Telegram Wallet bot enables in-app payments in Bitcoin, USDT and TON

CoinTelegraph reported:

The cryptocurrency payment industry continues to evolve with a new cryptocurrency payment option coming to crypto-friendly Telegram messenger.

Wallet, a Telegram bot allowing users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), has launched a crypto payment solution based on The Open Network (TON) blockchain.

The new Wallet Pay service provides crypto payment transactions between users and retail businesses, enabling direct payments within the Telegram interface.

Announcing the news on July 13, Wallet told Cointelegraph that the new payment feature is immediately available within all jurisdictions supported by the wallet service.

At the moment, this list of supported jurisdictions supported by Wallet Pay includes most countries except for the United States and those blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force, a spokesperson for Wallet said. For example, Wallet Pay doesn’t serve countries like Iran, Myanmar and North Korea.

As some countries of Wallet bot’s operation do not allow residents to pay using cryptocurrency, the wallet service puts compliance responsibility on local businesses. The Wallet representative stated:

“Businesses should decide if they are allowed to do business within their jurisdiction before applying to make use of Wallet Pay.”

The list of jurisdictions that do not allow their residents to pay for products and services with crypto includes countries like Russia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Iran, Egypt and others. Russia, which officially banned domestic crypto payments in 2020, is the second-biggest country in terms of Telegram downloads after India, according to data from Statista. Indonesia, Egypt and Vietnam are also among the top 10 countries of Telegram app downloads.

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Top 10 countries by Telegram app downloads. Source: Statista

Wallet Pay’s representative noted that the platform isn’t aware of what merchants would be first to test out its payment feature because the firm hasn’t launched the Know Your Business (KYB) procedure yet. The spokesperson said:

“We have had a few hundred requests collected by our support team, but we did not start the KYB procedure with these requests prior to launch, so we don’t yet know who will be the first to implement the feature.”

The representative also stressed that the firm runs its operations independently from Telegram. The Wallet bot and application are based on the Telegram Web Apps open protocol, which allows developers to create their own apps and services on Telegram.

The payment service is available through a dedicated Telegram bot or the official Wallet Pay website. Users should be careful to ensure they validate the source of the bot if they consider trying it.

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Wallet’s new payment feature supports three cryptocurrencies that are currently featured on its wallet service. These cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin, Tether (USDT) and Toncoin (TON).

Unlike self-custodial or noncustodial wallets like MetaMask, the Telegram Wallet bot operates a custodial wallet with its own fee structure.

“As of today, Wallet is a custodial solution,” the spokesperson told Cointelegraph. The representative added that fees for crypto payments will “range from 1% to 3% during the beta period.”

According to the Wallet Support data, the Telegram Wallet bot also currently takes a 0.0004 BTC ($12) commission for withdrawing the cryptocurrency from its custodial wallet. USDT and TON’s withdrawal fees amount to 2 USDT and 0.05 TON, respectively.

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