Telegram Messenger has a challenging and risky task to perform. Creators of this application committed to deliver their coin by 31st October 2019. If they fail to do so, they will have to return all the gathered funds to the investors. This case is serious because it amounts to $1,7 billion.

Telegram is competing not only with time but also with their business rival – Facebook. Zuckerberg announced that his cryptocurrency Libra is going to be issued in 2020. So far Libra has encountered many more, mostly legal, troubles than GRAM. Telegram is a way more cautious with every step and information they spread. We can assume that Durov brothers (its creators) must have learned a lesson from Facebook’s stumbles. The best solution for avoiding such mistakes is to keep this project in secret. Hyped up promotion is never good for creating technology that has never been established before. So far, Telegram does the job immaculately.

The very beginnings of Durovs’ career

Nikolai and Pavel Durov are brothers who cooperated on creating Russian social media and social networking services VKontakte. It was established in 2005, shortly after Nikolai obtained his first Ph.D. degree from Saint-Petersburg State University. Two years later he graduated from the University of Bonn. At first, VKontakte was spread only among university students, just like Facebook. To get access, you needed to receive an invitation from a person who was already registered.

However, the social platform was doing good and getting more and more users, Pavel Durov was dismissed as the CEO in April 2013. According to Pavel, he was forced to resign from his position after refusing to hand over personal details of his users to the Russian Federal Security Service. He was also told to shut down the anti-corruption group created by Alexei Navalny, which was one of VK gatherings that were uncomfortable for the government. 

As a result of events subsequent to the change in the shareholding of VKontakte in April 2013, the freedom of the CEO to manage the company has been significantly reduced. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to defend those principles, which were once laid in the foundation of our social network. Following my brother, who in the middle of last year left the post of technical director, I resign as Acting Director General of VKontakte. Thanks to all the users who have supported and inspired me these seven years. I will continue to participate in VKontakte but formal positions under the new conditions do not interest me.Pavel Durov

After this case, Nikolai and Pavel decided to reject their Russian citizenship and leave their country. They became citizens of Saint Kitts and Nevis, an island country in the Caribbean Sea, located southeast of the Dominican Republic.

Moving out of Russia turned out to be a good step. It wasn’t long until they were sure that the Russian government would do anything to keep their citizens under surveillance. Living outside their home country, allowed them and made it much easier to create an encrypted message platform. Telegram is officially banned in Russia (in Iran, too). Durovs are finally able to speak their mind freely when it comes to Vladimir Putin. Pavel knows how to use that privilege:

Telegram origins

Telegram was created and launched by Durovs in 2013. Nikolai rather stays behind his younger brother Pavel and doesn’t get involved much in public promotion of their services. Pavel is the representative of Telegram, and he takes care of contact with the media.

What’s different about Telegram? In an era when every step we take is observed to lure us into the most personalized advertisement, this platform is a good alternative. People who seek some privacy leave Facebook, which monitors every message sent via Messenger – even these unsent ones.

Telegram uses its encryption technology called MTproto. The source code of this protocol has not been disclosed, so it is not known if the data encrypted with it is really secure. Still, it is made to create more liberty area for users who care about their privacy.

GRAM’s one of a kind ICO

The Open Network, created by Nikolai Durov, is a fast and inherently scalable decentralized multi-blockchain architecture. It is designed as the first cryptocurrency project on the mass market. Telegram, basing on its ten years of experience in creating highly encrypted distributed data storage systems, has high chances to implement a genuinely decentralized digital economy. TON can be a game-changer in the crypto industry. While Facebook promises to create a private, regulatory-compliant blockchain network, Telegram is aiming for a decentralized network which will help users to circumvent the regulations.

The company claims that its cryptocurrency will be:

A whole new economy saturated with goods and services sold for cryptocurrency will be born.

The ICO was conducted in 2018, and it wasn’t opened to the public. Invitations to donate were sent to exclusively selected investors. The sale brought in $1,7 billion, which is the second after the record-breaking 4 billion dollars of ICO EOS. Rumor has it that one of the investors is the owner of Chelsea Football Club Roman Abramovich. So far, only two Russian entrepreneurs have revealed their involvement in GRAM’s sponsorship – Sergei Solonin (co-founder of payment service Qiwi) and David Yakobashvili (co-founder of one of Europe’s largest dairy products companies Wimm-Bill-Dann).

GRAM, cryptocurrency for everyone?

When it comes to legal regulations, Telegram’s decentralized character can be a huge obstacle to overcome. It gives more time for GRAM’s creators to have a plan B if governments started legal actions. Unfortunately, it can be not enough for countries where tokens are still undefined, or their definition isn’t apparent. Adapting crypto in such conditions can be extremely complicated.

TON will be built into Telegram application, which let millions of users to store their crypto funds once the network is up and running. However, its creators are considering the possibility of adding other wallets to their accounts. GRAM is going to be the leading means of transacting, though.

The company wants to create a user-friendly network, which can host new kind of digital applications. Telegram itself might be used in a different way than before – for example, users could tip others for valuable comments or make small bets.

GRAM – yay or nay?

Marketing conducted by Telegram is a role model for other companies for sure. Providing only the crucial information, nevertheless, it doesn’t interfere in project development. The question is: are these proceedings going to be enough to establish a full-functioning blockchain network and cryptocurrency? The company may be able to manage all the difficulties that have already emerged or will come on the way. We can assume that because it is trusted by significant investors who don’t like wasting their money on projects with no opportunities. Of course, they can also be wrong, but I guess that’s an inherent part of starting something that has never occurred before. Well, we shall see what the future holds. Stay tuned!

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