Telegram calls off anticipated ICO: report
Less than 200 private companies and/or individuals have reportedly participated in Telegram’s offering.
Instant messaging service startup Telegram has reportedly canceled the intended public sale of its initial coin offering (ICO), after raising approximately $1.7 billion from a relatively small group of private investors.
A person familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal that public investment in its digital payments platform, Telegram Open Network, was no longer necessary given the extraordinary level of private funding.
Less than 200 private companies and/or individuals have participated in Telegram’s offer, according to the WSJ.
However, Telegram’s founders and development team have not yet commented publicly on the ICO’s status.
A separate source told WSJ that the abandonment of the public ICO was a result of increased regulatory pressure around coin offerings and the cryptocurrency industry over the past few months, primarily imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
In February, a US securities notice revealed that the Russian technology company had raised $850 million in purchase agreements for cryptocurrency as part of a pre-sale funding round to develop its blockchain network.
To maximize efficiency, Telegram’s blockchain will allow fault-tolerant “proof of stake” transaction validations, rather than the typical “proof of work” measures. TON will also manage ID, payments and smart contracts.
In late December, a number of YouTube accounts shared a purported TON promotional video, which revealed that all Telegram users would receive a TON wallet in 2018 as part of the service’s new blockchain platform.
The Telegram Wallet is scheduled to be released in the final quarter of this year, while the TON is likely to launch during early 2019. Subsidiary, related third-party services are expected to go live soon after that.
Demand for Telegram’s Gram token has been high, given that the Russian-borne messaging app is frequently used by many ICOs; particularly the group chat feature, which can include “pump and dump” scammers.
Telegram was founded by Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov and hosts 200 million monthly active users.
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