Telegram is close to launching an auction marketplace where users can sell their usernames.

Telegram said that the development of its marketplace is almost finished, and a launch date will be announced soon.

Durov relinquished control of Telegram after losing a court case against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 2020. Since then, open-source developers have resurrected the project under the moniker of The Open Network.

Telegram has developed a new marketplace that does not use nonfungible tokens (NFTs). The popular social messaging platform said that it will open its marketplace for selling unique usernames for social platforms, an idea first proposed in August.

Telegram announced on its official channel that the development phase of its marketplace is nearing its finish. The marketplace is based on its native blockchain called The Open Network (TON).

Pavel Durov, the founder of the company, first discussed the idea in late August 2017, when he proposed using “NFT-like smart contracts” to auction very-coveted usernames. The Open Network (TON), a layer-1 blockchain designed by the Telegram team, was initially a success with domain name auctions.

Durov said at the time that a new marketplace, where username holders could transfer them to interested parties in protected deals — with ownership secured on the blockchain via NFT-like smart contracts — could become a sought-after service in Web3. He added that other elements of the Telegram ecosystem, including channels, stickers or emojis, could later also become part of this marketplace.

Telegram didn’t reply to Cointelegraph’s questions at the time of writing.

Telegram had hoped to build a digital payments platform for Telegram but failed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after its unregistered sale of Gram tokens. The SEC also blocked Telegram from raising funds through an initial coin offering (ICO) in September.

Durov abandoned the project after losing a court battle against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 2020. As a result, open-source developers have resurrected the project as The Open Network.