O Telegram is running to launch its cryptocurrency called Gram: it was announced last year and raised $ 1.7 billion with a promise to be made available by October 2019; otherwise, the company will have to return all the money. This can be a payment method for purchases within the messaging app, reminding Facebook of Libra.
According to the New York Times, Telegram promised in a contract with investors that it would make the Gram available until October 31, or hand over the money. So the company is in a hurry to launch the cryptocurrency.
In 2018, Telegram made an initial coin offering (ICO) and raised $ 1.7 billion from approximately 200 investors. The money would be used to develop the blockchain TON (Telegram Open Network) and to maintain the messaging app.
Gram transactions will be recorded on the TON blockchain. This network also promises to host decentralized services like distributed file storage or VPN proxy. A trial version will be launched within a week or two, according to investors.
The idea is that Gram be used to buy and sell products within Telegram, without the need to use ordinary money. The application has between 200 million and 300 million users; they could have a virtual wallet to store the cryptocurrency.
Telegram may go through the same scrutiny from Facebook
The Gram value will be defined by a decentralized network, not by Telegram. It is a different approach from Libra, Facebook’s cryptocurrency, which will be backed by traditional currencies like dollar, euro and yen.
Facebook has been undergoing a lot of scrutiny from governments around the world. A bill in the US wants to prevent the social network from acting as a financial institution; American President Donald Trump believes Libra should be regulated. Two members of the Libra Association already want to give up the cryptocurrency before its launch, scheduled for 2020.
Telegram may face these same problems when Gram is released. The cryptocurrency has not yet caught the attention of the authorities because it has been developing in secret since last year.
Even before launch, Gram is the subject of speculation: Some investors already pass on to third parties the right to obtain the cryptocurrency when it becomes available. Each unit was sold during the ICO for up to $ 1.33; they are being resold for up to $ 4.
With information: New York Times.