The Telegram TON blockchain project raised $1.7 billion USD from private investors instead of going the initial coin offering route. The launch of the derivatives on the GRAM token means that those who passed up the chance to invest will now be able to jump in and earn on the potential rate hikes. At the same time, current GRAM holders will be able to hedge their investments against possible exchange-rate drops.
Anton Kravchenko, CEO of Xena Exchange said:
“This is an extremely prominent step for the entire crypto market, considering the importance of the GRAM token and its potential value as an asset for derivatives trading. This is the first time on the cryptocurrency market where derivatives have been used not only to speculate on the rates changes but also to hedge the risks.”
Despite the maligned landscape of ICOs, which by some reports has a fraudulence rate close to 80 percent, the Telegram ICO has been hailed as a successful use of the model and one that provides a blueprint for other established companies to explore the space. Telegram, who reports having an active monthly user count of 200+ million, has catapulted to the top ten of app-based messaging platforms, providing an extensive source of exposure for blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Based on cryptographically protected distributed registries, the Telegram Open Network is intended to be a competitor to Ethereum for the launch and execution of smart contracts and decentralized applications. In November 2018, TON platform was reportedly 70% ready. According to those familiar with the matter, the test version of the platform is already available for some investors, and official launch of TON platform is planned for the second half of this year.
As the developers said, Telegram Open Network will be demonstrated to investors in January. The mainnet launch of its digital currency Gram is set to take place as early as March this year. The token may make its debut in Japan.
According to Russian-language media outlet The Bell, the meeting of the project’s major investors will take place within the next four weeks. TON is currently 90% ready. The developers state they are ready for the launch in early 2019, however, they note that a slight delay of two-three months is possible, because of the innovative nature of the project.
Pavel Durov announced the launch of the TON blockchain platform in late 2017. TON is expected to deal with the problem of scalability. According to Durov, transactions on the platform will be handled much faster compared with competitors, Bitcoin and Ethereum.
While the messaging service has been forthright about its plans to establish a blockchain and crypto-based platform, not everyone has been excited for the project. Following news in October last year, that the project was approaching its release, the country of Iran issued a statement against Telegram and companies which would attempt to cooperate with the app. In particular, the Iranian government has claimed that the project undermines national security, and has made an effort to restrict and ban the service dating back to April 2018.
In addition, Russia has also made an effort to ban the messaging service, despite being the birth country of its founder and CEO Durov. In a high-profile invasion of privacy, the Russian government attempted to force Durov into sharing the app’s encryption keys, claiming that it was a requisite under their current telecom laws. Durov’s refusal, while detrimental to growing the service in Russia, has been widely regarded as a positive move towards protecting privacy and free speech.
We, at CoinSpeaker already wrote how in Russia, where some politicians are talking about the cryptocurrencies replacing the US dollar, the TON project may gain high traction, as the authorities have a positive attitude towards digital currencies. The Ministry of Economic Development has stated that it is working on a draft bill that would allow some Russian companies to pilot the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment in inter-business settlements.