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$1.6 Billion: Telegram ICO Ups the Ante for Record-Setting Token Presale

Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:05 PM
Josiah Wilmoth
Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:05 PM

The first multibillion-dollar token sale may be just around the corner — if reports about the Telegram ICO are to be believed, that is.

Having just concluded a record-setting $850 million ICO presale, Telegram — the encrypted messaging application created by Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov — has sent prospective investors an email informing them that the firm will hold a second private presale, according to a report in tech outlet The Verge .

Citing anonymous sources, the publication said that the second round of the Telegram ICO presale is expected to raise nearly as much as the first one, netting the firm a total raise of more than $1.6 billion — all before the ICO even opens to the public.

But although Telegram does not appear to have any trouble attracting capital to its token sale, many traditional cryptoasset investors are remaining on the sidelines.

Pantera Capital, which was founded in 2013 and describes itself as the first US Bitcoin investment firm, declined to participate in the Telegram ICO, citing reservations about the project’s lack of transparency.

“It’s very important in blockchain technology and specifically cryptocurrencies that you be very open with what you’re trying to do and have as many people as possible looking at it to see if they can find a flaw,” said Charles Noyes, a quantitative analyst at Pantera. “When you operate the way they do, which is closed, with secrecy, not subjecting yourself to peer review, you basically open yourself up to the possibility that there is a trivial bug in it that destroys the network.”

Other investment firms have expressed concern about vastly different figures that Telegram has given when discussing how much it intends to raise through the ICO, a stark difference from most projects. The second round of the presale, for instance, caught many investors by surprise.

Developers, meanwhile, have conveyed a great deal of skepticism about Telegram’s ability to achieve the goals it has laid out for the Telegram Open Network (TON), including its claim that the network will process 1 million transactions per second.

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