Telegram made its way onto the crypto scene and became an international sensation practically overnight. If this is the first time you’re hearing about Telegram you must be living under a rock. But a brief background for those that are new to the world of all things crypto: Telegram is an ICO (Initial Coin Offering), that has done incredibly well. Telegram’s popularity is largely due to its effective and efficient messaging platform that runs on Blockchain technology. Right now, there are millions of Telegram users using the app. It truly is the next big thing when it comes to online messaging.
But after a bit of a scuffle between Telegram and the Russian government, Russia has decided to ban the messaging app across the entire country- leaving hundreds of thousands of users without their favorite mobile app. The reason why Telegram is now a thing of the past in Russia is because Russia requested Telegram to hand over certain data to them (including users’ encryption codes) before the 4th of April and Telegram failed to deliver them.
Strangely enough, despite the ban, Binance’s specially Russian dedicated Telegram group with over 9000 users has managed to remain active. It is unclear how exactly this is possible but it’s thought that the users changed their VPN in order to bypass the ban. It seems that even governments can be outmaneuvered with the right technology these days.
But the ban is still definitely expected to have a negative overall effect on Telegram as Russia was one of its biggest markets. It’s unclear whether Telegram has an official leg to stand on when it comes to fighting the ban but Telegram founder, Pavel Durov must be commended for standing by his initial mission. He strongly believes it is wrong to give up users’ private info and provides us with a safe space to interact online. The fact that he would rather be banned (and lose out on money) in Russia than give out users’ details really says a lot about Telegram’s integrity.
While Durov’s honorable decision does certainly give us faith in humanity again- especially in the midst of the Facebook security scandal- it still doesn’t help the Russian population who are now sitting without a secure messaging platform. It’s been proven that Facebook can’t be trusted. It will be interesting to see what app users will use instead of Telegram- similar ones would include Reddit and Whatsapp but neither can really compare to Telegram. Hopefully, Russia and Telegram will be able to reach some sort of agreement and the ban be lifted soon,
It seems as if Russia is having a tough time keeping on top of their strict crypto laws and regulations – that do in some way try to incorporate and accept cryptos. Earlier this week an illegal crypto mining farm was shut down with two men arrested in relation to it. Russia continues to bring us weird and wonderful crypto news and we can only imagine what a headache the crypto industry is to the Russian government.