Telegram, an encrypted messaging service, has announced that it’s not looking to fuse its new cryptocurrency wallet with its messaging platform.
Telegram Is at the Center of Another Hot Issue
In a statement, Telegram executives claimed:
At the time of the anticipated launch of the TON blockchain, Telegram’s TON Wallet application is expected to be made available solely on a stand-alone basis and will not be integrated with the Telegram Messenger service.
The big question, however, is, “Will TON even get off the ground?” As we all know, the company is currently stuck in a mega-lawsuit brought on by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which says that it failed to properly register its new “gram” token offering with the agency. While more than $1 billion in gram units were allegedly sold through the initial coin offering (ICO), none of the sold units can be distributed to their rightful purchasers until after Telegram makes its first court appearance in February of this year.
In addition, Telegram has been at the center of several controversies over the past year. Recently, it was announced that notorious hacking group Lazarus – based in North Korea – was utilizing Telegram’s group chat services to steal cryptocurrency from unsuspecting users. Overall, it’s believed that North Korea has potentially stolen over half-a-billion in digital currency funds and has even utilized these funds to boost its ongoing nuclear program.
Telegram was also the host of a bug discovered last summer that caused several group chat members’ information and phone numbers to be leaked. The Chinese government was exploiting this bug to discover who was potentially involved in the Hong Kong protests, as several members were utilizing Telegram to discuss private information such as rendezvous points.
So, when Telegram says that it’s wallet and its messaging service are going to be two separate entities, does anyone even care? Well, if they do, perhaps the separation is probably a good idea in the long run considering what a lack of security the platform seems to boast despite being an allegedly “encrypted” service. It is bad enough that Telegram is leaking personal data such as phone numbers; would it leak crypto addresses next?
The Lawsuit Is Getting Big
In October of last year, Telegram hinted that both entities might be a single product, though now it appears to be backing away from this claim. At press time, the lawsuit initiated by the SEC appears to be taking up much of the company’s time, though to be fair, Telegram is not making things easy for itself.
For example, Telegram has repeatedly refused to give in to the SEC’s demands for specific financial documents. While it consistently denies claims that it did anything wrong, it will not submit any evidence to the opposing party to suggest otherwise.