Telegram is believed to have scrapped its plans to launch a public ICO (Initial Coin Offering) after reportedly raising enough money through two private rounds of funding. According to The Wall Street Journal, Telegram attracted investments of around $1.7 billion this year by issuing its brand new digital tokens to “fewer than 200 private investors”.
The company was reportedly able to bring in $850 million from 81 investors in a private deal back in February, followed by another $850 million from 94 investors in a second private deal the following month. According to the report, the private offerings were only open to accredited investors with a net worth of at least $1 million or an annual income of at least $200,000.
While Telegram is publicly citing these two deals as the reason for backtracking from earlier plans, the WSJ reports it’s also down to tightening regulatory environment thanks to many cryptocurrency scams. Telegram was planning to hit $2 billion plus through its ICO which would have made it the world’s largest ICO.
Besides regulatory scrutiny around ICO, Telegram is in the midst of a lengthy standoff with the Russian government, which has imposed an ‘immediate ban’ on Telegram until the company hands over encryption keys to the FSB, the country’s internal security agency. In its efforts to implement the ban, the country’s government is believed to have blocked more than 16 million IP addresses, including many belonging to Google and Amazon. Telegram has also been banned in Iran recently, replaced with a government sanctioned alternative that’s built on similar technology.