Encrypted messaging app Telegram is to push ahead with the launch of the "Gram" cryptocurrency after raising an estimated $1.7 billion through an initial coin offering (ICO) last year, according to a report by the New York Times.
The company reportedly said it was to begin delivery of "the first batches" of the digital token in the next two months. Owners of the gram token - transacted and verified on the Telegram Open Network (TON) blockchain - will store them in a Gram digital wallet that Telegram will offer to its more than 200 million global users, the NYT report said.
It looks likely to be a make-or-break effort, however, as documents seen by the NYT suggest a hard deadline of October 31. If it hasn't delivered by then, it forfeits the $1.7 billion it raised to issue the cryptocurrency.
Telegram's TON blockchain reportedly entered its private beta stage in April of this year, months before its scheduled launch. Both TON and the Gram token have been developed in secret. We know the crypto won't be backed by any fiat currencies, nor will Telegram have control over it.