Telegram has confirmed that it will launch its own blockchain platform. The encrypted messaging app is also looking to launch its own native cryptocurrency. The currency will be used to support payments within the app and beyond. Sources within the company say that the blockchain platform will be called “Telegram Open Network” and it will be a relatively new third generation digital currency second only to crypto pioneers Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Telegram says that the launch will be funded through an ICO. Forthcoming private pre-sales for the coin are thought to be already above hundreds of millions of dollars. The Telegram ICO could easily be the largest ICO in history.
The company believes that its reputation and pedigree as a startup is fueling demand for the coins. Barriers of entry would be significantly more difficult if the ICO was offered by a new or unknown company. Telegram will definitely have a big advantage if it can promote widespread adoption of this homegrown currency. The encrypted messaging platform will also be able to support payments with a certain degree of independence from banks and government institutions.
Besides, it is widely agreed that there are a lot of upsides for investing in cryptocurrencies, especially within a well established messaging network. Telegram is all that and adding a cryptocurrency as part of its offerings will be a massive achievement. The company is expected to raise $500 million in pre-ICO sales. The offering could also come sooner than we think. Insiders say that the ICO will go public before the end of March.
At the moment, Tezos holds the title of the biggest ICO ever after raising $230 million in July last year. Telegram is expected to double this figure. The adoption of Telegram’s cryptocurrency as a mainstream digital currency will be the ultimate goal for the company. The founder Pavel Durov will bank on the 180 million Telegram users and its proven pedigree as a messaging service to attract credibility towards its blockchain platform.
Telegram will call the crypto “Gram.” Sources indicate that the plan is to roll out the currency and slowly build a crypto economy within the messaging app. The company sees this as a way of diversifying its revenue.
Messaging apps have been keen to develop payment solutions in order to enhance the user experience. WeChat is one of the few apps that have managed to act both as a messaging app and as a real payment option for many people in China. The challenge with WeChat is that the system is highly centralized.
However, Telegram is looking to change this. The messaging app will offer a decentralized system adding more security and resilience to in-app payments. The only thing that remains now is to see the ICO materialize and then analyze the way forward from there. Pavel Durov is one of the most brilliant entrepreneurs in the world at the moment and many are looking at his experience as the secret sauce towards the success of the proposed blockchain.