The favorite encrypted messaging program Telegram will establish its own Blockchain platform and cryptocurrency, according to sources knowledgeable about the issue. The new platform will be dubbed either “The Open Network” or “Telegram Open Network” (TON) and will be based on an improved variant of Blockchain technology.
Initial reports of this new platform surfaced today from Anton Rozenberg, a former worker of Telegram's publishing department Telegraph. Rozenberg posted on Facebook that which he claims is an advertorial to its new platform. He also pointed out that TON would help those below oppressive governments, because they'd be able to transfer cash natively via the messaging app. This could serve to break the nation's control over taxpayers' money, additional Rozenberg.
Cointelegraph learned the currency of TON is going to be known as “Gram” and the platform will be integrated with many of the most popular messaging apps (it's not yet certain which ones). The platform will utilize light wallets, making it unnecessary for users to download a big and unwieldy Blockchain.
The TON platform also will not need to go through a multi-year bootstrap period like new platforms, because the Telegram program already boasts 180 mln users, according to Bloomberg.
Telegram is already hugely popular with all the Blockchain community, as cofounder Pavel Durov proclaimed: “Like right now, the entire Blockchain and cryptocurrency community just switched to Telegram.”
While still not officially confirmed, the creation of TON Works with a previous post from Bloomberg, which said: “[Durov] sees Telegram as a charity that he'll start to recycle early next year, but only enough to finance expansion.”
Founder Pavel Durov
The enigmatic Pavel Durov teamed up with his brother to launch Telegram in 2013. The program boasts end-to-end encryption, which makes it extremely useful for dissidents and ordinary citizens living under oppressive regimes. In reality, according to Bloomberg, Telegram accounts for 40 percent of Iran's internet traffic. The Iranian government is indeed aggrieved by the program's privacy features they've charged Durov, in absentia, of terrorism.
Durov isn't terribly bothered; he is accustomed to standing around national governments. He along with his brother cofounded Russia's largest social network, VK, developing a business worth over $3 bln. VK was actually quite similar to Facebook, but whereas Zuckerberg managed to maintain control (and a huge ownership stake), Durov was not.
After he refused to hand over personal user data to Russian government, he was forced to sell his stake in the business to one of Putin's allies.
After being forced from VK, Durov left Russia for good, carrying with him an estimated $300 mln and 2,000 Bitcoins. He took his considerable wealth with him to St. Kitts and Nevis, investing enough in the Caribbean nation to be a citizen. But he spends most of his time in Dubai.