The race to launch the next big thing in crypto is heating up. Facebook appears to have kicked the digital hornets next and now Telegram are upping the ante with a planned launch of its own crypto coin as early as October.
Over 300 Million New Users Could be Trading Crypto
According to reports in mainstream media, messaging service Telegram will launch its own digital coin, Gram, as early as October. According to the New York Times, three anonymous investors in the $1.7 billion private ICO said the company had confirmed it would issue the first tokens in two months. They added that the ultimate aim is to make the tokens available for the firm’s 300 million users.
A Forbes report, which blames Bitcoin’s recent sideways performance on regulatory pressure on Facebook, added that Gram would be available via crypto wallet provider, Button Wallet. It claims to be the first free cryptocurrency testing playground on the Telegram Open Network. Alex Safonov, co-founder and chief executive of Button Wallet, told the outlet;
“Cryptos’ biggest obstacle is mass adoption and what we’ve created will help people comfortable with trading cryptocurrency without using real money. With all the fanfare surrounding Facebook’s libra digital currency, there hasn’t been a way to explore digital assets without risk, until now with Button Wallet and the Telegram Open Network,”
While these points may hold some weight, they do not address problems that Libra faced, which was centralization and control of a global currency. Facebook’s
plans appear to be hitting the wall as governments across the planet unite in their concern over the dominance the social media giant could have over finances if it proceeds with the project.
Unlike Facebook, which has made its plans very public, little is known about Gram and the technology behind it, adding to those centralization concerns. US regulators are likely to exercise the same level of scrutiny towards Telegram as they did for Facebook.
The primary difference here is global reach and past history. Telegram has only ten percent of the 2 billion plus users that Facebook boasts, and it is primarily a messaging service rather than a social media platform. Facebook’s woes have stemmed from poor security practices, data manipulation, fake news dissemination, election meddling, and profiteering from personal information.
Regulatory eyes will be cast towards Telegram leading up to the launch, but it is unlikely to garner the same level of backlash fired at Facebook.