Plenty of ICOs have and come gone over the past twelve months, with some proving to be much more legitimate than others. For every Inspeer, there have been several lacklustre, high-risk pre-ICOs like Volteum and World Peace Coin. Attempting to steer the ICO marketplace back on course, Telegram – the world-renowned personal messaging app – is launching its own ICO (TON), with the pre-ICO set to be the biggest in history. With the means to fund a new Blockchain platform and cryptocurrency that will follow, reports suggest that Telegram is aiming to generate $500 million in private sales.
An ICO for the Record Books
News of Telegram’s plans has sent rumblings throughout the cryptocurrency world, as no other ICO has promoted such huge aspirations in the pre-ICO stage before. What Telegram represents is one of the largest messaging services in the world, built upon encrypted messaging and allowing for end-to-end encrypted voice calls. Cross-device message synchronisation, covering smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers are also pivotal to Telegram’s appeal. The introduction of the new token is to work in tandem with the Telegram Open Network (TON), as coins would be used to conduct internal user payments.
Looking in from the Outside
According to the initial reports, the actual figure to be raised will be “as much as $500 million”. The distribution phase to follow will value the coin at between $3 billion and $5 billion, which eclipses the previous record value of $700 million, set by Block.One back in December. In the case of Telegram’s pre-ICO the numbers don’t lie, but with increased value comes increasing demand for high-level investors. Those that are situated outside of Telegram CEO Pavel Durov’s supposed “inner circle” are expected to face a $20 million buy-in minimum. Another measure that may be implemented is the restriction of purchases to fiat currencies, rather than through common ICO payment options like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
From Russia with Love
What’s clear is that highly respected institutional investment firms are taking an interest in TON. Mail.Ru Group is already well known to be pushing for a pre-sale allocation. However, due to the fact that Russia continues to deliver uncertain regulatory treatment of public digital token sales, Durov is hesitant to accept any Russian-based proposition. Telegram has also become somewhat of a controversial app in Russia as of late, as during 2017 it denied authorities access to user data, effectively breaking the country’s privacy laws.
Potentially Worth a TON!
TON is earmarked for potential launch during Q4 2018, with a full service to be rolled out during 2019. With mass consumer interest and potential billion-dollar implications as a result, Telegram and TON smashing the pre-ICO valuation record could simply be a sign of things to come.