As The New York Times reported on Aug. 27, three anonymous investors in Telegram’s $1.7 billion private initial coin offering (ICO) said the company had confirmed it would issue the first tokens in two months’ time.
Additionally, one Telegram Open Network (TON) investor in contact with Telegram’s team revealed that the company plans to begin publicly testing the platform starting Sept. 1.
The long-term goal for executives is to make Gram available to all of Telegram’s roughly 300 million users, the investors added.
If true, Telegram would beat Facebook’s Libra in launching a public global digital currency. As The New York Times notes, little is known about Gram on a technical level, and little attention has come from regulators compared with the giant reaction to Libra.
It remains unknown how Telegram plans to appease authorities concerned about a free-ranging alternative to fiat currency, but Telegram has faced problems over Gram before.
Telegram would also beat another entity keen on issuing a Libra competitor, the People’s Bank of China, which this week announced a rollout for its digital currency would begin on Nov. 11 this year.
Update: The original article was updated to include the reported date of TON public testing.
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