The privacy-focused messenger, Telegram is allegedly planning to take a huge step into the cryptocurrency world with their own blockchain platform and digital currency. While no one on the Telegram team has officially confirmed or denied it, many details including a short primer and more technical whitepaper detailing the plan have been leaked. The plan includes an initial coin offering this March following a currently ongoing private pre-sale rumored to potentially hit an 850 million dollar target.
The encrypted messenger is already the most popular messenger for those in the cryptocurrency space because of the privacy offered. A digital currency that is easily transferable within the app definitely has huge potential given the 180 million+ users Telegram already has.
The “Telegram Open Network” (TON) will be the blockchain network on which the currency “Grams” will be exchanged. The plan for this network is to create a digital currency more efficient than Bitcoin, with the functionality of Ethereum but built into a thriving messaging app. A “truly mass-market cryptocurrency.”
Telegram wouldn’t be the first messaging service to attempt this. The instant messenger Kik back in September 2017 ran an ICO to raise money to launch their own digital currency called Kin. Kik was able to raise $98 million during their 15-day ICO.
It’s a pretty tall order building a thriving decentralized economy based on a messaging app. While the potential for Telegram’s cryptocurrency is there, it is still a long way from a viable application. The projected time for telegram’s “Grams” to be available on exchanges is sometime in 2019. If this endeavor proves worthwhile, Telegram could very well establish themselves as the go-to gateway to blockchain-based projects to the masses.