Telegram has managed to raise a stunning $1.7 billion in what is currently the world’s largest and most successful initial coin offering (ICO).
The latest round closed in March and generated $850 million from 94 investors. The company raised the same amount in February. The total proceeds could go even higher since the regulatory filing says Telegram “may pursue one or more subsequent offerings.”
“Raising the planned amount is a success for Telegram, given that the Bitcoin decline in recent weeks made investors more cautious toward crypto-assets,” former TEMG executive Gennady Zhilyaev was cited as saying by Bloomberg.
At this point, the company has over 200 million active users, roughly a tenth of what Facebook boasted for the last quarter of 2017.
Telegram intends to finance the creation of a distributed encrypted messaging network that would sustain itself through a cryptocurrency known as GRAM.
Although it has not sold any tokens yet, one GRAM would reportedly be worth $0.10. The entire ecosystem would be capped at 5 billion GRAM.
Telegram announced the second ICO presale to investors in the latter half of February, with insiders reportedly saying it intended to double its gains.
At the moment, the company is caught in an altercation with the Russian government after it refused to hand its encryption keys over to the Federal Security Service.
This might put pressure on Telegram to finish its blockchain-based service, which might make it more cumbersome for Russia to block its services in the country.
With a blockchain running the chat network, users would be able to relay their messages without having to depend on one particular data center from Telegram, making it among the first widespread decentralized messaging services.
This also would be the bane of governments that attempt to pry into what their citizens are saying on the internet although there’s no guarantee that this situation would last forever.