Telegram to Beat Facebook to the Punch With Gram Token October Launch

As the New York Times reported on Aug. 27, three anonymous investors in Telegram’s $1.7 billion private initial coin offering (ICO) said the company had confirmed it would issue the first tokens in two months’ time.

Encrypted messaging app Telegram will launch its digital currency, the Gram, in October, investors have told mainstream media.

The long-term goal for executives is to make Gram available to all of Telegram’s roughly 300 million users, the investors added.

Telegram tokens due in two months

If true, Telegram would beat Facebook’s Libra in launching a public global digital currency. As the New York Times notes, little is known about Gram on a technical level, and little attention has come from regulators compared with the giant reaction to Libra.

Regulatory scrutiny awaits

It remains unknown how Telegram plans to appease authorities concerned about a free-ranging alternative to fiat currency, but Telegram has faced problems over Gram before.

As Cointelegraph reported, the company cancelled the public phase of its ICO, while multiple entities are seeking to sell GRAM tokens unofficially, sometimes at inflated prices.

Telegram would also beat another entity keen on issuing a Libra competitor, the People’s Bank of China, or PBoC, which this week announced a rollout for its digital currency would begin on Nov. 11 this year.

The Bug Bounty Program for Facebook’s Libra Is Now Open to the Public

The Libra Association has opened its bug bounty program to the public to address security concerns in advance of Libra’s anticipated 2020 launch.

Expanding the playing field

The announcement comes via a post on Libra’s website on Aug. 27. The post emphasized that the expansion of the program would promote values critical to the Libra Association like “openness, transparency, and global access”,  and ensure minimal issues come launch date.

The association wrote that it expects opening the bug bounty program up to the public will encourage “many more people with diverse skills and backgrounds” to test the security of Libra’s blockchain.

A stitch in time

Another Aug. 27 blog post on Libra’s website by Michael Engle, head of developer ecosystem at the Libra Association, said that participants can earn up to $10,000 for uncovering critical security issues. Engle explained the motivation for the expansion:

“We want to help our researchers uncover issues while the Libra Blockchain is still in testnet and no real money is in circulation.”

Concluding the same blog post, Engle paraphrased head of Calibra at Facebook David Marcus’s refrain to congress about taking the time to do this right.

Regulatory woes

Noteworthy is that Libra’s official announcement of the bug bounty program makes no mention of Facebook, the organization many see as spearheading the Libra Association. Facebook’s involvement with the Libra Association has been a major sticking point with regulators, with one United States congressman referring to the Libra derisively as a “Zuck Buck.”

Partially in response to such concerns, David Marcus attempted to reassure the public that “Facebook will only be one among over a hundred members of the Libra Association by launch.”

Regulatory and security concerns have been at the forefront of Libra and Facebook’s efforts to launch their new digital currency. Earlier today, Cointelegraph reported on Facebook’s hiring of a new Washington D.C.-based PR firm specializing in regulatory compliance.

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