, this could be great news for the crypto community if crypto assets are permitted. Currently, it appears that the feature is centered around promoting Telegram Premium subscriptions.
Toncoin, originally created by Telegram, surged to an 11-month high after Durov’s announcement. Abandoned later after action by the SE C , it got a new lease under the TON Foundation, transforming from “Telegram Open Network” to “The Open Network.” Since 2020, a non-commercial supporters’ group and an independent community, the TON Foundation, have been driving its development.
Back in September, Telegram endorsed the TON network as its blockchain of choice for Web3 infrastructure, integrating it into the app and causing a 6.5% surge in the native token Toncoin. The TON-built Web3 wallet will become available to all 800 million Telegram users, and a self-custodial version, TON Space, is being rolled out for users outside the U.S.
Incorporating crypto assets into Telegram’s new feature should be a no-brainer. First off, the messaging app is by far the most popular messaging app among crypto traders. With its recent TON integration, crypto is already part of the app’s DNA.
Furthermore, Telegram Channels can accommodate an unlimited number of users, making them ideal for crypto projects and influencers to efficiently communicate with their communities. Its support for automated bots and RSS services has led to the creation of numerous broadcast groups that rapidly share crypto news and updates.
The app has also allowed the development of price bots—automated programs that provide traders with real-time pricing data for various cryptocurrencies. It’s for these reasons, and more, that Telegram has proved so popular among degens and crypto holders.
For Telegram, allowing crypto assets to be distributed through its new Giveaways feature is mutually beneficial. It would help cement Telegram’s sizable crypto user base while allowing projects to directly reward their communities. It also feels like a logical next step within Telegram’s preexisting brand.
With over 700 million monthly active users globally, and projections to exceed 1 billion by 2024, integrating crypto assets into Giveaways would tap into a massive and engaged audience. One hurdle (and it’s not a small one) is any potential backlash from regulators. After all, it’s been burned before .
So far, there has been frustratingly little on the future of the feature. But with Durov so keen to link Giveaways to its chosen blockchain, TON, the path is there for a deeper integration with crypto assets. Time will tell if Telegram walks down it.
Telegram did not immediately respond to a request for comment.