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Founder and CEO of Telegram Pavel Durov delivers a keynote speech during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona
Image: Founder and CEO of Telegram Pavel Durov delivers a keynote speech during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain February 23, 2016. REUTERS/Albert Gea

Telegram’s $1.2 Billion ICO Represents Unforeseen Cryptocurrency Ambition

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Image: Founder and CEO of Telegram Pavel Durov delivers a keynote speech during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain February 23, 2016. REUTERS/Albert Gea

Telegram’s intentions for an initial coin offering (ICO) is about to break records when it comes to ambition. The messaging app provider’s goal is to raise $1.2 billion for the occasion, said three sources quoted anonymously by media.

Biggest Ever Crytpo Token Sale

Should Telegram manage to meet its goals, it will achieve the largest ever cryptocurrency sale in history. There are several reasons this has the potential to play strongly in the popular messaging app company’s favor. Though it would seem natural to want to make this service available to its 200 million users, the company has grander ambitions, seeking to bring its crypto to the public in general.

Along with the proposed ICO, the company is also proposing a Telegram Open Network (TON), which aims for online communication decentralization with a spectrum of series from anonymous browsing to file sharing; all to be purchased using the company’s upcoming cryptocurrency tokens, called grams.

“Elon Musk-Level Ambition”

Though many have yet to decide what they think about the ICO, the consensus is that it’s certainly exciting.

“This is like Elon Musk-level ambition,” said Multicoin Capital’s Kyle Samani. That said, Samani chose not to be one of the ICO’s investors for the exact reason that he finds it impressive: its tremendous scope. “My concern as an investor is focus and diluted effort.”

After all, the precise purpose of TON can be seen as disruptive to the core of other blockchain start-ups which have also managed to use token sales to raise the funds they needed.

The cryptocurrency has been designed to function seamlessly for peer-to-peer funds movement within the company’s messenger app. The application is highly popular and has seen steady user growth since it was first launched in 2013 through Russia’s equivalent to Facebook, called VK.

The Plan

Telegram’s presale goal had been between $500 million and $600 million. The additional $600 million to $700 million is for public offering.

The crypto’s structure will utilize the Simple Agreement for Futures Tokens (SAFT). It uses accredited investor funds ahead of the construction of functioning network construction. This allows Telegram to ensure it continually complies with securities laws. Eventually, the grams will be delivered to the accredited SAFT investors after which point they can be resold to the public.

Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Alvexo on the matter.