Telegram allows blockchain-based no-SIM signup

Telegram's new update introduces new privacy-focused features. Now, users can have accounts without SIM cards based solely on blockchain numbers available via the Fragment platform.

Paper plane Telegram

Telegram announced an update introducing an anonymous alternative to a standard phone number. Now, users don't need a SIM card to set up an account in the app. They can do it with a blockchain-based number available on the Fragment platform, paying in toncoins, the Telegram Open Network's native token.

The price for a random number, starting with +888, is 9 TON ($16).

Random Telegram Number page

However, Telegram didn't waste the chance to make money on selling "premium" numbers which are available to buy on auction or for a fixed price. The numbers on sale are offered for prices ranging from moderate to insane, with the highest reaching an absurd 100,000,000 TON, an equivalent of about $184,000,000 – for an asset that doesn't even look fancy.

Most expensive Telegram number

Offers at the auction are also way over the top but seem reasonable in comparison. The minimum bid for the eights-only number is 34,729 TON ($63,554). At the time of writing, no offer went past that amount.

Top 10 Telegram numer auctions

The sale of anonymous numbers is another neat attempt by Telegram to capitalize on the blockchain technology. Recently, the company made millions selling app handles with related web 3.0 addresses.

In its last blog post, Telegram also remarks that the app has always allowed users to control who can see their phone number as well as choose if they can be found by their phone number, and calls no-SIM accounts "a new era of privacy."

In the update, the privacy factor is additionally enhanced by the new auto-delete-all-chats feature. It allows users to set a global auto-delete timer for automatically removing messages in all new chats. It's an extension of the existing feature which allows users to set up an auto-delete timer for individual chats. Telegram has allowed deleting both sent and received messages without a trace since 2013.

To learn more about the features introduced in the last update, check the post on the Telegram's blog.

Is Telegram anonymous?

The answer to this question depends on the level of your expectations concerning anonymity. Ultimately, no online service guarantees you full secrecy. With sufficient resources, virtually anyone can be tracked down. But addressing the question within reasonable boundaries, one can say: yes, Telegram pretty much secures your privacy and keeps you immune from bad actors, including the snooping eyes of the Big Brother (unless it decides to zero in on you).

How to buy Telegram numbers?

You can do it via Fragment. Anonymous number of your choice can be acquired on the platform – either on auction or from the “For sale” list. After logging in to Fragment, you simply need to choose the preferred option in the drop-down menu above the auctions section, click on the selected anonymous number and proceed to the sales page to finalize the transaction by clicking the “Buy for (…)” button. Currently, the cheapest Fragment random number for Telegram sells for 135 TON (ca. $225).