by Nuno Menezes
Telegram, an encrypted messaging app is launching an ICO that is expected to be one of the biggest ever. The company’s founder Pavel Durov wants to develop a payment platform using a multi-blockchain architecture that aims to compete with Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc.
Features, Proposals, and a Massive ICO
With this, Telegram expects to bring digital assets to the mainstream, according to the offering proposals. The Russian Entrepreneur has distanced himself from Russia after resisting demands from the security services to decrypt users’ communications and ceding his VK.com social network to billionaire Alisher Usmanov.
The company is seeking $850 million in a private sale of tokens to large investors this month and $1.15 billion in a subsequent public ICO in March. The information was disclosed by people who held negotiations with the company and asked not to be identified. The messaging service, used as a hub by the cryptocurrency market, previously sought to raise a total $1.2 billion, but now the company is aiming to go for a bigger score.
According to Gregory Klumov, a managing partner of Exante which trades cryptocurrencies, the demand has been so high that a secondary market has already been formed to cope:
“Some western funds that received a pre-ICO allocation are already offering to resell since the price of the public ICO in March will be twice as high.”
According to investors, Telegram may raise $850 million in private sale. Now, a new report released by investors says the encrypted messaging service Telegram, increased the target for the largest initial coin offering ever to $2 billion.
Bigger than Filecoin?
The ICO started in January and will have a second phase in March. Participants in the offering will be investing in what’s known as a Simple Agreement for Future Tokens, or a contract that secures the right to receive tokens once they’re listed in cryptocurrency exchanges.
Managing Russian investors have come forth and reported they either failed to get an allocation in Telegram’s pre-ICO or received much less than they’d sought.
Investors in the private sale will receive tokens at a discount of more than 50 percent of the initial public sale price and, after the tokens are listed, should hold on to their coins for a lock-up period of as long as 18 months.
The ICO may still face challenges, however. Prices of digital tokens have tumbled this year amid rising concern of increased government regulation and even outright bans. The jitters have wiped more than $400 billion off the global market value of digital assets since a high on January 8, 2018. Startups raised more than $4 billion through ICOs last year, led by Filecoin’s $257 million sale.
The tokens sold by the company will be called “Grams.” Telegram expects its tokens to be listed in January 2019, or end of 2019 at the latest. If it doesn’t happen, the company has assured participants in at least the private sale that they will get a refund.