This year looks like it will be the year of the blockchain. It seems like everyone now needs to have their own cryptocurrency, and a number of tech companies are already looking into research and development. Chat and messaging platform Telegram is the latest on the list.
The native crypto that Telegram plans would power payments on its chat app and beyond, according to TechCrunch. The website also cited sources claiming that the ‘Telegram Open Network’ (TON) will be a new third generation blockchain with superior capabilities to Bitcoin and Ethereum.
A boatload of marketing and a huge ICO is planned to generate the revenue for the project. It is estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, making it potentially one of the largest ICOs to date. Telegram is a well-established messaging platform with 180 million active monthly users, according to Wikipedia. This would make the ICO stand out from the rest, which has been originated from fresh startups, the majority without a viable product.
According to the report, Telegram is considering raising as much as $500 million in the pre-ICO sale. This would put the potential total token value in the range of $3 billion to $5 billion USD. The pre-sale is a minimum cap on investments, usually at a discount to attract bigger players to the table. A general token sale for retail investors would follow this with no minimum. The public ICO sale usually attracts less as there are a lot of buyers investing smaller amounts; the pre-loading, therefore, is done to generate confidence in the token. The report claims that the pre-sale will require fiat, and a lot of it, and not Bitcoin or Ethereum, as is the case in regular ICOs.
A native altcoin would free the Russian-owned chat system from the government or bank-controlled payment systems and allow users to send remittances overseas while bypassing costly transfer fees. An encrypted transfer system would also allow users to send micro-payments privately without incurring credit card fees.
TechCrunch reports having already viewed parts of the whitepaper that reveal that Telegram’s GRAM coin could be integrated directly into the messaging platform. A decentralized platform would create a new cryptocurrency economy inside the app and insulate it from restrictive governments that frequently block social media and messaging services.
The roadmap has a lot to take in with associated services and developments to the standard blockchain model. Telegram could be the first to bring its own crypto to its already established platform but it certainly will not be the last, more tech and social companies are bound to follow.