Long before Facebook revealed its vision for a global digital currency, there was the “Gram.” The currency, which is being developed by Telegram, the popular messaging service, is now apparently on track to launch before the end of October.
The news: Three unnamed investors who have recently spoken with Telegram told the New York Times that the company plans to send out “the first batches” of Gram coins sometime within the next two months. According to the report, the company agreed in legal documents to deliver Grams to investors by October 31, or else return the money.
Massive ambitions: The investors also told the Times that Telegram will make digital software wallets available to the 200 to 300 million people globally who use its messaging application. Around the time of its $1.7 billion ICO in early 2018, the company made big claims about the so-called Telegram Open Network (TON), the blockchain system that would run the currency. It suggested that TON’s developers would be able to overcome some of the biggest technical roadblocks facing other blockchain networks that aim to serve hundreds of millions or billions of people.
Gram versus Libra: Since then, the development of TON has mostly proceeded behind closed doors. That’s in contrast to the approach taken by Facebook, which preemptively revealed its plans to regulators and has promised not to launch without their approval. And whereas Facebook envisions a private, regulatory-compliant blockchain network, Telegram is apparently aiming for a more decentralized network that will help users get around those regulations.
Why Ethereum is switching to proof of stake and how it will work
One of the world’s biggest blockchains is testing a new way to approve transactions. The move has been many years in the making but doesn’t come without risks.
Crypto millionaires are pouring money into Central America to build their own cities
A new class of crypto investors have bold plans to rebuild society from scratch. But their pet projects risk repeating the region’s long history of corporate colonialism.
It’s okay to opt out of the crypto revolution
The crypto industry is investing heavily in getting more people to buy in. That doesn't mean you have to.
Crypto is weathering a bitter storm. Some still hold on for dear life.
When a cryptocurrency’s value is theoretical, what happens if people quit believing?
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.