Telegram's custodial wallet bot, known as Wallet, has recently launched a new crypto payment solution called Wallet Pay. This feature, based on The Open Network (TON) blockchain, enables users to make convenient and direct payments within the Telegram interface.
Wallet Pay is now available in all jurisdictions supported by the wallet service, except for the United States and countries blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force. Notable exclusions include Iran, Myanmar, and North Korea. While some countries where the Wallet bot operates do not permit residents to use cryptocurrency for payments, the responsibility to comply with local regulations falls upon the businesses themselves. Wallet emphasizes that merchants should verify the legality of crypto payments within their respective jurisdictions before integrating Wallet Pay into their operations.
Certain jurisdictions, including Russia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Iran, and Egypt, prohibit their residents from conducting crypto transactions. Russia, despite being the second-largest country in terms of Telegram downloads, officially banned domestic crypto payments in 2020. Wallet Pay, however, intends to serve the majority of countries where Telegram is widely adopted.
As Wallet Pay rolls out its payment feature, the platform has not yet initiated the Know Your Business (KYB) procedure, which would enable businesses to apply for its services. The representatives stated that they have received numerous requests, but the selection of merchants to test the payment feature remains unknown until the KYB process begins.
It is important to note that Wallet operates independently of Telegram, utilizing the Telegram Web Apps open protocol to create its own apps and services on the platform. To access Wallet Pay, users can utilize the dedicated Telegram bot or visit the official Wallet Pay website. It is essential for users to verify the source of the bot before using it to ensure their security and privacy.
Wallet Pay currently supports three cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin (BTC), Tether (USDT), and Toncoin (TON). However, unlike noncustodial wallets like MetaMask, Wallet operates as a custodial wallet, meaning it has its own fee structure. During the beta period, fees for crypto payments through Wallet Pay will range from 1% to 3%. Additionally, the Wallet bot charges a withdrawal commission of 0.0004 BTC ($12) for Bitcoin withdrawals, while USDT and TON withdrawals incur fees of 2 USDT and 0.05 TON, respectively.
Overall, Wallet Pay introduces a convenient and secure crypto payment solution within the Telegram platform. However, users and merchants should remain vigilant about the jurisdictions in which crypto payments are permitted and ensure the legitimacy of the Wallet bot before engaging with it.