Telegram App – a messaging service used by 40 million users and most blockchain projects, just concluded its record-breaking second round initial coin offering (ICO) and Iran’s government isn’t the least bit happy. The app is extremely popular in the authoritarian country and has played a large roll in enabling its residents to organize protests.
The Telegram ICO raised nearly $1.7 billion to develop a full-service blockchain-based ecosystem. Back in late-December and early-January, the country banned access to Telegram and Instagram. Iranian Police began apprehending cyber activists as protests raged the streets in over 100 cities. The nation-wide ban was lifted when the momentum of the protests died down.
It was concluded through academic research that the App was instrumental in President Hassan Rouhani’s election victory back in 2017. President of the Iranian Parliament’s Foreign Policy and National Security, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, believes that banning the Telegram App is “essential” in securing the Islamic Republic’s national security. Iranian residents do not trust “homegrown” applications in fear of constant government surveillance and a breach of their privacy.
According to Culture Minister, Abbas Salehi, 90 percent of Persian content is published across 11,000 Telegram channels. This ban is set for the end of the Iranian month, which lands on April 20th, just weeks away. While the government is currently drafting up a homegrown app, it remains unknown if any residents will make the switch.
Telegram App: Apprehension All Around
There were many big public figures in the cryptocurrency space that have remained skeptical of this Russian-based company’s large ICO. VC Investors, Justine, and Olivia Morre, who evaluate many big ICOS that enter the space commented on Telegram’s ICO saying:
“If Telegram isn’t able to start generating revenue and spend continues to increase, the company could eventually risk bankruptcy or be forced to raise additional capital at unfavorable terms. We aren’t convinced that Telegram will deliver significant upside beyond the ICO valuation.”
CEO of Coin Schedule, Alex Buelau, said:
“It’s difficult for me to find a convincing argument to why Telegram is going after all this money, and will investors ever see any return from it.Ethereum raised $20 million and was able to launch and grow into a network of millions of users with a healthy market cap of $80 billion, so why does Telegram need 250 times more money.”
We will see how quickly the development of the Telegram platform will take, as they have endless amounts of money to hire an army of developers to get this thing up and running in no-time. We shall see.
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