Telegram ICO pre-sale raises $850 million
The purported pre-sale of Telegram’s Gram token already surpasses that of any other previous ICOs.
Instant messaging service Telegram has raised $850 million in “purchase agreements for cryptocurrency” as part of a pre-sale funding round to develop its TON blockchain network, according to a U.S. securities notice.
A document posted on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) website, signed by Telegram chief executive Pavel Durov, indicates that the company’s initial coin offering (ICO) is likely to be the largest to date. The $850 million figure, assumed to be a pre-sale, already surpasses that of any other ICOs held in the past.
The notice reveals that proceeds of the offering are intended “for the development of the TON Blockchain, the development and maintenance of Telegram Messenger and the other purposes described in the offering materials”.
The SEC document also states that the issuers may pursue one or more subsequent offerings, in which case a new or amended form will be filed. This will likely occur during the public sale, which is slated to begin in March, according to documents seen by TechCrunch.
It’s important to note that the SEC has not necessarily reviewed the information in the filing to determine whether or not it is accurate and complete.
Telegram aims to raise an additional $1.15 billion as part of its public ICO, according to Bloomberg sources.
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.
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued a consumer advisory update, warning against “pump-and-dump” schemes that are becoming more prevalent among virtual currencies and digital tokens.
To maximize efficiency, TON’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.
Telegram was founded by Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov and hosts 180 million monthly active users.
Last week, Russian cybersecurity provider Kaspersky Lab reported that it had uncovered malware attacks being executed on Telegram’s cloud-based messaging service, for the purpose of illicit cryptocurrency mining. However, despite the claims, Telegram founder Pavel Durov scoffed at Kaspersky’s assertions and reassured users that “this is not a real vulnerability” and that “this kind of vulnerability is based on social engineering”.
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