If we look at the most popular ICOs in the terms of funds raised, Filecoin, Tezos, EOS, Sirin Labs, Bancor, and Qash come to mind. These companies raised between $108 and $257 million at the time of their token sales. However, Telegram’s founders, Pavel and Nikolai Durov, are aiming at something much bigger – a massive and record-breaking ICO for their proposed Telegram Open Network (TON) project.
If all goes according to the plan, Telegram’s ICO will be a record as the company intends to raise a staggering $1.2 billion from the token sale. This includes a $600 million presale for venture capital funds and will be followed by the public sale in March. The company is using SAFT (Simple Agreement for Futures Tokens) structure, which allows raising money from investors before building a functional network.
What is the Vision?
Millions of people who are using the messaging application for chatting will have the ability to send or receive instant payments across the globe. However, instead of using the FIAT, they will rely on “Gram”, a cryptocurrency. And this entire exercise will be done on a single platform “Telegram Open Network” (TON).
Telegram is not relying on other platforms like Ethereum for its ICO and service, instead, it plans to build a platform of their own. This will be a rival to Ethereum and host a new wave of dispersed services and blockchain experiences.
What Makes Telegram ICO so Special?
There are three things that make this Telegram ICO quite special and unique.
First of all, the token sale will be notable for the product, which already enjoys a far greater user base than any other token sale project to date. Telegram had 170 million monthly active users (MAUs) in October 2017, and the number is expected to pass 200 million this year.
Roughly 500,000 new users join the service on a daily basis, which means, the app will have over 200 million active users by the end of Q1, 2018. You can checkout Telegram’s 132-page whitepaper for more details on subscriptions, user-base, goals and future prospects.
The second distinction is their technology. Typical projects funded via ICOs rely on existing technologies or frameworks – like Ethereum. However, Telegram aims to build its own decentralized ledger with new and fresh architecture, which has the ability to process millions of transactions per second. This is truly disruptive and far faster process (if materialized) than what usually happens in cryptocurrencies.
Tertiary, the app is focused on big numbers and big ambitions. It’s not just the amount of money they aim to raise, everything else is equally mind-blowing.
Have a look at the following:
- Telegram has proposed creating 5 billion tokens (Gram) for the sale.
- 10% of the tokens will be held as incentives to develop the platform
- 4% of the tokens will be used for remunerating the engineers
- 42% of the tokens will be retained by the TON Reserve in order to protect investors from speculative trading.
- The remaining 44 of the tokens will be tradable.
- The company estimates that presale discount could exceed 70% of the token price.
While the ICO offers a very bright opportunity to monetize Telegram, there are a number of challenges ahead as well. Various political and industry leaders have accused Telegram of being a handy tool for extremists and criminals. It’ll be interesting to see how the company wins investors’ trust and responds to growing political criticism of its platform.
If you’re not sure about how an ICO is done, we recommend you to read this comprehensive ICO guide written by our founder. You can read it here!