Telegram, an instant messaging application, has launched a new feature that allows users to purchase and sell usernames through an auction.
Telegram users may now auction off usernames for their accounts, public groups, or channels.
The auction would take place on a third-party website called Fragment, which is a free platform that allows the exchange of collectibles between individuals.
Telegram said the ownership of collectible usernames is secured in the immutable ledger of TON, a fast and scalable blockchain network. The company added that owners can add multiple username aliases to their accounts, groups, or channels.
While announcing the rollout of the service in a message to users, Telegram said:
“For the first time in the history of social media, people have full ownership of their usernames. Long-time Telegram users who have been using short usernames they registered for early on can now benefit from the platform’s growth by selling their usernames in fair, transparent, fully decentralized auctions.
“Each collectible name can be accessed with its @username on Telegram, or outside Telegram using links such as username.t.me and t.me/username.”
To start buying and selling your username, visit Fragment and search for the username you are interested in. You can purchase a collectible username by exchanging it with a special currency called Toncoin – the amount you need will depend on what the current highest bid is just like any other auction.
To use this currency you must first create a secure wallet to store it, deposit new funds in it, and finally connect it to Fragment.
After connecting to Fragment you’re all set and ready to bid on any available collectible. To do so, tap on one of the available auctions, enter an amount, confirm it and pay via Tonkeeper – just like you did when you were logging in.
During bidding, whoever’s bid is first to the blockchain will get the bid at that price. If your bid wasn’t reflected in the blockchain before the auction ends, you will get the money back and lose the bid.
Your money will also be returned if somebody else outbids you.
If you own a collectible, you are free to either sell it directly or auction it to the public at any time.
To do so, tap on ‘My Assets’ and select either Put up for auction or Sell username depending on what you want to do.
You can set an optional maximum price which, if paid, will immediately end the auction.