Popular messaging app Telegram is now seriously eyeing on the blockchain space. Earlier this year in the first week of Jan. 2018, reports of Telegram planning to launch a third-generation blockchain called the “Telegram Open Network“, emerged. Telegram’s blockchain network is expected to host a ton of features much more than what the Ethereum blockchain can currently offer and is expected to be much bigger in terms of network operations and scalability.
It seems that the messaging app has successfully managed to clinch the first milestone thereby raising $850 million out of its proposed plans of raising $3-$5 billion, in total. According to the official document submitted to the SEC last week, Telegram raised the money “for the development of the TON Blockchain, the development and maintenance of Telegram Messenger and the other purposes.” The filing shows the sign of Telegram CEO Pavel Durov and the security is described as “Purchase Agreements for Cryptocurrency.”
The document further adds that “The issuers intend to use the proceeds for the development of the TON Blockchain, the development and maintenance of Telegram Messenger and the other purposes described in the offering materials.”
This initial stage was just the pre-sale stage of the ICO which was mainly targeted at the prominent figures of the investment community as well as venture capital firms who were given steep discounts for buying Telegram’s own native cryptocurrency tokens. According to the report from Bloomberg, the pre-sale was initially targeted at $600 million but higher investors interest and demand caused it to push the amount to $850 million.
Telegram is currently being used extensively in the cryptocurrency community and acts as a go-to platform for different ICOs to create the required communications channel as well as to keep all the participants updated about the ICO proceedings. Telegram’s huge user base is one of the key advantages to the platform as it serves a total of 180 million active users, with 500,000 new sign-ups over 70 billion messages exchanged daily.
In addition to transporting its messaging platform to its decentralized TON network, Telegram aims to bring a ton of features like:
- Services for decentralized apps, smart contracts, and decentralized web browsing experiences
- Distributed file storage akin to services like Dropcoin and ICO company Filecoin
- A proxy service for creating decentralized VPN services and TOR-like secure browsing environments based on the blockchain
- Payments for micropayments and peer-to-peer transactions
There are also reports that going further, Telegram will also integrate a feature of a cryptocurrency powered payment system. This system will allow transferring funds quite securely due to the app encryption provided by blockchain technology. Moreover, users will also be able to bypass the remittance fees for transferring of funds across global borders and make micropayments, which otherwise would incur a huge credit card fees.
The early ‘MVP’ version of TON is scheduled to be released in Q2 of 2018 while the Telegram’s wallet service is expected to go live by the final quarter of this year. Other services in the TON network will be launched in 2019 as the company is still working on its underlying blockchain technology.