Encrypted messenger app Telegram is geared up to launch an initial coin offering this year. According to the leaked whitepaper, the firm will be launching its own blockchain called Telegram Open Network or TON, and it will integrate that with its existing messaging platform.
As it goes with the blockchain services, Telegram will introduce its own token, called the ‘Gram’, to be used on the messaging platform and all offered services.
What is TON?
With its blockchain, Telegram is addressing all the limitations currently faced by the other popular blockchains.
TON is going to be a third-generation blockchain network and the main focus of the team is to make it a scalable network. TON will use proof-of-stake as its consensus mechanism and will also have support for sharding and hypercube routing. This will allow the network to handle millions of transactions per second – Bitcoin’s network can handle only 7.
Telegram is planning a multi-layer approach to avoid any unnecessary forks on the network.
TONs of Services
Telegram will also introduce five new services with the upcoming blockchain network – TON Storage, TON Proxy, TON Services, TON DNS, and TON Payments.
While TON Storage will allow users to store data like the decentralized storage platform Dropbox, along with the introduction of decentralized apps, TON Proxy will make sure that clients remain anonymous.
TON DNS will translate the complex machine language of account names, smart contracts, services, and network nodes to readable format.
The platform will also allow third-party apps and services on top of the TON Services.
With TON Payments, clients will be allowed to make instant payments using the platform’s own token. This service has huge potential, as it could make remittance payments very easy and secure.
Weighing the Gram
According to the whitepaper, Telegram will issue 5 billion Grams. But to prevent speculative trading and maintain flexibility, the firm will retain at least 52 percent of the tokens. It will also reserve 4 percent of the issued token (200 million Grams) for the development team with a vesting period of 4 years.
The firm will sell the remaining 44 percent (2.2 billion Grams) in public and private offerings.
Planning the journey
The firm plans to deploy all services by the first half of 2019. Telegram External Secure ID will be rolled out in the first quarter of this year, followed by an MVT network of TON. As per the plans, the customers will be able to use the Telegram wallet by the end of this year, and the first quarter of next year will witness the creation of a TON-based economy within the platform.
The company also disclosed that it will use 80 percent of the raised funds for the ongoing expenses required to support the growth of the ecosystem, such as equipment, bandwidth, colocation, and user verification costs. The rest will be allocated to wages, offices, and legal and consulting services.
According to the company’s projection’s, the budget will reach $220 million in 2020 as compared to $70 million in 2017. A total of about $620 million will empower the platform to attract a billion users by 2022.
Telegram is looking to raise around $500 million in the pre-ICO sale, double the amount raised by Filecoin. With this much money, Gram could launch with a market cap of between $3 billion to $5 billion.
According to reports, the team is also planning to launch the token sale against fiat currencies instead of Bitcoin or Ethereum.
Telegram already has millions of active users on the platform. To date, no firm as well established as this one has filed for an ICO. The existing user base guarantees a huge potential market, and this will definitely attract a large number of investors.