Telegram Founder’s $6.8M Notcoin ‘Gift’ Raises Red Flags 

Notcoin’s $6.8M donation to Telegram’s founder sparks skepticism about the motives behind the move.

Pavel Durov receives a present.
Created by Kornelija Poderskytė from DailyCoin
  • Notcoin donates $6.8M to Telegram founder Pavel Durov.
  • The community is skeptical, questioning the intentions behind the move. 
  • Notcoin just launched last week and dropped more than 50% since its launch. 

Thanks to substantial competition among crypto projects, token launch promotions are becoming increasingly creative. Most recently, one TON-based app went all out with its marketing, giving a substantial donation to the Telegram founder. 


Recently, Telegram’s founder, Pavel Durov, received a substantial donation of $6.8 million worth of Notcoin (NOT) from the TON-based game, Notcoin. This move has generated significant scrutiny within the crypto community.

Notcoin’s Donation Raises Eyebrows

On Friday, May 17, the newly launched project Notcoin (NOT) sent 1.03 billion of its tokens to Telegram’s founder Pavel Durov. The donation, equivalent to $6.8 million, came after an earlier pledge from its community, framed as a gesture of appreciation for Telegram’s contributions to crypto. 

However, since the pledge was revealed in February, it has raised eyebrows and caused a stir in the community. Notably, the team revealed that all donors would receive twice the amount they contributed. For that reason, many users have voiced dissatisfaction with the Notcoin team’s lack of communication.

For instance, one Twitter user Le_(Q)eN stated, “Well, this is unfair, why didn’t you make a statement before saying that you will receive twice the amount you donated?” 

The lack of transparency also raises concerns over insider trading. For instance, team members who would have known about the doubling of the donations could have pledged their funds for Durov. This would have allowed them to effectively double their holdings with zero risk. 


There is also a concern that the donation could be an undisclosed payment for a promotion. On May 17, the same day he received the donation, Durov praised Notcoin as an “amazing success story.” 

Notcoin Drops More than 50% in a Week

Crypto giveaways and airdrops are a popular way for crypto projects to get attention. Several high-profile projects have already sent free tokens to prominent crypto personalities. For example, Vitalik Buterin sold around $700,000 worth of memecoins he got for free. 

Since memecoins have a low success rate, there is little downside in giving away free tokens. If these giveaways can help the tokens gain enough attention, they are a net positive for the holders.

The donation could have given Notcoin some exposure. However, in any case, Notcoin’s launch had mixed results. Since its launch this week, Bitcoin has already dropped 53.16%. Its market cap is currently at $717 million, putting it at 107th place among crypto tokens.  

Notcoin's price performance since launch.
Source: Coinmarketcap

Notcoin is a play-to-earn game integrated into the Telegram messaging app. It allows users to “mine” a cryptocurrency called Notcoin (NOT) by repeatedly clicking on an animated coin. The team is called Open Builders and is backed by the TON Foundation.

On the Flipside

  • Telegram cut ties with TON Coin after the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) scrutinized it. However, the TON Foundation continues to build within the Telegram ecosystem.
  • Undisclosed crypto promotions have put multiple influencers in hot water, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Kim Kardashian, and Floyd Mayweather

Why This Matters

Transparency is one of the crypto community’s key values. However, crypto projects have repeatedly fallen short of this. When it comes to any major decision, including crypto donations, the community must know what they are for and what the terms are before participating.   

Read more about Telegram CEO Pavel Durov: 
Telegram CEO Proposes Crypto-Like Tech to Block Govt Spying

Read more about the failed ‘Crypto King’: 
How Canada’s ‘Crypto King’ Defrauded Investors of $30M

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

David Marsanic

David Marsanic is a journalist for DailyCoin who covers the intersection of crypto, traditional finance, and government. He focuses on institutionalized crypto entities like major cryptocurrency exchanges and Solana, breaking down complex topics into easy-to-understand writing. David's prior experience as a business journalist at various crypto and traditional news sites has enabled him to maintain a critical approach to news while adhering to high journalistic integrity standards.