Telegram’s new cryptocurrency, the Gram, will go on pre-sale through Japanese exchange platform Liquid by Quoine on July 10, ahead of a full-scale launch slated for October 31.
However, there are several twists in the tale already, as residents of Japan, the United States and dozens of other countries (including North Korea!) will not be eligible to buy tokens.
Also, Liquid’s pre-sale does not appear to be a listing, per se. Instead, the exchange says it will be selling an unspecified number of coins currently held by a South Korea-based company named Gram Asia. The latter claims it is Asia’s largest single holder of Grams tokens.
This is what Liquid’s FAQs have to say about Gram Asia:
[Gram Asia] is a trusted partner of both Telegram and Liquid, with a long-standing relationship forged through strong business ties. Gram Asia supports the TON ecosystem by deploying its considerable capital and vast network of strategic partners to provide operations […] To foster widespread integration with the TON ecosystem [Telegram’s forthcoming blockchain platform], Gram Asia works with licensed financial institutions to provide safe, secure and stable payment gateways for merchants in Asia.
Liquid states that purchases can be made in USDC and USD, although buyers will be able to see the Grams they purchase in their Liquid wallet as soon as they buy. The platform states, “Grams will be minted and delivered to customers’ wallets […] following the TON mainnet launch planned for October 2019.”
Some in the crypto-community have expressed surprise that Telegram itself, or its CEO Pavel Durov, have made no announcements about the pre-sale. But TechCrunch quotes Quione CEO Mike Kayamori as stating, “Unfortunately, that’s Telegram and how they have operated from the beginning.”
The same media outlet states that Kayamori has “assured [Liquid] that this token listing is above board and very much part of the plan for TON,” adding that “this partial listing from Gram Asia is part of [Telegram’s] overall strategy.”
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Kayamori also noted, “A public sale was always planned for the window between the testnet launch and mainnet launch. Telegram wanted to work with a regulated exchange to see how it goes before it gets listed in October.”
As previously reported on Cryptonews.com, Telegram was said to be looking to East Asia – and specifically exchanges in Japan – to debut the Gram.
Also as reported, a forecast from the HASH Crypto Investment Bank in February claimed that the Gram could be worth USD 29.5 billion by the end of 2019, after two rounds of private sales that reaped around USD 1.7 billion from more than 100 investors.
Meanwhile, social media giant Facebook is expected to unveil its digital token this June.