Date
14 October 2019
Telegram is pressing ahead with plans for a new blockchain network and 'Gram' cryptocurrency. Photo: Bloomberg
Telegram is pressing ahead with plans for a new blockchain network and 'Gram' cryptocurrency. Photo: Bloomberg

Telegram to launch TON blockchain late October

Telegram Open Network (TON), the blockchain initiative launched by the encrypted messenger service Telegram, is on track for a planned launch in late October, according to an email sent by the project team to investors.

TON’s project team said in a post on its Telegram channel: “Original investors received emails from the Telegram core team,” and investors will have to provide the “public key to receive their ‘Grams’ (the blockchain network’s native crypto token) by October 16th.”

A “public key” is a cryptographic code that allows a user to receive cryptocurrencies into his or her account.

The TON blockchain project is scheduled to launch no later than October 31, according to the existing agreements with TON investors.

Founded by Pavel Durov, instant messenger service Telegram is famed for enabling users to send encrypted messages between smartphones, helping it amass over 200 million global users.

Telegram, which serves as the de facto chat app for the crypto community, has shared its ambition in developing its own blockchain network, TON, with its in-house cryptocurrency named Gram since early 2018.

Tapping the vast, crypto-friendly Telegram community, TON reportedly aims to facilitate payments, host new kinds of decentralized applications (DApp), as well as provide e-wallet services, among other functions.

Telegram said in its sales pitch that its new cryptocurrency, Gram, will operate with a decentralized structure similar to Bitcoin, governed by a decentralized network of computers, the New York Times reported earlier.

In order to support the development of its new blockchain network, Telegram is said to have raised about US$1.7 billion in total in two private token sale rounds in 2018, from investors that included Benchmark and Sequoia Capital, after scrapping a public initial coin offering (ICO) due to regulatory scrutiny concerns.

As for another social media service entering the blockchain field, Facebook’s development of its Libra cryptocurrency initiative, unveiled this June, appears to be bumpy, amid widespread backlash from lawmakers and regulators.

Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, and other key financial partners, are reportedly reconsidering their involvement in the Facebook Libra project.

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