Telegram, an encrypted messaging service with more than 170 million monthly users, has plans for a record-breaking initial coin offering (ICO). Between an $850 million private token sale and a $1.15 billion public ICO, it hopes to raise at least $2 billion.
According to Telegram, “bitcoin has established itself as ‘digital gold,’ and Ethereum has become an efficient platform for token crowd sales. However, there is no current standard cryptocurrency used for the regular exchange of value in the daily lives of ordinary people.” Telegram Open Network (TON) hopes to serve that purpose. Based on the proof-of-stake system, TON will be a fast, scalable, multi-blockchain architecture that will facilitate payments and micro transactions, serving as a “third generation” blockchain.
While Telegram’s plans are ambitious, and its team talented, the blockchain community has its doubts about this Kik-like attempt. Charles Noyes, for example, comments that TON’s 132-page white paper is “essentially a wish list of things they want to have”.
Regardless of Telegram’s ultimate success, we are witnessing a new wave of blockchain technology proposals seeking to fill roles that first-movers like Bitcoin and Ethereum have left wanting. The odds seem low, but time will tell if this team will be able to penetrate the crypto space, transitioning the network of users on its centralized messaging app to a network of decentralized apps and services.
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