A source in the New York Times said that Telegram promised to introduce its cryptocurrency gram in the next two months. Its potential reach is amazing – from 200 million to 300 million people. But gram has enough problems. In particular with safety and regulation.
When will the gram appear
Three gram cryptocurrency investors told the New York Times that the messenger should issue the first coins by the end of October this year. Up to 300 million people around the world will be able to take advantage of it. And this is quite comparable with the US population (320 million for 2019).
Following this, the CoinDesk source reported that the cryptocurrency blockchain will appear on September 1. He also said that the system will be fully compatible with the Ethereum blockchain, and therefore developers will be able to seamlessly migrate to the "brainchild" of Telegram.
After 3 days of September, the blockchain gram never appeared in the public domain. And this is alarming, because Telegram has very tight deadlines.
During the sale of a stake in the project, Telegram promised investors that it would release a gram before the end of Q3 2019. And if the messenger does not do this, it will have to return to investors billions of dollars.
Telegram gram: what is it
Gram is only part of the ecosystem that Telegram wants to build. In essence, it will be a cryptocurrency for payments within the Telegram Open Network (TON) ecosystem. The Durov brothers began to work on its concept back in 2017.
Moreover, the scope of the brothers is wide. TON includes almost all modern Internet services. Payments and the operation of wallets in the system will be provided by TON blockchain technology.
Together, the messenger plans to release an analogue of darknet, only with a "human face". In it, users will be able to communicate, share content and even sell or buy goods and services. The system itself will run on P2P technology, and TON Proxy, an anonymizer built on I2P, will preserve user anonymity.
More Durov want to create a decentralized file storage and a platform for developers on which they can create applications. And yes, the Telegram messenger itself must also "move" to the blockchain.
One of the main components of the ecosystem is Telegram Passport. This is a user verification system that will allow TON to work in accordance with the rules of regulators. To pass verification, users will be asked to take a picture, as well as to transmit copies of identity documents.
According to Telegram, not everyone needs a "passport". Therefore, if someone wants to remain completely anonymous, the company will not forcibly verify them.
But, for example, for money transfers via gram, investors definitely need Telegram Passport.
Such a system is quite controversial, especially given the love of crypto enthusiasts for anonymity. Not to mention the security problems of the passport system.
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Is it possible to hack Telegram Passpor
Telegram posted the Passport code last summer. And almost immediately, "white" hackers found vulnerabilities in the system.
For example, Virgin Security, a North American company, claims to use the SHA-512 encryption method to protect passwords for a Telegram account. According to experts, this algorithm is incredibly easy to crack, and an attack on one profile will cost attackers $5-$135.
True, before these hackers will have to crack the Telegram protection itself. But there are many ways to do this: hacking with an insider, phishing, etc. Because Virgin Security is confident that this is a serious security risk.
TON did not respond to expert research. On the other hand, companies are posting their product code publicly available so that experts from around the world can help find a gap. Therefore, it is quite possible that in the final release Telegram will fix a similar defect.
How much can you earn with gram
Telegram held two closed rounds to collect investment under TON in 2018. The project managed to raise $1.7 billion for them. Moreover, such giants as Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Ventures participated in the placement.
The exact price of the token during the placement is unknown. But one of the OTC dealers told CoinDesk that in the first round, investors bought gram for $0.37, and in the second – for $1.33.
Now they are selling them for $1.6-$2 for one gram token. And this means that the yield of the coin ranges from 20% to 440%.
And this is not the limit. In June of this year, the Japanese Liquid crypto exchange sold gram tokens, which supposedly belonged to one of the original TON investors. The token price was $4. That is, if these were investor tokens from the first round, then he received 981% of the return.
With a successful launch of TON, the price of gram may well rise and even more. So it is quite possible that the initial investors did not fail.
As for retail investors, they seem to have to wait until TON adds cryptocurrency to the list of crypto exchanges in order to make a purchase. In this direction, the plans of the project are still unknown.
$1.7 billion is at stake
Despite the high profitability and commitment of the TON team, the project faced a threat that could destroy everything to the ground.
During the placement of gram tokens, TON pledged to introduce a fully operational system by the end of Q3 2019. If the project does not have time, it will have to return the money to investors.
Security concerns are only half the trouble. Moreover, TON learned about them back in the summer of last year. So there was even more time than needed to rectify the situation.
But with regulators, things are different. Durov announced his plans back in 2017. And then the authorities, in general, did not react to them at all. But this summer, the Facebook social network announced the release of its own Libra cryptocurrency. And from China to the United States, regulators have taken up arms against the "social coin".
On September 2, the ECB board member said Libra undermines the monetary policy framework of the regulator and threatens the euro. Prior to this, the European Commission opened an antitrust case against Libra, and in the United States senators repeatedly interrogated representatives of the project.
It is possible that after this the authorities will pay attention to Telegram, breaking the project deadline. But while regulators are silent, TON is working on its ecosystem.
Editor: Alex Riabukha