The way we communicate is changing. Nowhere is this more clearly shown than in the rise of instant messaging platforms, which have experienced exponential growth in recent years.
Picking up the phone to talk to someone is becoming increasingly rare as more and more people use instant messaging applications to chat and share content. Phone contracts were once based on the number of free minutes offered; now, it's all about the data.
While older generations may still pick up the phone, it's becoming an outdated habit. It must seem bewildering to the uninitiated, with so many different messaging platforms and apps to choose from and with so many people using a variety to keep in touch with discrete groups of friends, colleagues and family.
Messaging apps: so many to choose from.
Not so long ago, it seemed that WhatsApp had an unassailable position as most people's favorite messaging app, at least here in the West. It remains the world's most popular instant messaging platform, with two billion monthly active users, but its dominance is being challenged by the rise of a number of alternative platforms.
When it comes to instant messaging, it doesn't take long for the F-word to appear. Since acquiring WhatsApp in 2014 for a staggering $19 billion, Facebook has become the biggest player in the space, with two billion WhatsApp users under its umbrella, as well as Facebook Messenger's 1.3 billion users. These two platforms occupy the top two spots on the chart, making Mark Zuckerberg and company the dominant force when it comes to modern communications.
However, for all its power, Facebook is largely the underlying reason behind the emergence of rival messaging apps in recent years. Facebook makes money by collecting and selling the data it collects from its users, which is much appreciated by advertisers. As the world steadily realizes the implications of this business model, many people are looking for ways to keep their personal data out of Zuck's grubby hands.
The Zuck: it's coming for your data, whether you like it or not.
The original deadline for agreeing to these new terms was February 8, 2021, although this has since been pushed back three months to May 15. While chats will still be protected with end-to-end encryption (meaning even Facebook can't read them), the company can still collect metadata from users, which will allow it to target advertising more efficiently. It should be noted that this change will not affect UK and EU users, who enjoy the benefits of much stricter data protection laws than in other parts of the world.
The EU: at the forefront of data protection.
Following this announcement, interest in WhatsApp alternatives increased and statistics showed that, in January 2021, Telegram became the most downloaded app worldwide. The anti-Facebook resistance was beginning to gain ground.
LET'S TALK ABOUT TELEGRAM
This flood of new users has brought Telegram to more than 500 million monthly active users and confirmed its status as a leading alternative to WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Since its launch in 2013, its popularity has steadily increased, but the announcement of WhatsApp and Facebook has helped to supercharge the number of users.
It is worth noting at this point that there are two other mass messaging platforms that have a combined total of nearly two billion users. These are WeChat and QQ, both developed by the Chinese company Tencent and therefore largely limited to the Chinese market. As such, while noteworthy, they cannot be said to have the global reach of WhatsApp or Telegram.
Another successful download from Telegram.
Telegram was founded by brothers Pavel and Nikolai Durov, who were initially based in Russia. They left the country in 2014, citing difficulties with the Putin regime. Telegram now operates from Dubai, although it has offices in several other countries and is legally domiciled in London.
The brothers had previously worked to develop VK (VKontakte), the hugely popular Russian equivalent of Facebook. The platform's success has attracted the interest of powerful investors, many of them linked to Putin and his government.
After refusing to allow the government access to the details of Russians who had joined VK groups protesting Russia's involvement in Ukraine, the brothers sold their stake in the company and left, intending not to return.
After leaving Russia, Nikolai and Pavel began working on Telegram, with Nikolai writing the code and Pavel handling the business side. Telegram officially launched in late 2013 and has grown steadily since then. Since its inception, it has grown from 100,000 active users in October of that year to 15 million just six months later. The 100 million active user milestone was surpassed in early 2016 and growth has continued rapidly since then.
Telegram users: two of many.
When using Telegram for the first time, it is clear that it has a number of features that WhatsApp lacks. However, a big myth to dispel about Telegram is that it claims to be more secure than its rivals.
While WhatsApp offers end-to-end encryption by default, it must be enabled on Telegram. It's a mistake to imagine that your chats on Telegram are completely secure; unless you enable the secret chat feature, your chats are stored on Telegram's servers.
The company claims that it has never or will never disclose user information in its possession, but those who want to communicate in complete privacy should think carefully before using the platform and should certainly enable the secret chat feature.
Telegram has generated a fair amount of controversy in recent years, as the platform has been used by jihadists, the far right and those spreading pornography, often involving underage children. Jihadist adoption caused particular concern, especially when it was reported that Islamic State (ISIS) fighters were using Telegram to communicate and spread propaganda.
TELEGRAM AND CRYPTO
One of the most popular features offered by Telegram (aside from the incredibly cheery sticker packs) are channels, which can be used to broadcast messages to large groups of followers. Channels can be thought of as a sort of news feed that subscribers can subscribe to and receive regular updates. They allow an unlimited number of subscribers and do not support replies, which means that the channel administrator can broadcast exclusively.
Just a few of the many Telegram stickers available.
Posts in channels have a useful feature that tells you how many people have seen the post in question (it's the eye symbol at the bottom right, next to the timestamp). In this way, both creators and other subscribers can gauge the popularity of particular posts, allowing the former to better tailor their content in the future.
The Channels feature has been enthusiastically embraced by the crypto community as a way to disseminate information about all aspects of the industry. A plethora of cryptocurrency-related channels have sprung up in recent years, dedicated to a wide variety of topics, including news, market shares, trading information, gossip and more. As expected, these range from good to bad to ugly, so we've listed ten of the best below.
Start with Telegram channels.
Telegram and cryptocurrencies haven't always been easy companions, though the company got its fingers burned when it tried to launch its Telegram Open Network (TON) blockchain project in 2018. It raised about $1.7 billion in funding from qualified investors, aiming to develop a proof-of-stake blockchain with its native GRAM token.
That was until the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. (SEC) stepped in and sued Telegram shortly before the project's official launch in 2019. The SEC argued that the project constituted the sale of an unregistered security, and a federal court later agreed with the authorities. .
Telegram and the SEC reached a settlement that involved the former paying an $18.5 million fine and returning all the money it had raised from investors. Not exactly the most promising foray into the world of cryptocurrencies.
The ill-fated TON venture.
Telegram's failed ICO may have limited the company's crypto ambitions for the time being, but the platform is firmly established as the go-to messaging app for the crypto community. If you're looking to get involved in all that the Telegram cryptocurrency has to offer, read on.
TOP 10 TELEGRAM CRYPTO CHANNELS
1. cryptocurrency insider bureau 2.
Well obviously. Guy has been working at Coin Bureau Insider for over a year and has over 132 000 subscribers on his lips. The channel is a place where he can broadcast his thoughts in real time and instantly share useful and relevant information he finds during his (very long) work day.
While YouTube remains Coin Bureau's primary medium, the Telegram channel provides a vital addition to the stable and allows Guy to communicate with subscribers much more immediately than on the tube. Those YouTube videos take time to research, write, film and edit, which can make it difficult to get information out quickly. With Telegram, updates and insights can be turned on much faster; after all, the saying "time is money" applies to encryption perhaps more than anything else.
A guy who does his own thing. Image via Coin Bureau
Coin Bureau Insider is also the place to go if you're looking for previews of Guy's upcoming videos, as well as updates on new product lines, offers, and other juicy goodies coming from Guy. He also shares updates on his portfolio from time to time, though if you want them in detail, you'll find a full report in his weekly newsletter.
As always with Guy, there's no shilling here and the channel is focused on keeping you informed and in the know. While many other channels post the same news and look very similar, Guy avoids all that and prefers to share things he can't find elsewhere. He also gives his two cents on the latest crypto stories, as well as sharing links and other resources that cross his path. A must for anyone who wants to have Coin Bureau with them wherever they go.
While there's no shortage of crypto news, there's a lot to be said for sending regular updates directly to your phone. Keeping up with the latest happenings is vital for anyone who wants to stay in tune with the markets, as price rises and falls are always linked to something happening in the cryptocurrency community at large.
Cointelegraph: tried and trusted.
Cointelegraph has been around for a while and has established itself as one of the most reliable and up-to-date sources of cryptocurrency news and analysis. Its Telegram channel has almost 145,000 subscribers and posts several updates per day, which means it will always be available from this reliable source.
3. DeFi: news, reviews, articles.
At number three on our list is a channel with a DeFi slant, but which inevitably also posts the latest news. A nice touch is the way the day's news is broken up into a single post, with a checklist of all the top stories, so you don't need to scroll back to see what you've been missing.
Image via Telegram Analytics
It's good to see a Telegram channel that leans so solidly on DeFi and provides coverage of some angles and protocols that many others tend to ignore. Just over 38,000 subscribers tune in to this particular channel and we think it should be many more.
4. ICO Drops - ICO News and Alerts
ICO Drops is one of the most valuable research tools out there and is vital for monitoring emerging cryptocurrency and blockchain projects. Their Telegram channel is more focused on news, but it's still useful to know.
Image via Drops ICO
Posts are published daily and the channel has attracted 48,000 subscribers to date. In addition to general cryptocurrency news, it also anticipates exchange listings and new token launches, as well as events on the exchanges themselves.
5. VIP Crypto Signal
More trading signals and technical analysis here from a channel with 285 000 subscribers. The main game here is technical analysis tips, along with the usual news updates.
Image via Twitter
The channel posts several updates per day and is a must for anyone looking to trade regularly. 285 000 subscribers is impressive for a Telegram channel, especially one with a more technical focus, so they must be doing something right.
6. Coingape - Internet of Money
Another long-time crypto news resource, Coingape's main site has been around for a while and now has a Telegram channel to complement it. All aspects of cryptocurrency news can be found here, with daily posts covering everything happening in the cryptoverse.
Image via Twitter
The channel only has around 26,000 subscribers so far, but it is growing steadily and has a decent pedigree behind it. Unlike many other news channels, Coingape produces its own publications, covering every possible aspect of cryptocurrency. If cryptocurrency news doesn't make it to this channel, it's probably not worth reading.
7. Pig fat signs.
One for all the traders out there. This beautifully named channel provides unbiased trading signals to those who buy and sell cryptocurrencies for a living. Signals are a vital tool for any trader, providing useful data and information for anyone looking to read the market. They are not the alpha and omega of trading, but they are certainly a useful weapon to have in the arsenal.
Image via Telegram channels.
Fat Pig Signals has a good track record when it comes to accuracy and the channel is run by a team of dedicated traders for the benefit of its 55,000+ subscribers.
8. Uniswap Unicorni
For those looking for the next altcoin that could reach the moon 100 times, this is definitely a Telegram channel you want to subscribe to. 324,000 subscribers are subscribed, though post views are only around 4,000 on average.
Image via Telegram
In addition to the usual news, Uniswap Unicorns also regularly pumps out little-known altits, keeping subscribers updated on when the pumps will start and how they're doing. Some may have a negative opinion of this type of behavior, but whatever field you're in, it's good to know about this channel so you can stay on top of what's going on and easily track the source of some bombs.
9. ICO TALKS ABOUT NEWS
It's a bit of a clunky title, but over 317,000 subscribers can't be wrong. This channel is dedicated to providing updates on ICOs, airdrops, token sales and more. It's a great resource to keep an eye on the next project or altcoin and when they might go public.
Image via Telegram channels.
The channel has been running since 2015 and is a useful channel to have on your radar, especially if dabbling in alts is your thing.
Another news channel, but one that avoids the more clickbaity stories and graphics and instead provides the information in short, sharp sentences, with links provided for those who want to dig deeper. There is also business information and other items of interest to be found here.
Image via Telegram Store
The channel has just over 80,000 subscribers and regular mail throughout the day. Whoever administers these posts loves a good graphic, so if this type of infographic is your thing, you'll be well served here.
THE FUTURE OF CRYPTOCURRENCIES?
As interest in cryptocurrencies continues to grow and more and more people seek sources of information, whether for research, trading or other purposes, it looks like Telegram will continue as the instant messenger of choice for the community.
There is widespread discomfort with WhatsApp and Facebook, especially due to their centralized nature and data-driven business models. While many have overestimated the extent to which Telegram offers more privacy than its rivals, its features, especially Channels, have taken the big rivals by surprise.
Facebook: Not everyone is a fan.
WhatsApp is planning additional features to compete with those introduced by Telegram, but it seems unlikely that the cryptocurrency community would be willing to migrate to a Facebook-controlled entity without good reason. As social media continues to grow, it seems that along with a YouTube channel, Twitter page, Instagram account and TikTok page, a Telegram channel is a must.