Messaging App Telegram Cancels Plans for Public ICO

Popular cloud-based mobile/desktop instant messaging app Telegram has decided to cancel its plans for a public initial coin offering (ICO), according to a report in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). It is, perhaps, not too surprising since Telegram had already managed to raise around $1.7 billion this year from fewer than 200 private investors.

Telegram was founded in 2013 by Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov, the founder of Russian social network VK, and his brother Nikolai. It had managed to gather much excitement and hype for its Telegram Open Network (TON) project, an online services platform that will be built using blockchain technology. There will also be a token, called "gram", that will act as the virtual currency on this platform. According to an article in The Verge, the idea is for TON to be an "Ethereum-like ecosystem with apps, services, and a store for digital and physical goods." Telegram is counting on its 200 million users to make this cryptocurrency achieve much wider mainstrem adoption than exisiting cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether.

The WSJ report goes on to say that according to a two-page doucument that was circulated last year, Telegram was planning to raise about $1.2 billion split 50-50 between private and public investors, with the public round of fundraising to take place in March 2018. However, in February 2018, Telegram reported to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it had raised $850 million from 81 private investors; and then in March, the SEC was told that Telegram had raised an additional $850 million from a group of 94 private investors. These two private placements had only involved accredited investors, i.e. persons with an annual income of at least $200,000, or a net worth of at least $1 million.

Another source told the WSJ that another reason for Telegram's change of mind about doing a public ICO was that the regulatory climate had changed since it made its plans for a public ICO last year. This is understandable given the view of the SEC Chairman, Jay Clayton, towards ICOs. On 6 February 2018, at a U.S. Senate hearing, he said: "I believe every ICO I've seen is a security." 

Market Update: Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), XRP, Stellar (XLM), Cardano (ADA)

Siamak Masnavi

This article provides a quick overview of how the crypto markets have been doing—with the focus on Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), XRP, Stellar Lumen (XLM), and Cardano (ADA)—over the past 24-hour period.

After two downbeat days (September 24 and 25), on Thursday (September 26), the crypto markets look decidedly healthier, with the altcoins, which suffered the most in Tuesday's crash, leading the way by showing decent gains.

All market data was taken around 08:00 UTC on September 26 from CryptoCompare, which also generated the price charts shown in this article.

Bitcoin (BTC)

BTC-USD 24 Hour on 26 Sep 2019.png

Although it is hard to say with any certainty why the Bitcoin price took a huge fall on September 24, there are many who point to the apparent/alleged drop in the Bitcoin network's hash rate on September 23 as the main culprit.

We use the word "alleged" because there is no way to actually measure hash rate and know its exact value at any point in time -- it can only be estimated, and an accurate estimate requires a larger timeframe than 24 hours. Udi Wertheimer probably provided the best single-tweet explanation for this: 

  Even if there was a temporary "crash" in hashrate, possibly due to a large mining farm temporarily going offline, according to Blockchain.com, things seem to back to normal at the moment (the hash rate was around 92 EH/s on September 25):

BTC Hash Rate on 26 Sep 2019.jpg

Ether (ETH)

ETH-USD 24 Hour on 26 Sep 2019.png

Although the ETH-USD went as low as $164.35 at 08:00 UTC on September 25, which was the lowest it has been since May 6, it is up by 3.77% in the past 24-hour period. 

XRP

XRP-USD 24 Hour on 26 Sep 2019.png

XRP-USD reached 0.2335, its lowest level since December 2018, at 18:00 on September 24. Since then, it has gone up 4.88%. 

Stellar Lumen (XLM)

XLM-USD 24 Hour on 26 Sep 2019.png

Out of all the top 30 cryptoassets (by market cap), XLM is the biggest gainer today, up over 16% in the past 24-hour period.

One reason for this price surge could be the announcement made late yesterday by Coinbase that XLM had finally been made available to the exchange's users in New York state:

Cardano (ADA)

ADA-USD 24 Hour on 26 Sep 2019.png

ADA-USD got to $0.03648, its lowest point since December 2018, at 08:00 UTC on September 25.

However, earlier today, Charles Hoskinson, the CEO of IOHK, offered the following good news to the long-suffering Cardano fans:

 

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com