Social messaging app company Telegram plans to launch its new Gram digital currency by the end of October, the New York Times reported on August 27. The firm has reportedly told investors that the first coins will be issued sometime in the next two months. That’s according to three investors who spoke with the Times anonymously, due to nondisclosure agreements.
The company is expected to begin testing its Gram network at the beginning of next month. It eventually hopes to provide Gram digital wallets to all of its several hundred million Telegram users worldwide.
Telegram conducted a much-publicized initial coin offering for Gram in 2018, raising a reported $1.7 billion from investors who were promised Grams in the future. As part of that promise, Telegram agreed to either deliver those Grams by October 31, 2019, or return the money to investors. According to the Times, the company has been “racing to get the coins out before that deadline.”
The news comes as Facebook faces increasing skepticism from regulators over its proposal for the Libra digital currency project. Telegram, which has been even less transparent about its own cryptocurrency project, is likely to face similar skepticism as it gets closer to launching Gram.