Telegram launching ‘Gram’ crypto ahead of Oct. 31 deadline: report

Messaging app Telegram has said it plans to launch its native Gram cryptocurrency token ahead of a looming deadline on October 31, after much speculation about the project, The New York Times reported.

Having previously cancelled their ICO after raising $1.7 billion, the project had been seemingly stalled, with no word on a likely release date for the tokens. However, the firm is reportedly gearing up to push initial batches of its tokens “within the next two months,” and in time for the pending October 31 deadline.

The deadline comes into play if Telegram fails to deliver the tokens on time, which could see the firm forfeiting the $1.7 billion it has raised to date.

As a result, the firm is reported to be working flat out to have the tokens ready for launch ahead of the deadline.

Users will store the coins in a Gram wallet, which the firm intends to make available to its 200 million monthly users worldwide. From there, they will be able to send and receive Gram through the app itself, with transactions written to the blockchain.

On the expectation it would introduce a new global audience to crypto payments for the first time, the ICO was hyped by early investors and became one of the biggest ICOs in history, before being cancelled amid the uncertain regulatory climate.

The latest issue of tokens is likely to draw the attention of regulators once more, though it remains unclear how they might respond to the development.

Likened by some to Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency, the Gram token could cause compliance issues for the firm, which has a reputation for tackling regulators head-on.

Nevertheless, the tokens will operate on a decentralized basis, which means Telegram will have no central control over how and where its Grams shift on the platform.

With the deadline fast approaching, Telegram clearly still has work to do to get its token standing up in time. Even if it does, it will likely to require approval from regulators around the world, similar to the approach adopted with Facebook. Yet with the threat of losing the funds raised to date at the end of October, the global messaging app says it firmly intends to deliver.

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