Recently, Telegram revealed that it is planning to send out the first batches of its coin, the Gram, within the next two months. Read on to know more…
After Facebook’s cryptocurrency plans, another social network, Telegram, has revealed that it is coming with its own digital currency. According to investors, Telegram disclosed that it is planning to launch its own cryptocurrency within the next two months. Telegram promised in legal documents that it would deliver Grams to investors by Oct. 31, 2019, or give back the money. Telegram is now racing to get the coins out before that deadline.
Facebook’s Libra is meant to be backed up by traditional currencies held in bank accounts, in order to stabilize the value of the digital coin. The Gram, in contrast, will be backed by nothing and gain or lose its value, like Bitcoin, by whatever someone is willing to pay for it.
According to investor documents viewed by The NY Times, some people will immediately be able to sell their Grams on cryptocurrency exchanges, though the earliest investors agreed to a holding period. Telegram has recently said that before the coins are sent out, a test version of the Gram network will be released within the next week or two. The Grams are intended to make it possible to buy and sell other goods on Telegram.
Once Telegram plans to offer Gram to everyone, users will apparently store them in a Gram digital wallet. Telegram is also planning to make Gram digital wallets available to the 200 million to 300 million global users of Telegram’s messaging application, said the investors, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they had signed nondisclosure agreements.
Unlike Facebook, which released public plans for its digital money long before the first token was ready, Telegram has largely proceeded in secrecy. That opaqueness could amplify questions that it will face from government authorities when it makes its tokens public. Regulators have grown increasingly concerned that coins like Gram and Libra could, like Bitcoin before them, be useful to drug dealers and money launderers. The authorities in the United States have already moved to shut down smaller cryptocurrency projects, citing them for violations of securities law.
It is not quite clear how regulators might deal with a new Telegram cryptocurrency, seeing how Telegram itself is a decentralized messaging operation that is happily tangled with governments in the past. Facebook’s Libra is the closest parallel, but one based in the United States, and it is already encountered quite a bit of early scrutiny.
Telegram also has big ambitions for its Telegram Open Network, which it hopes will host new kinds of digital applications. There could be new kinds of sites, for example, where users tip one another for good comments, or make small bets on future events. But again before any of that happens, Telegram will have to deal with the critics and skeptical regulators.