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Telegram plans multi-billion dollar ICO

Encrypted messaging startup Telegram plans to launch its own blockchain platform and native cryptocurrency, powering payments on its chat app and beyond. The “Telegram Open Network” (TON) will be a new, ‘third generation’ blockchain with superior capabilities.

The launch will be funded with an enormous Initial Coin Offering. It will have private pre-sales ranging into the hundreds of millions, potentially making it one of the largest ICOs to date. Demand is driven by the fact that rather than the ICO coming from a fresh startup, Telegram is a well-established messaging platform used around the world. Telegram is considering to raise as much as $500 million in the pre-ICO sale at a potential total token value in the range of $3 billion to $5 billion. However, those figures could change before the ICO, which could come as soon as March. Those figures would make it possibly the biggest private crypto raise to date after Tezos, which raised over $230 million in July.

Adopting a homegrown cryptocurrency could give Telegram’s payment system enormous independence from any government or bank. The potential for a cryptocurrency inside a widely adopted messaging app is enormous. The “Telegram Open Network” will use third generation blockchain which will be based on a dynamic ‘proof of stake’ secured by multiple parties with a high degree of fault tolerance. It will also handle storage of ID, payments and smart contracts. The claim is that it will be capable of a vastly superior number of transactions, around 1 million per second.

With cryptocurrency powered payments inside Telegram, users could bypass remittance fees when sending funds across international borders, move sums of money privately thanks to the app’s encryption, deliver micropayments that would incur too high of credit card fees, and more. Telegram is already the de facto communication channel for the global cryptocurrency community, making a natural home to its own coin and Blockchain.

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