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As per a FORM D submission with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the hotly anticipated Telegram initial coin offering (ICO) has managed to raise a staggering $850 million, likely to be its pre-sale proceeds.

The filing names Ton Issuer Inc. and Telegram Group Inc. along with the two individuals, Pavel Durov and Nikolai Durov, as related persons.

The type of securities being offered are listed as “Purchase Agreements for Cryptocurrency” and the use of proceeds is described as “unknown at this time”.

“The issuers intend to use the proceeds for the development of the TON Blockchain, the development and maintenance of Telegram Messenger and the other purposes described in the offering materials,” the document adds.

In January, Cryptovest was the first to report on the upcoming Telegram ICO, sharing a leaked roadmap and preliminary video. Further details were also shared from the TON whitepaper, revealing plans for the Telegram Open Network (TON), a blockchain platform that aims to be significantly faster and more scalable than Bitcoin or Ethereum.

Telegram’s decision to conduct its own ICO comes in the wake of a massive spike in the popularity of initial coin offerings; a whopping $5.6 billion was raised via the crowdfunding method in 2017 alone. In addition, Telegram is also the go-to medium for ICOs to create communication channels and keep participants updated.

Apart from building on the extensive userbase Telegram has amassed, and serving as a medium of exchange with a native cryptocurrency called GRAM, the TON platform also aims to include smart contracts and decentralized services such as TON Storage and TON Proxy.

Raising $850 million already makes Telegram the biggest ICO by far, superseding top projects like Filecoin and Tezos, which did not manage to cross into the $300 million range.

However, the Telegram ICO is far from over – a public sale is expected to go live in March this year, with a target of $1.15 billion according to Bloomberg, bringing the purported total up to around $2 billion. So far, Telegram seems to be shaping up to be the ICO to watch in 2018.