This week two highly popular social medias Telegram and Facebook have unveiled major plans to enhance blockchain technologies, with Facebook potentially creating a new cryptocurrency.
A Russian newspaper Vedomosti has reported that Telegram, founded by Pavel Durov, has created the first service for its future blockchain-platform TON (Telegram Open Network) and is allegedly testing it. The service, called Telegram Passport, will be used for storing data, including various documents, driver’s licenses, bills.
Coinspeaker says that Telegram is promising: “an entire new economy with a huge number of goods and services that can be paid for in cryptocurrency.”
Telegram Passport aims to facilitate information sharing, simultaneously maintaining security. Alexander Filatov, partner at SP Capital — one of the companies that invested in the service — notes that Telegram Passport will discard the anonymity of crypto payments “which is bothering regulators across the world.”
At the same time, Telegram Passport will introduce high-security measures to safeguard user data. Hence, the user will cypher a password using a two-factor authentication and even the messenger itself will not have access to it. The service will only get this data, once the user allows it to.
According to Vedomosti, Qiwi is already considering potential cooperation with Telegram Passport. The company, however, has not confirmed the rumors yet.
Despite the fact that these kinds of services already exist, Valentin Petukhov believes that Durov will win over the market by making Telegram Passport easy to use and providing unique functions. Whether the service will be available in Durov’s homeland Russia remains unclear, as Telegram was banned by the authorities in April.
Concurrently, after Head of the Messenger app, David Marcus, announced that he is stepping down in order to explore how blockchain can improve Facebook, the social media is allegedly planning to launch its own cryptocurrency, according to a report from Cheddar’s Alex Heath.
Despite the lack of concrete details, this new crypto will most likely simplify payments on the platform which according to Cheddar “could be a pretty dramatic shift given Facebook’s huge user base and existing marketplace section of the site for buying and selling goods” adding that “an anonymous Facebook employee stated that they “are very serious about it.”
Facebook first started to study blockchain when Morgan Beller, a member of its corporate development team, attempted to explore how Facebook could benefit from the new technology.
Cheddar also states that Facebook has previously experimented with virtual currency: “In 2009, the company released Facebook Credits, which could be used to purchase virtual goods in popular games like Farmville. But the feature never gained traction, and Facebook shut it down two years later.”
While the Facebook’s blockchain technology and cryptocurrency are not expected anytime soon, with a source claiming that “Facebook will likely need to make acquisitions in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space to develop its own virtual currency”, Telegram Passport may be launched in the early summer.