Telegram now allows users to sign up without a SIM card

You can now sign-up for Telegram without a SIM card by purchasing a random phone number online with cryptocurrencies. The move is to provide even more anonymity to users, but has it been well received? Read on for more.


by Aline Barbosa

Published on 12/11/2022

The instant messaging app is selling fake phone numbers for cryptocurrency.

Telegram is selling phone numbers for crypto. Source: Freepik.

Telegram continues with its plans to further monetize the access to its platform. Last week, the encrypted instant messaging app announced that users will soon be able to sign up for their platform without a SIM card by purchasing a phone number with cryptocurrencies.  

In a recent blog post, the company stated it was auctioning off blockchain-powered anonymous phone numbers in its Fragment crypto platform. That means that users have the chance to enhance anonymity on the app with a random phone number. 

Telegram already allows users to access the app through encrypted numbers. But now, they can do it even more anonymously as long as they are willing to pay a certain amount of digital coins for it. 

However enticing this may seem, it’s important to note that the Fragment platform is not available in the United States. But, interested parties can connect to the marketplace services using a VPN. 

According to several people who used the platform to purchase a new phone number, the discrepancy between bids is quite unusual. While some numbers are going for under $40, others are selling for more than $60,000. 

The most interesting part about this entire new move by Telegram is that users cannot utilize those numbers for anything else. They are exclusively made to access the platform, which makes the auction all the more bizarre. 

This is just the latest on the Telegram monetization efforts

The platform also allows users to purchase popular usernames. Source: Unsplash.

Telegram has reached over 700 million global active users, and has been aggressively monetizing its platform for the past year because of it. Last week, Telegram’s CEO Pavel Durov said that more than one million people are now paying for Telegram Premium. 

The service was released only five months ago, and according to Durov, represents only a small fraction of the company’s revenue. 

Fragment – the platform’s crypto marketplace – is where Telegram has been selling popular usernames as well. However, it looks like the company’s new preference for crypto is not popular amongst U.S. regulators. 

In October, the company began to auction off some of the internet’s most popular usernames using the TON blockchain. The platform was originally developed by Telegram, but came to an end after an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission due to the company’s selling of unregistered securities. 

However, things didn’t go off without any issues. Back in August, the CEO notified users that Telegram had grabbed usernames that have been inactive for over a year. Durov then said that 99% of those usernames would be up for grabs and 1% would go up for auction. 

But shortly before the release of its auction, Telegram reportedly began to repossess popular usernames without their user’s consent. It is unclear if the platform paused its username auction plan since then. However, users can rest assured that Durov and his team will likely soon concote another plan to monetize Telegram even further. 

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About the author

Aline Barbosa

Aline Barbosa is an editor, writer and learning-enthusiast. Passionate about music, books and human behavior. Curious about the unknown. Believer that learning is a life-long process.

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