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Notcoin by Telegram: Something or Nothing?

25 million players have mined trillions of yet-to-be-launched virtual 'coins' by tapping in Telegram. What comes next? "We're promising nothing," - says co-creator.

Notcoin by Telegram

Notcoin was first announced as a meme-token by the TON project last November. Since the beginning of this year, millions of Telegram users have been tapping their screens to mint 'non-existent' coins and competing in squads to gain surreal benefits. Currently, the coins can be spent only inside the game to get various boosts. However, the developers have been sending encouraging messages full of puns based on the word “not” and continue to stress that nothing is defined regarding the future of Notcoin.

It would seem that the fact the project is connected to the TON network and the appeal of easy profits outweighs the creators’ insistence that it is probably worth nothing and does not even exist. Its player base now numbers over 25 million people, with 2.6 million daily users, who have minted over 29.5 trillion Notcoin at the time of writing.

Screenshots from the game

It is so easy to acquire Notcoin that there is a slight feeling that it is simply worthless. Our Observer just received 1,000,000 Notcoin for joining the Community group (the biggest crypto community on Telegram at the moment), 50k for inviting a friend and 50k more for 5 minutes of tapping. Recently, Notcoiners have been sending their coins to Durov as a gesture of gratitude, and were then promised double their donations in return.

Sasha Plotvinov, the founder of the team behind the project, recently shared some more precise info on Notcoin's origin and future in an interview with Decrypt. He explained that he sees Notcoin in a number of different ways. Yes, it’s a viral Telegram mini-app clicker game, but not everything is that simple. The fundamental explanation is that Notcoin is an experiment on how to fairly distribute a huge amount of tokens between a huge amount of people. He also claimed that it is a transparent and fair manner to launch a token and engage users with the ultimate goal of bringing the masses into crypto with an element of fun.

“This audience is quite close. We just need to create some bridge—in a Web2 meaning—so that they will be easily onboarded into crypto.”

Plotvinov believes that Web3 can foster unhealthy behavior regarding the interaction between projects and the community. According to him, it is better not to promise anything from the very beginning rather than try to lure users with huge gains the way other projects do, so the team is trying to avoid creating any expectations for the players.

“No one knows if or when Notcoin will be minted. No one knows if it will be worth anything or not.  And that's the beauty. Let's find out together.” - Game Tutorial

In January, the team promised to mint $NOT within a few weeks. According to the latest reports, the token launch is now expected in late March or early April. The team said that after going on-chain, “no new tokens will be issued, but the mining will continue with pools from the market.”

Telegram has always had close ties with decentralized technology and crypto. Durov and his elder brother Nicolai initially developed the technology behind the TON network, until the SEC decided its native tokens were securities and the Durovs stepped away from the project. It was renamed, from Telegram Open Network (TON) to The Open Network (TON), and development was continued by community members, officially separate but retaining strong links with the Telegram ecosystem. For example, in 2022, Pavel Durov launched Fragment, a TON-based auction platform for trading Telegram usernames.

In 2023, Telegram gained the functionality to store and transact cryptocurrency within its messaging platform via the independently developed @wallet bot. Last November, we Observed that the Open Network’s token had jumped to an 11-month high, making it the 10th biggest coin by market cap, thanks to the launch of ‘giveaways’ on Telegram.

Taking into account the overall popularity of meme-coins and the exceptional loyalty of Telegram users, the token might skyrocket (if it ever gets truly launched). And if it doesn’t, at least it will have provided excellent training for users' fine motor skills.