Telegram Plans to Launch its Blockchain Platform in March
Global messaging app Telegram is planning to release the token and mainnet for its blockchain-based Telegram Open Network (TON) platform in March 2019. The news was revealed by sources close to Pavel Durov the CEO of Telegram.
The social network which boast of 200+ million active monthly users, placing it among the top ten most popular messaging apps worldwide was able to raise almost $1.7 billion in two private initial coin offering (ICO) rounds last year for both Telegram and its forthcoming platform TON.
According to reports, the TON platform will aim to function as a “new way of exchanging data,” and will be powered by the platform’s native cryptocurrency, “Gram”.
Despite rumors that the Russian Oligarch and owner Chelsea F.C. Roman Abramovich backed the project, only two entrepreneurs; Sergei Solonin co-founder of payment service Qiwi, and co-founder of dairy giant Wimm-Bill-Dann, David Yakobashvili have publicly confirmed their investments in the project.
After the news that TON was “70 percent ready” last October, the government of Iran stepped up its restrictions on the messaging app, declaring that any cooperation with the app to launch its Gram token would be considered an act against national security and a disruption to the national economy. Iran has enforced a spate of bans against Telegram since April 2018.
The app has also notably been blocked officially in Russia since April 2018, due to Durov’s refusal to submit the app’s encryption keys to the authorities in compliance with a local telecoms law. According to data at the time of the block, up to 10 million of Telegram’s users are based in Russia.