Telegram ICO hits $1 billion
Telegram, a messaging company, has raised $1 billion in four months in its initial coin offering for Gram virtual currency. The company plans to use the funds to craft a virtual currency that combines the attributes of other currencies such as bitcoin and Ethereum, according to a report by The New York Times.
Pavel Durov, founder of the Russian social network VKontakte, is behind the project. Durov fled Russia after allies of Vladimir Putin took over VKontakte. His new project has gained considerable support, but some question the potential of Telegram, which has neither a prototype, nor a proposal for dealing with central issues around bitcoin, such as issues handling high transaction volumes, the Times reported.
"It's a pitch that sounds good to VCs that haven't participated but makes no sense to people that have been in the space," Nick Tomanio, founder of 1confirmation, told the Times.
Supporters of the project believe that encrypted Gram transactions will serve as an alternative to traditional local and cross-border transactions — a prospect with special appeal to users in authoritarian countries, according to the report.