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Telegram Debuts TON-Linked In-App Digital Payment Token ‘Stars’

Sujha Sundararajan
Last updated: | 1 min read

Messaging app Telegram has launched a new digital payment feature dubbed “Telegram Stars,” allowing users to make in-app purchases. The ‘Stars’ is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.

According to an update by the firm’s CEO Pavel Durov on Thursday, with the Stars, mini apps accept payments for digital services. Additionally, app developers can swap their Stars for Toncoin (TON), the token of The Open Network, using the exchange Fragment.

On Wednesday, TON experienced a significant surge, jumping 10% and placing the token among top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.

“Mini app developers can withdraw their Stars via Fragment using TON,” Durov wrote. “They can also use Stars to further promote their apps on Telegram — on preferential terms!”

The move comes with the recent surge in telegram’s mini apps with millions of users joining every day. One of the mini apps that has been gaining traction very recently, mostly on Telegram is Hamster Kombat. In this simulator game, players can increase their exchange income by buying “upgrade cards,” and completing quests.

Last week, Hamster Kombat announced gaining millions of subscribers and becoming No.1 channel on Telegram in terms of users.

Durov noted that the recent mini app boom has already made the messaging platform the “main destination” to launch new apps.

“Stars and ad subsidies bring this to a new level – unprecedented in the history of social media.”

Apple & Google Gets Commission from Telegram Stars

Furthermore, Durov said that there would be a 30% commission for Apple and Google, when users buy Stars from them.

However, the messaging app “will subsidize ads purchased with Telegram Stars,” he added. That said, if app developers reinvest Stars to promote their app, there wouldn’t be any commission.

“As a result, launching apps on Telegram makes more economic sense than launching traditional mobile apps.”

In April, Telegram launched Tether (USDT) on TON blockchain in partnership with the stablecoin issuer. The collaboration aimed to push more crypto adoption through Telegram.