Telegram, the privacy-focused online messaging platform, announced Wednesday that it will begin splitting ad revenue with creators with payouts exclusively in Toncoin (TON).

Within moments, the price of TON—a project that was initially developed within Telegram before being continued independently—spiked a whopping 31% to a high not seen in over two years. 

Beginning Friday, Telegram channel owners—individuals or organizations that post messages to dedicated one-way feeds that any subscriber can view for free—will start receiving 50% of any revenue generated from ads displayed by Telegram in their channels.

Telegram founder Pavel Durov announced the news via his own Telegram channel Wednesday morning. All such earnings will be solely distributed via The Open Network, or TON.


“This will create a virtuous circle, in which content creators will be able to either cash out their Toncoins—or reinvest them in promoting and upgrading their channels,” the Telegram founder said. 

Within an hour of the announcement, TON spiked some 31.48% to $2.84, a price not seen since February 2022, according to CoinGecko. At that high, the token’s market capitalization breached $9.8 billion. TON has since dipped to $2.41 at writing, still up nearly 12% on the day.

Durov claimed that Telegram channels collectively receive one trillion views monthly. Decrypt reached out to the platform for comment regarding the amount of revenue ads on Telegram channels have previously generated, but did not immediately receive a response.


TON originally stood for Telegram Open Network, and the network’s Gram cryptocurrency was planned to be a key part of the messaging app’s future. However, regulatory scrutiny from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) forced Telegram to reconsider.

The company withdrew from the project in 2020 and refunded investors from the earlier token sale. Community developers ultimately continued the open-source project, which has gone on to become a blockchain for projects like Notcoin, an engagement-based game and meme coin.

TON’s rollercoaster of a morning came amidst an unusually volatile period for the crypto market. Bitcoin surged over 11% in a matter of hours Wednesday morning, to north of $63,000 just after 12pm EST, according to CoinGecko. It has since tapered off to $61,330 at writing. In the same brief window, Ethereum nearly touched $3,500 for the first time since the start of 2022.

Edited by Andrew Hayward

Daily Debrief Newsletter

Start every day with the top news stories right now, plus original features, a podcast, videos and more.