Telegram is testing ‘Passport’ facility for ID verification on its blockchain-driven network

The first element of the Telegram Open Network, a service called Passport, is apparently on test. 
According to reports, messaging service Telegram – which has just undertaken an apparently hugely successful, and relatively secretive, pre-ICO – is currently testing part of the tech that will make up the Telegram Open Network (TON) that is central to its plans to offer a suite of decentralised services going forward.

The part of the system under test, reports Russian business publication Vedmosti as saying, is Telegram Passport. That is a service which stores information and documents for verification purposes, and will “be used to keep personal details and copies of IDs, banking statements, and utility bills to identify users on Telegram’s blockchain platform TON”.

Such verification appears to be central to getting TON – which will also offer payment and money transfer services using its own cryptocurrency, Gram (GRAM) – up and running in order to make good on the $1.7bn dollars that has been pumped in by big-ticket investors to get it working. The data stored, sources told Vedmosti, will be available to be shared among Telegram’s partner businesses. For example, payments provider Qiwi already has access to it, the report says.

Apparently, while Telegram itself will not have access to the the details and documents, which can be with a password and two factor authentication, with consent it will pass it on to partners, which can then verify it. The facility, it appears, would go a long way to preventing the kind of anonymity traditionally associated with cryptocurrency, and predictably unpopular with governments across the globe – not least in the service’s native Russia. It will also allow Telegram to operate independently of other large, centralised authorisation systems provided by the likes of Google and Facebook.

Despite the messenger service attracting the ire of Russian authorities, Telegram and TON has enjoyed a wildly successful pre-ICO that already makes GRAM the most successful offering of its type by a considerable margin. This is despite none of the technology being proposed actually being operational. That could all change pretty soon as Telegram Passport is predicted to go live in some form during the summer.

Image: Pixabay