The unveiling of Telegram’s self-custodial wallet on The Open Network (TON) blockchain has been met with a mix of anticipation and caution. While the wallet promises to revolutionize how over 800 million users manage their digital assets, blockchain security firm Certik has issued a stark warning about the potential risks associated with Telegram bot tokens.
Certik’s Deep Dive On Telegram Bot Tokens
On September 13, Certik released a cautionary message on social media platform X, highlighting the potential pitfalls of the burgeoning Telegram bot token market. Their analysis reveals that over 40% of these tokens could be exit scams, a concerning statistic for potential investors.
Since July 20, 2023, bot tokens have witnessed a staggering rise in popularity, with gains surpassing 1,000%. This surge is largely attributed to the success of UNIBOT, a pioneering bot token that saw its price soar by nearly 1300% on its listing day, reaching an all-time high of $90.
Certik’s analysis further delves into the nature of these tokens, describing them as “narrative shape-shifters” that adapt to both meme and traditional stories. The hype around mini-game tokens, such as the infamous HAMS, has only added fuel to the fire. Another notable mention is PAAL AI, a bot token project akin to ChatGPT, which, despite its potential, hasn’t yet launched its own Telegram bot. But, out of the 61 bot token projects listed on Coingecko, Certik’s research suggests that almost 40% could be exit scams.
UNIBOT, the most prominent of these tokens, operates on the Ethereum blockchain and boasts over $80 million in transactions and $1.5 million in shared revenue. Beyond mere trading, it offers features like limit orders and trade copying. However, Certik has also raised concerns about UNIBOT’s approach to private key storage, hinting that those looking for cold storage solutions might need to look elsewhere.
A New Era For Crypto?
Telegram’s newly launched wallet, built on the TON blockchain, is poised to be a game-changer. It offers users an innovative integration that allows seamless management of crypto assets without switching apps. This integration is expected to significantly boost the use of Telegram bots and apps, with Binance research already showing that Telegram bots have facilitated $250M in total trades and $10M in daily transactions.
The wallet’s user-friendly interface is complemented by features that allow users to top up using a bank card, choose their preferred currency, and execute crypto trades effortlessly. One of its standout features is TON Space, where users can send and receive crypto, manage NFT collectibles, and even handle Telegram usernames and DNS. Additionally, the P2P market feature facilitates easy trading of crypto to fiat and vice versa.
With this wallet integration, the TON foundation has set an ambitious goal: to onboard around 30% of Telegram’s active users onto the TON blockchain within the next 3-5 years, potentially setting the stage for a broader adoption of Web3 technology.
Telegram’s association with TON isn’t new. In May 2020, Telegram had announced its decision to discontinue its involvement with TON due to regulatory pressures, a move that was confirmed by Telegram founder Pavel Durov. Despite the past challenges, Telegram’s recent endeavors indicate a renewed commitment to the TON blockchain. However, it’s worth noting that the new wallet feature will not be available to users in the United States, a decision likely influenced by regulatory constraints.
The launch of the self-custodial wallet on the TON blockchain marks a significant milestone in the crypto world. However, as the ecosystem evolves, Certik’s analysis serves as a timely reminder for users to exercise caution and conduct thorough research, especially when navigating the complex landscape of bot tokens.
At press time, UNIBOT traded at $76.17.
Featured image from Hamon Technologies, chart from TradingView.com