Telegram, the messenger platform founded by Pavel Durov, has sent e-mails to potential investors informing them about the start of another private presale of company’s cryptocurrency in advance of oncoming public initial coin offering (ICO), as reported by The Verge. The company itself refused to comment on the matter.
The sources claim that the exact amount raised is yet undetermined. However, the experts suppose it will be approximately equal to $ 850 000 000 raised during the first presale that took place recently. If those predictions are correct, the total amount raised through both presales may reach $1 600 000 000, thus making Telegram’s ICO by far the largest ever.
The funds raised by this much anticipated ICO are supposed to be spent on the development of a full-fledged set of blockchain-based software products, such as DNS service and file storage, that will be incorporated into the Telegram Open Network (TON). However, despite being supported by 132-page white paper, the project is met by bitter criticism from a number of experts.
Matthew Green, cryptographer and professor at Johns Hopkins University, accuses it of being a sort of a pipe dream.
“So, to their credit, Telegram has shown that it can execute and get software written. That’s actually a big deal when it comes to blockchain projects. That plus millions of dollars means they could pull something off. But I’ll be honest, the white paper reads like someone went out on the internet and harvested the most ambitious ideas from a dozen projects and said ‘let’s do all of those but better!’ It feels unachievable, at least at the scale they’re aiming for now,” – he wrote in e-mail.
Others are suspicious about the overall opaqueness of the Telegram’s ICO, as Telegram team is reported to aim at controlling much of its issued cryptocurrency. It is also unclear what exact share of tokens will be kept unsold for public ICO anticipated in March 2018.