Instant messaging startup Telegram Messenger’s planned Initial Coin Offering (ICO) could be a game changer.
The company’s proposed platform, Telegram Open Network (TON), would offer a suite of services, including distributed file sharing and a DNS service, CoinDesk reported.
By marrying an instant messaging system and a native digital currency, TON could provide the ability to privately transfer money anywhere in the world without having to pay remittance fees, according to TechCrunch.
Further, TON would be partially decentralized, sources have told TechCrunch, a feature that would help put it outside government control.
Telegram is aiming to raise $2 billion, according to investors who spoke with Bloomberg, a figure that would make this the largest ICO in history.
The company wants to raise this amount by holding an $850 million private sale this month and then a $1.15 billion public ICO in March, these investors told the news source. This represents a larger figure than the $1.2 billion that Telegram aimed to raise before, according to documentation previously viewed by Bloomberg News.
Telegram is currently led by CEO Pavel Durov, who founded the messaging application along with his brother Nikolai Durov in 2013. Pavel and Nikolai, an award-winning mathematician, started developing Telegram in 2012.
Before creating the Telegram Messenger, the two brothers founded VK.com, a social media platform that has been referred to as “Russia’s Facebook.” The company was highly successful, drawing more than 350 million users. Pavel and Nicolai sold their stake in the company, which had an estimated value of $3 billion around the start of 2018.
In spite of this apparent penchant for privacy, Pavel has been more than willing to communicate through the media, providing interviews with several media outlets.
The Telegram ICO will be issuing tokens called Grams, which investors can use to purchase services through TON, according to CoinDesk. The company plans to generate 5 billion of these digital tokens, and sell 44 percent of these during the ICO.
Another four percent will go to people working for Telegram, and 52 percent will be “retained by the TON Reserve to protect the nascent cryptocurrency from speculative trading and to maintain flexibility at the early stages of the evolution of the system.”
By obtaining Grams, investors will get tokens that can be used to purchase services through the TON network. Further, investors will acquire a speculative asset that could experience significant upside through exchange trading.
Keep in mind that Telegram will be using Simple Agreement for Future Tokens (SAFTs), agreements where investors provide funds in exchange for tokens that are distributed when specific criteria are met. In this case, Grams will need to list on exchanges for ICO participants to receive them, Bloomberg reports.
Telegram believes that exchanges will start listing Grams sometime next year, potentially as early as January. If exchanges fail to list these tokens, ICO participants will get a refund, according to documents.
When contacted, Telegram was responsive through several mediums. The messaging service responded promptly to a request via Twitter.
When contacted through Telegram, the company’s volunteers were also responsive. Unfortunately, the company’s Facebook account did not provide the same experience, as a message sent through this medium was still unanswered after 48 hours.
Telegram has not officially announced any ICO plans, and much of the information that exists for this token sale was provided by anonymous sources and media outlets claiming to have seen the offering’s whitepaper.
Further, while there are links out there stating that they have the token sale’s whitepaper, the Telegram team has not confirmed that these documents are authentic as of the writing of this report.
There are even reports that some criminals have been setting up fake websites in an effort to ensnare investors, according to TechCrunch. Gramtoken.io, which has been taken down, drew more than $5 million from investors before going offline last week.
If you want to learn more about the Telegram ICO, it could be highly advantageous to conduct thorough research using available information. Several articles have been published on this token sale, and its high-profile nature could easily generate additional media coverage.
Any investors considering participating in ICOs should keep in mind that investing is inherently risky. As a result, performing the proper due diligence is crucial.
- For additional information regarding current and upcoming ICOs, check out Bitcoin Market Journal’s “Upcoming Initial Coin Offerings” page, which is updated continuously to give you the most current information available on these digital token sales.
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