Telegram is a free, cloud-based, open-source, instant-messaging app with 65 million users. Telebit gave users of Telegram – which is available for most app platforms – the ability to have a bitcoin wallet on their Telegram app. Users can send bitcoins without having to create new wallets or bitcoin addresses.
“The app we just launched is optional but has a much nicer user interface and more features such as Trezor hardware wallet integration,” Harrison said.
The new Android app allows users to scan bitcoin QR codes with a camera. They can generate QR payment requests for specific bitcoin amounts. Users can also view detailed transaction history.
Trezor wallet integration provides an isolated environment for offline transaction signing.
Many users are comfortable with the standard Telebit app, which Harrison noted is the only bitcoin wallet that covers miners fees.
They can also share their location with other users and locate nearby merchants that accept bitcoin.
“I think there are a lot of people in the bitcoin space that realize bitcoin needs to become more user-friendly and widely-adopted,” Harrison told CCN.
As Telegram continues to gain popularity, more people will have access to a convenient bitcoin wallet, thanks to Telebit.
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Harrison said Telegram’s open source architecture makes it a good fit for bitcoin.
He noted Telegram’s advantages over Whatsapp, a mobile messaging app that allows users to exchange messages without incurring SMS charges.
“If Whatsapp could send bitcoin around as easily as it sends messages, the world would very quickly adopt bitcoin as a global currency. Unfortunately, Whatsapp is not open source, so we can’t build a bitcoin wallet service for it. But Telegram is (open source), and that’s why we built this wallet that runs on the Telegram network.”
There are other companies that are trying to build bitcoin wallets that work with Telegram, but we differ from them in the fact that you can operate our wallet from the official Telegram app itself, which already has 65 million active users.
Harrison said Telebit offers a distinct advantage over other bitcoin messaging solutions that require users to install a proprietary messaging app and then discard the open source app from Telegram.
“It works as a simple bot that you add to your contacts as if it were a friend, and then send messages to such as ‘wallet’ or ‘balance.’ Telebit then responds accordingly to the commands it is given. If you are a Telegram user, you can search for @telebit from within Telegram and just send it a message saying ‘wallet’, and it will generate a bitcoin address.”
Telebit’s three-person support team covers different time zones worldwide, Harrison said, so a team member is usually available for support.
Telebit now has 9,000 active users. Harrison said there are typically 600 users during any two-week period.
Images from Shutterstock and Telebit.