Telegram appears to be moving forward with its own cryptocurrency. The company has told investors that it plans to launch its first group of crypto coins within the next couple of months. Additionally, the company is also providing Gram digital wallets to all the current users of the Telegram messaging application. This totals nearly 300-global users. Telegram has plans to make the new Gram crypto currency the digital currency of choice and the way to move money anywhere in the world.
Who is Telegram?
Telegram is a messaging app that focuses on security and speed. Telegram is available on all devices at the same time, so your messages sync seamlessly across any number of your phones, tablets or computers. You can send messages, photos, videos and files of any type as well as create groups for up to 200,000 people. You can also generate channels for broadcasting to unlimited audiences. Telegram is like SMS and email combined. The company was created by Pavel Durov, who fled Russia after clashing with the government. Mr. Durov now moves between offices in the Middle East and Europe.
What Plans Does Telegram Have for its Crypto Coin?
The scope of Telegram’s ambitions became clear in 2018 when it raised $1.7 billion from some of the largest venture capital firms in Silicon Valley. The goal initially was to launch a new crypto currency that could be used on the telegram application. Unlike Facebook, which released public plans for its digital money long before the first token was ready, Telegram has largely proceeded in secrecy.
How Have Regulators Reacted?
Regulators appear to be concerned that coins like Gram and Libra could, like Bitcoin before them, be useful to drug dealers and money launderers. There is little regulation on crypto currency, and authorities are concerned with any operation that has a platform to launch a coin. The authorities in the United States have already moved to shut down smaller cryptocurrency projects. The Telegram app makes it easy to send encrypted messages between phones. While this is very attractive to cryptocurrency operators it also makes the app popular both with terrorists and with government dissidents.
How Will the Coin Function?
The New York Times reports that the company has reviewed the pitch deck for the Gram digital currency. The prospectus says that Telegram’s new digital money will operate with a decentralized structure similar to Bitcoin. Similar to bitcoin and Litecoin, Telegram releases the coins, it has said the coins will be governed by a decentralized network of computers that will give Telegram no control over the future value of these coins. Security researchers raised concerns about the coin because of security problems Telegram, or problems the company has had in the past. Telegram promised in legal documents that it would deliver Grams to investors by October 31, 2019 or give back the money.
While many investors have agreed to a holding period once the coin is launched, some people will immediately be able to trade crypto currency on exchanges and exit their positions.