Telegram founder Pavel Durov announced the concept in August, citing the success of a recent TON auction for their wallet usernames as inspiration. Some, such as “casino.ton,” fetched more than $200,000.
“If TON has been able to achieve these results, imagine how successful Telegram with its 700 million users, could be if we put reserved @ usernames, group, and channel links for auction.”
But Durov isn’t done yet. “Other parts of the Telegram ecosystem, such as channels, stickers, or emoji, may become part of this marketplace in the future,” he added.
Paying for usernames isn’t a new concept. According to Non Fungible’s market tracker, over 500,000 users have paid for Ethereum usernames via the Ethereum Name Service (ENS).
It’s also not simply a web3 phenomenon. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to secure the desired username on platforms like Twitter and Instagram, and some people are going to tremendous measures to do so.