Telegram Launches Passport Service for ICO Verification

Messaging service Telegram launched a new crypto-oriented feature on Thursday. Telegram Passport is a “unified authorization method for services that require personal identification”. KYC for ICOs in other words, which the Russian chat platform names as one of its intended use cases for Passport. Documents will be secured by end-to-end encryption, and Telegram has promised that the service will eventually move to “a decentralized cloud”.

Telegram Muscles in on Crypto Identity Services

Telegram, led by bitcoin believer Pavel Durov, owes a significant chunk of its user base to cryptocurrency. As the preferred communications channel of tokensales, Telegram is relied upon by the crypto community on a daily basis, making its sporadic outages all the more infuriating for cryptocurrency users. Telegram Passport, its initiative for providing verification services, is a clear attempt at muscling in on the identification market that Civic and Thekey have been cornering. The service also tallies with Telegram’s plans to launch its own blockchain and to integrate a native token into its messaging app.

In a blog post announcing the initiative, Telegram revealed its first integration of the service at epayments.com where Telegram Passport users can trial its verification system. There’s also a demo page on the Telegram website where users can see how the verification service will work in practice. Verification options will include passport, driver’s license, utility bill, bank statement, and selfie: the usual methods that ICO participants will be accustomed to…

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