Telegram, the encrypted messenger service that's set to launch what might be the world's largest ICO, could be heading for even bigger rollout. The company is planning to raise another $850 million in a "secret second pre-sale" for its new TON token, according to The Verge.
This pre-sale would happen before the official ICO launch date and would bring the funds raised for the new cryptocurrency up to more than $1.6 billion before the public even has a chance to invest. (See also: Telegram to Launch Cryptocurrency: Joins Blockchain Bandwagon.)
$850 Million From 81 Investors
In the past several months, Telegram's CEO Pavel Durov has already earned funds from 81 accredited investors, including major players like Sequoia Capital. All told, the contributions to date have included roughly $850 million for the launch of the new cryptocurrency. By setting up a second pre-sale, Telegram would attempt to double the amount of money it has already earned, all from additional accredited investors.
Reports of the secretive second pre-sale circulated last week, as investors received an email from Telegram explaining the process. The exact size of the second pre-sale has yet to be determined or revealed, but it is likely that it will be roughly the same as the first round. According to Bloomberg, the tokens will be sold at a price of $1.33, triple the price of the first round.
ICO Could Top a Staggering $2.6 Billion
Telegram's first pre-sale already constituted the largest ICO in history; the previous record was just $232 million. By launching the second pre-sale, the messenger service could be the first ICO to break the $1 billion threshold. According to a report cited by Bloomberg, the ICO could ultimately raise $2.55 billion, since yet another sale – this one open to non-accredited investors at a price of $2.40 per token – is expected.
TON (standing for Telegram Open Network) is intended as an ethereum-like network which will provide a variety of apps and services, as well as a store for the purchase of both digital and physical products. While detractors have suggested that Telegram's plan for TON is lacking in critical details, it has nonetheless drawn a great deal of investor interest and cash.
The question remains, however, as it has previously with many other ICOs, as to whether or not the investor interest in Telegram is the result of a legitimately compelling model which could upend the industry, or if it has been fueled by speculation and hype. Only time will tell, although the amount of money in Telegram's coffers only continues to grow.
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