Telegram follows Facebook in starting its own cryptocurrency
The makers of the messaging app, Telegram, want to launch their own digital currency. It’s called Gram. It should launch soon, too. However, Gram will also likely be met with resistance.
Telegram is working on its own digital currency, as the New York Times reports, with its investors in mind. The appropriate wallet is to be integrated directly into the messaging app, making it available to an estimated 200 to 300 million global users. There were indications of Telegram’s plans as early as 2018, when Telegram collected $1.7 billion for such an undertaking.
Similar to Bitcoin, probably the best-known digital currency, Gram is to be backed by a decentralized structure. This should also prevent Telegram from exercising control over the Grams. In a document presented to investors as early as 2017, Telegram announced that it would create a completely new marketplace within the app – where it would be possible to pay with digital currency.
Most recently, Facebook had announced its own cryptocurrency called Libra. It is not due to start until 2020 and is tied to traditional currencies in order to create stability. Gram, on the other hand, should be available by October 31 this year and is independent of other currencies. So the value varies depending on what users are willing to pay for it. While some will be able to sell their Grams directly, the original investors have undertaken to retain their shares for the time being.
Difficulties for Gram are foreseeable
It is foreseeable that Telegram’s digital currency will also be met with resistance. There are increasing attempts to regulate cryptocurrencies. In the case of Facebook’s Libra, the first demands arose shortly after the announcement. Libra is now on the verge of an EU antitrust investigation. There is a general concern that cryptocurrencies can be used for money laundering or illegal transactions.
Telegram allows you to send encrypted messages and has always been working in secret. For example, server locations are also changing with the aim of not having to work with government authorities. This contributes to the popularity of the app, but also makes it extremely unpopular with some governments. For example, there was recently an attack on the network of the messenger app behind which the Telegram operators suspected the Chinese government because the app is popular with the demonstrators in Hong Kong. According to the New York Times, security researchers are also skeptical about the plan. Telegram has already had security problems in the past – its impact could be even greater when it comes to money. If Gram launches on October 31, it should not take long before the first investigations are announced.