Pavel Durov Telegram cryptocurrency
Telegram's secretive crypto project may soon make its way into the wild. | Source: TechCrunch/Flickr

Telegram’s Secretive Crypto Project is Now Just a Few ‘Minor Changes’ from Launch

Telegram’s crypto platform is now 20% further along than it was at the end of last year. According to an investor update cited in The Block, it is about 90% completed. The most important part, the Telegram Virtual Machine, is reportedly complete. “Only minor changes will be necessary,” the investor update reads. It’ll process computations in the same way the Ethereum Virtual Machine does.

Telegram completed its first pre-sale round about a year ago, followed by a second round in March. Between the two rounds, $1.7 billion was raised. This places high expectations on the platform that is intended to compete with Ethereum, EOS, Tron, and the myriad of other smart contract platforms.

Testnet Launch Delayed to March

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Although the developers feel they’ve made 20% more progress since their last update, the launch of Telegram Open Network’s testnet has been pushed back to March. Investors probably already suspected that the testnet would be delayed, since it had originally been planned for January.

The testnet will play an important role in allowing third-party developers to get a feel for the platform. The TON is a highly anticipated cryptocurrency project due to the massive use of the core Telegram platform itself. In essence, a pre-existing userbase can be introduced to the crypto economy through GRAM. If not GRAM, other tokens will launch using its tech.

GRAM To List on Asian Exchanges Right Away

On that note, sources speaking to The Block confirmed that Telegram is actively arranging for GRAM to be usable on several crypto exchanges out of the gate. If true, this will mean that almost out of the gate price discovery can begin.

2.2 billion GRAM tokens were sold during the pre-sale for a total of $1.7 billion. This makes the opening price almost $1 per token. The question is: will the platform, which has 200 million users from the start, actually compete with Ethereum? The third-party apps that build on it are what will determine as much, and so far we’ve not heard much about notable parties with such plans.

GRAM has a total supply of 5 billion tokens. Some of them are going to be held by the company to fund development, but plenty more will eventually find their way to the market.

GRAM will likely spend its early life in the top 10 cryptocurrencies, given the amount of money already invested. In fact, a market capitalization of $1.7 billion would immediately put it in competition with TRON for the #8 spot in the crypto rankings. The market enthusiasm seen for new coins could propel it even further up the list. Indeed, it could be #4 in no time – the current owner of that spot, EOS, is only $2.125 billion.

Pavel Durov Image from TechCrunch/Flickr