Telegram, a popular messaging app within the cryptocurrency space, surpassed 500 million monthly active users during the first week of January, according to Telegram CEO Pavel Durov.

Over the past 72 hours, Durov said, the app has seen a massive increase in the number of new users, with another 25 million people signing up to use the platform. These new users come from all over the world, with the majority – 38% – coming from Asia.

About 27% come from Europe, 21% from Latin America and 8% from the Middle East and North Africa (Mena region). About 200 million people used Telegram in 2018, meaning user growth was over 150% in two years.

Telegram may have benefited from privacy policy changes at rival WhatsApp. Recent updates to WhatsApp’s privacy policy require users to share their personal information with parent company Facebook or stop using the service altogether.

These changes are believed to have made users feel uncomfortable sharing more of their personal information with Facebook to leave WhatsApp and join privacy-focused competitors such as Telegram or Signal.

Unlike other competing messaging apps, Telegram does not share any personal information and offers encrypted chats.

To post on his personal Telegram channel on January 12, Durov said:

People no longer want to trade their privacy for free services. They no longer want to be held hostage by tech monopolies that seem to think they can get away with anything, as long as their apps have a critical mass of users.

Telegram’s CEO added that “With half a billion active users and accelerated growth, Telegram has become the greatest haven for those looking for a communications platform committed to privacy and security.”

In 2020, Telegram reported 1.5 million new user signups every day, a long way from the current influx of people joining the platform. “We’ve had a massive increase in downloads before, over our 7-year history of protecting user privacy. But this time it’s different, ”noted Durov.

Until now, all services on Telegram have remained free. But Durov announced in December that some services can now be monetized. He said additional features will appear for “business teams and users with advanced needs” and those features will be paid for being “resource-intensive.” Regular users will continue to use Telegram for free, he stressed.

Telegram tried to launch its own cryptocurrency called Gram through the TON blockchain platform, but was blocked by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. That left Pavel Durov, who raised $ 1.7 billion from select investors for the project, saddled with $ 1.2 billion in debt and $ 18.5 million in fines.

Now, some investors in TON are preparing a lawsuit against Durov to try to force the businessman to “sell some or all of Telegram and pay off the investors because he spent money on Telegram,” a Forbes said. report. Durov is said to have spent $ 500 million of the TON money to upgrade Telegram, something that investors claim was not part of the original deal.

What do you think of the influx of new users at Telegram? Let us know in the comments below.

Tags in this story

Asia, Europe, Facebook, gram cryptocurrency, Latin America, MENA, messaging app, Pavel Durov, Signal, Telegram, Growth of Telegram users, TONS of blockchain, USSecurities and Exchange Commission, WhatsApp

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, Telegram,

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