Notcoin, a free and easy-to-use Telegram game whose play is centered around people tapping their phone’s screen to earn coins, has exploded in popularity since it went live on January 1. 

In the past ten days through Friday afternoon, Notcoin has seen its total players more than triple from 5.1 million on Jan. 9 to over 17.2 million, with roughly four million daily active users, according to self-reported statistics found within the game. At the time of publication, about 108,000 players were online in the Telegram game, clicking to earn more Notcoin tokens. 

Notcoin’s rapid growth has occurred over less than three weeks, following the sunset of its beta version last month. “Notcoin has an interesting approach where they have been game-focused and growth-focused before any token, before any real Web3 integration as it were,” said marketing director at TON Foundation Jack Booth in a Live Space on X, formerly Twitter, on Wednesday. 

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Global messaging application Telegram, which has roughly 800 million monthly active users and is widely used among crypto natives, started working on the TON blockchain in 2018, but dropped the project in 2020, because the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued Telegram for violating securities law. 

The TON blockchain is now independent from Telegram, although Telegram CEO Pavel Durov endorsed the project in Dec. 2021.

Not Your Typical Crypto-Based Game

One player who participated in the beta version was surprised that the user experience was so seamless. “Users don’t need to download some blockchain-related stuffs (e.g., wallet). The only thing they need is just a TG account,” wrote the co-founder of crypto research firm Four Pillars, who goes by the screen name 100y, to Unchained on Telegram. 

100y pointed out that it’s not easy for average users to tell that Notcoin is a blockchain-based game, noting that the game’s abstraction of the gritty details of crypto is a key factor “to achieve blockchain mass adoption.” 

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That was the main idea of the game from the very beginning, according to a Notcoin community intern with the X account @takoy_sasha who participated in the X Live Space on Wednesday. 

“If people can play this without any need to make some extra crypto steps or something like creating a wallet… then we have a bigger, wider funnel layer at the top and then people could actually learn more about Web3 and eventually become kind of full citizens of the TON blockchain,” takoy_sasha said.

Not Available for Minting Yet

Even though people can mine Notcoin by playing the game and clicking their screens, the token has not been minted yet and is not available for trading. However, it is likely people will eventually be able to mint Notcoin on the TON blockchain. 

According to Booth, the TON blockchain “is certainly in the best position it’s been to handle that kind of load than it’s ever been… In terms of minting tokens, there really isn’t that much difficulty there on the blockchain,” though it does depend on how the distribution of token minting is done. 

Reflecting the strong interest in the game, “Notcoin” currently has a comparable interest score worldwide on Google Trends with “dogecoin,” and a higher interest score than “memecoin.”

The worldwide interest scores of “notcoin,” “dogecoin,” and “memecoin.” (Google Trends)