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  • Gram could potentially facilitate a secure and cost-effective way of moving money globally.
  • High-profile backers like Lightspeed and Benchmark will get access to the tokens by October 2019.

The initial batches of Telegram’s Gram cryptocurrency will reportedly be available to a select group of investors by October 2019. According to a report by the New York Times, the firm is planning to make the Gram wallet accessible to the 300 million Telegram users shortly after.  

Similar to Libra, Gram is designed to function as a global currency. This makes it easier for users to move money globally in a secure and cost-efficient way. However, Gram will be completely decentralized, unlike Libra. Telegram claims that its distributed ledger Telegram Open Network (TON) will be run by node operators that are scattered across the world. This means that even Telegram wouldn’t have control over Gram transactions.

Telegram has reportedly promised its high-profile backers – including Benchmark, Lightspeed Capital and some Russian investors- that they’ll be able to access the tokens by the end of October 2019 or receive refunds. Telegram is looking to launch the testnet of the Gram network in the upcoming weeks to ensure that there are no bugs that could disturb its plan.  

If things go as planned, a few investors will be able to trade their Gram tokens on supported exchanges. However, those who participated in its pre-ICO may have to wait a little longer. While Libra is waiting for approval by the financial regulators in the US and overseas, it is not clear how Telegram plans to obtain consent for its multi-billion-dollar crypto project.