Telegram, the messaging app who had multiple run-ins with the Russian government, is now reportedly under pressure to launch its own cryptocurrency.
Telegram announced a while back plans to issue their own coin, the Gram, but eventually cancelled its ICO (initial coin offering) due to the new and much tighter regulations set by the Securities and Exchange Commission for digital currencies.
However, Telegram didn’t abandon the Gram, having raised a whopping $1.7 billion in two pre-ICO.
Now, a New York Times report reveals that Telegram is forced to move forward and start issuing Gram coins in the next two months.
After reviewing legal documents, New York Times confirmed that Telegram has to start issuing coins by October 31, otherwise they will be forced to surrender the $1.7 billion they raised.
Just like with Facebook’s planned Libra digital currency, Telegram users will have virtual wallets to store and spend their Grams. And just like with Libra, it’s unclear if the Gram stand a chance, as regulators have spent the two years since Bitcoin’s peak value to crack down on currencies.
Even more, various officials have come out against using digital coins and Telegram themselves don’t have a good record when it comes to state pressure.
With that in mind, it will be quite the challenge to convince people to add their hard-earned cash to a Telegram wallet.