Messaging app Telegram has seen an additional 25 million new users sign up to use the platform in the last 72 hours, according to Telegram CEO Pavel Durov. The app, which is widely used by many in the cryptocurrency space, doesn't share personal data and offers encrypted chats.

The influx of new users appears to be a result of rival messaging app WhatsApp changing its privacy policy. This update required its users to share their data with Facebook, or stop using the service. This prompted concerns from users that they will be sharing more data with Facebook than they are comfortable with. And many decided to leave.

“In the first week of January, Telegram surpassed 500 million monthly active users,” said Pavel Durov, CEO of Telegram, in his personal Telegram channel, adding, “After that it kept growing: 25 million new users joined Telegram in the last 72 hours alone.”

The SEC lawsuit against Telegram over unregistered securities has made other blockchain companies anxious, and they're telling the court what they think.
Many in the crypto community use Telegram. Image: Shutterstock.

As Decrypt reported, the move away from WhatsApp helped push Signal to the top of the app stores. Although this was helped by a big endorsement from Elon Musk, who simply tweeted "Use Signal."

These new users are spread out across all parts of the world, with the majority—38%—coming from Asia. A further 27% and 21% have come from Europe and Latin America respectively. A final 8% have come from the MENA region.

“We’ve had surges of downloads before, throughout our 7-year history of protecting user privacy. But this time is different,” Durov added. The Telegram CEO also went on to say that individuals no longer want to trade their privacy for free services.

Telegram made an attempt to get further into the cryptocurrency world when it tried to launch its own cryptocurrency, called TON. However, the SEC prevented it from occuring, forcing Telegram to return $1.2 billion to investors and pay a penalty of $18.5 million to the SEC.

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