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Telegram Founder Wants Decentralization, but App Allegedly Shares Data With Indian Gov

2 mins
1 December 2022, 08:09 GMT+0000
Updated by Kyle Baird
1 December 2022, 08:15 GMT+0000
In Brief
  • Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov posted a Twitter thread, criticizing centralization trends in the crypto industry.
  • He called for more decentralization, highlighted TON’s successes, and said that Telegram was building tools.
  • However, the public has been criticizing Telegram for complying with an Indian court order and sharing private data.
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Telegram founder Pavel Durov called for better decentralization in the market. However, the company is facing criticism over sharing private user data.

Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov called for decentralization in a Twitter thread posted on Nov. 30. Durov said the blockchain industry started with the promise of decentralization but ended up losing its way with power ending up concentrated.

As such, Durov believes that the solution is for blockchain projects to “go back to their roots” — decentralization, in other words. He asks for users to switch to trustless transactions and self-hosted wallets, something that has also been on the radar of regulators.

He also plugs Fragment, a decentralized auction platform that was built on The Open Network, or TON. Furthermore, he called this a resounding success and stated that there would be more to come with respect to Fragment.

Durov also said that Telegram was building a set of decentralized tools, including a non-custodial wallet and a DEX. This way, it “can fix the wrongs caused by the current excessive centralization.”

However, the calls for more decentralization are marred by data-sharing allegations by Telegram. Critics in the community have stated that Telegram’s user sharing is a direct violation of the decentralization movement’s ethos.

Telegram Stokes Criticism Complying With Government Order

Telegram has long been considered an app that is private. However, more recent months have seen the app and company hit with criticism over its actions.

In India, Telegram agreed to disclose information about users, including admin names, phone numbers, and IP addresses, after the Delhi High Court had asked the company to do so.

Telegram did argue that the disclosure would violate its privacy policy, but the platform complied anyway. A spokesperson for the company declined to say whether it had shared that info.

The disclosure has irked many, who believe that it goes against Telegram’s stance on privacy. Certainly, it brings some disbelief to Durov’s thoughts on decentralization.

TON ecosystem slowly growing

TON has been making some progress in the past few months. It announced in late October that it would hold an auction for usernames on its TON marketplace. Durov said that the action resulted in over $50 million worth of usernames sold in less than a month.

Telegram founder Pavel Durov talk about decentralization and Telegram decentralized tools

DWF Labs also allocated $10 million to support TON’s ecosystem, which is expanding its web3 ambitions. The TON Foundation is also seeking to bring more projects to its ecosystem, committing $126 million to the cause.


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