Following allegations that Telegram sold data to the Indian government, critics of the move claim that Telegram is far from its vision of true decentralisation.
Telegram wants to join crypto
On November 30 Pavel Durov tweeted about his wishes for Telegram going forward. Decentralised crypto exchanges, web3 wallets, and "decentralised tools" are at the forefront of Telegram's future.
After the FTX-Alameda collapse, Durov believes blockchain projects must return to their decentralised roots and crypto traders must use trustless hosts and decentralised wallets over centralised platforms and exchanges.
The Telegram CEO then tweeted about Fragment, a decentralised auction platform created by the Telegram team.
From Durov’s Twitter thread:
It took only 5 weeks and 5 people to put together Fragment – a fully decentralized auction platform. We were able to do this because Fragment is based on The Open Network, or TON – a blockchain platform that is fast and efficient enough to host popular applications.
Fragment has been an amazing success, with 50 million USD worth of usernames sold there in less than a month. This week, Fragment will expand beyond usernames.
Telegram and the Indian government
Some Twitter users welcomed Durov’s intentions for Telegram to become a part of the crypto world. In contrast, others pointed out Telegram’s communications with the Indian government and how Telegram shared data with third parties.
Following a government request, Telegram shared IP addresses, usernames, and phone numbers of Telegram users with the Delhi High Court. Telegram first refused to disclose the information, citing company policies, but eventually agreed.
As a result, concerns have been raised about Telegram's commitment to decentralisation and whether they can be trusted.