The9, A Chinese Company, Is The First Foreign Firm To Invest In Telegram’s ICO Process For GRAM Tokens


A Chinese Company, The9 becomes the first foreign company to invest in Telegram’s initial coin offering purchasing a total of $2 million USD in tokens. The Shanghai-based company listed its filings with U.S chief securities regulator, the SEC, citing the purchase of 5,297,257 tokens in January 2018 and has since gone on to invest in a number of blockchain projects across the country.

Despite the worldwide coverage of the Telegram messaging service, the investors who took part in the funding rounds were not disclosed. The report on the ICO details reveals only three of the 81 investors – and recently The9 – who took part in the first round of fundraising. The founder of Qiwi, Sergey Solonin, reported that he had invested $ 17 million USD in the company, the founder of Wimm-Bill-Dann, David Yakobashvili, $ 10 million USD, and the TMT Investments venture fund created by German Kaplun and Alexander Morgulchik, $ 300,000 USD.

The first round of funding disbursed over 2.263 billion GRAM tokens to investors raising a total of $850 million USD. The price of one GRAM token was about $0.38 USD. Despite the huge amount of funds raised in Telegram’s ICO, the decision to keep the ICO process privatized has raised doubts of investors whether the token will actually be decentralized once released later this year.

The second round of funding also raised a total of $850 million USD with each GRAM token offered at $1.45 USD, up from trading value of $1.10 USD.

The Telegram Open Network

During the Bull Run in 2017 Telegram decided to launch its own blockchain project – the Telegram Open Network – that provides an encrypted messaging service registered on the blockchain. The blockchain is set to solve the scalability issues in legacy blockchains providing up to 1 million transactions per second.

The TON network will also improvise sharding to ensure the network is highly secure and improve the scalability on the platform.

GRAM Asia offering GRAM tokens for $4 USD

As reported by Bitcoin Exchange Guide earlier in the month, South Korea’s Gram Asia offered its share of GRAM tokens on Liquid exchange for almost three times the initial coin offering price. The exchange offered a discounted price of $3.5 USD per GRAM token if the user purchases the digital asset using the QASH token. However, reports from several sources claim that the move to sell by Gram Asia is against the terms of the contract. One Telegram investor quotes the contract writing,

“ENTER INTO ANY swap or other AGREEMENT THAT TRANSFERS, in whole or in part, ANY OF THE ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES OF OWNERSHIP OF THE INVESTMENT CONTRACT represented by this Purchase Agreement or any Tokens.”

The Telegram tokens have been subject to a name change following the dispute between Telegram and Lantah over the GRAM trademark crypto ticker. The issue was however resolved earlier in the week as Telegram won the induction rights over Lantah to use the ticker symbol.

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