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Telegram to launch Gram tokens by October: Report

Wed, 28 Aug 2019, 10:00 am UTC

Instant messaging app Telegram is planning to launch the first batches of its Gram token within the next two months, the New York Times reported.

Three anonymous investors in Telegram’s private initial coin offering (ICO) told the news outlet that the messaging giant has recently informed them about its token launch plans.

Telegram raised a staggering $1.7 billion in its ICO last year. The proceeds were intended to be utilized for “the development of the TON Blockchain, the development and maintenance of Telegram Messenger and the other purposes.”

In addition to launching the Gram token, Telegram is planning to roll out Gram digital wallets to its 300 million users around the world, the investors added.

Telegram touts Gram as “a new online currency and a way to move money anywhere in the world,” NYT noted. This description has a stark resemblance to Facebook’s Libra, which the Mark Zuckerberg-led company describes as “a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people.”

While Facebook has been facing a lot of regulatory pushback ever since it made the project announcement in June, Telegram has not drawn much attention from the authorities. This could be due to the secrecy maintained by Telegram on its project.

It remains to be seen if regulators turn their attention to Telegram when it tries to publicly launch its Gram tokens.

Meanwhile, various entities have been making efforts to unofficially sell Gram tokens. This includes Gram Asia that was reportedly seeking to sell its rights to Gram holdings last month at $4 per token, up three times from its original price.

Telegram has reportedly been developing TON Blockchain, a decentralized network, since last year and plans to deploy it by the end of 2019. A private beta testing of the TON testnet was released earlier this year and the public mainnet launch is expected to take place by October 31st, 2019.

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