Reports out of Russia suggest that Telegram is testing the first service that will be part of the company’s upcoming Telegram Open Network (TON) platform. According to Russian daily Vedomosti, two sources working closely with the development team apparently confirmed that the company has, indeed, been carrying out these tests for some time.
Called Telegram Passport, the service will reportedly store user-info on the blockchain for verification purposes. The report further suggests that the service will not only verify identities of users, but will also facilitate e-commerce activities by enabling them to pay for goods and services using Telegram’s in-house cryptocurrency – Gram. Rumors suggest that the service is likely to be launched this summer itself, but there’s no official word on it just yet.
According to Alexander Filatov, partner at SP Capital, one of the most important aspects of Telegram Passport is that it will bring transparency to cryptocurrency payments by bringing it out of the cloak of anonymity to make it more palatable to regulators around the world. As a disclosure, he also revealed that his company is one of the investors in Telegram, and has helped the company get other investors for its two private ICO rounds earlier this year.
For ID verification purposes, Telegram Passport will accept various authentication documents, including passports, driver’s licenses, utility bills, bank statements and photographs. Telegram says that only users themselves will have access to all that private data, which will be protected via two-factor authentication (2FA). Users will be able to choose which services they want to share their data with, and the info will only be send over to the partner/vendor after the transfer has been vetted and agreed to by the user.