Telegram is already one of the most popular (and secure) messaging platforms. But, the company is not content with serving just that one purpose for the consumers. It’s excited about the prospects of stepping foot into the blockchain ecosystem.

Thanks to documents detailing the project, it has practically been confirmed that Telegram has a new found ambition to build its own blockchain platform and cryptocurrency to take on existing cryptos. And what’s better than a ten-figure initial coin offering (ICO) to kickstart this proposed project, ain’t it?

Telegram ICO Plans

The messaging giant’s proposed blockchain project has been aptly-named TON (Telegram Open Network), a whitepaper and investor prospectus for which is already making rounds of the Internet. It states that Telegram is looking forward to a record-breaking ICO and raising a whopping $1.2 billion through its TON token sale.

Note: ICO, for those unaware, is known as Initial Coin Offering, and can be seen as a parallel to an Initial Public Offering (IPO), to let you buy a company’s tokens when it’s looking to raise money. ICOs are usually held in the early stage, unlike IPOs which are for established companies.

This token sale has been broken down into two stages, where the company plans to raise $600 million in a pre-sale event scheduled for next month and the other half in a public sale later in March 2018. The pre-sale investors will also be offered a 68% discount as compared to the public.

The former sale event will be a private invite-only session, that’d see participation from top executives and traditional venture capitalists (VCs). Whereas the latter is going to welcome retail investors, giving you a chance to jump on the hype train as well.

If everything goes to plan, it’ll be the largest ICO ever. Telegram would overtake Filecoin, a network of decentralized cloud storage providers, which raised around $257 million in its ICO in September last year.

Building The Platform

The white paper further details that Telegram is going to build its blockchain platform, that will also result in the creation of a cryptocurrency, from scratch. Yeah, from the ground up.

While most other tech giants are relying on decentralized platforms like Ethereum to build their cryptocurrency offerings, Telegram is not taking the beaten down path. The company is looking to create a blockchain platform of its own to rival Ethereum instead. It plans on building out a decentralized Internet with the blockchain blocks that it will create, leading others to build apps using the same.

Telegram is looking to build TON as a component that’ll come in handy for the creation of decentralized apps and services. It will eventually be made available to developers, which will make the TON platform as the gateway to a slew of upcoming blockchain-based apps. This has been described in the white papers as under:

TON blockchains aim to be able to “automatically split and merge to accommodate changes in load”. This would mean new blocks are generated quickly and “the absence of long queues helps keep transaction costs low, even if some of the services using the platform become massively popular”

What’s The ICO For?

Much like several other messaging platforms, Telegram is not looking to make its service paid for the consumers. But, the company picked up on the fact that its platform is being used the most for crypto-related discussions, thanks to its secure and private nature. Thus, it plans to launch TON and go ahead with its ICO, fueling the huge hype around its cryptocurrency. Talking about the same, the white paper says,

“More than 80 percent of collected funds will be spent on equipment, bandwidth, colocation, and user verification costs. The rest will be allocated for wages, offices, and legal and consulting services.”

So, the entire $1.2 billion capital that is expected to be raised will be used for the development of the Telegram Open Network (TON). It can be seen as the trendy new way to monetize the platform, where investors will receive TON tokens or so-called GRAMS, for investing into the upcoming blockchain services. However, it wouldn’t have a listing on any public exchanges until 2019.

Now, all that’s left to witness is whether Telegram’s ICO will be as triumphant as the hype surrounding it? What are your opinions on the company’s blockchain plans? Let us know in the comments below.