So far, 2019 has been jam-packed with companies all over the globe looking to revolutionise the world’s current financial system – with the most notable contribution coming from social networking giant, Facebook. (ICYMI – in June, Facebook published a detailed whitepaper outlining its plan to release the highly anticipated Libra crypto coin in 2020.)
Facebook has since been met with widespread public criticism causing the company’s grand cryptocurrency plans to be put on hold by regulators – and in the meanwhile, it looks like another social network’s plans are running full steam ahead.
In early 2018, Telegram told potential investors that “a whole new economy saturated with goods and services sold for cryptocurrency will be born”. And even though the company had to deal scepticism surrounding security concerns, it managed to secure $1.7 billion in funding.
According to a report published by The New York Times, Telegram is hoping to release its first batch of ‘Gram’ coins within the next two months or else risk having to forfeit all the money – this is because the company promised investors the coin would be available by 31 October 2019.
Telegram has mostly operated in secrecy in comparison to counterpart Facebook, however, Gram investors have said that the company is also planning to make Gram digital wallets. These wallets will be available to all of the almost 300 million people who use the Telegram messaging platform.
The report suggests that Telegram is largely unfazed by regulations and ‘has always operated with a degree of disregard for the opinions of government authorities’. The company says that their coin will make use of a decentralised network, similar to Bitcoin – making it easier for users to bypass government regulations.
“I don’t see how on earth Telegram can possibly get something compliant with regulators in place by the end of October,” says David Gerard, cryptocurrency analyst and critic. He suggests that governments are going to be closely watching the crypto unfold but there has been no word on how they plan to deal with it just yet.
By Jenna Cook
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