Telegram secretly planning ‘Gram’ cryptocurrency
MOSCOW: Working in secrecy for a year, the Telegram messaging service plans to beat Facebook in the race to launch a cryptocurrency with its new project Gram.
Little is known about Gram, but media reports say Russian-founded Telegram aims to create an accessible service that is easier to use than cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
In a document leaked online, Telegram said it wants to create a "standard cryptocurrency used for the regular exchange of value in the daily lives of ordinary people".
According to the document, the encrypted messenger envisages a system of secure and fast payment with the aim of becoming an "alternative to Visa and Mastercard for a new decentralised economy".
Facebook has announced its own plans to launch a global currency, Libra, in 2020.
Telegram is rushing to beat the social media giant, with the New York Times reporting the first Gram units could be put in circulation within two months, citing anonymous investors.
Telegram has raised a record US$1.7 billion (S$2.6 billion) from 200 private investors via an Initial Coin Offering executed in two stages, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
Such was its success that media reports said the messenger cancelled a public fund-raiser, making interested parties wait for the official launch of Gram to be able to buy the new currency. - AFP