The Real Reason for Telegram Ban Is Its Cryptocurrency?


Published on 23 Apr. 2018
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The informational agency  RBK reports that the real reason for the messenger’s blocking can be the plans for launching its cryptocurrency.

The blocking of Telegram in Russia is accompanied by the blocking of the IP-addresses of Amazon, Google, and other cloud services. This is actively discussed not only by the community but, as it turned out to be, by the FSS workers. The media resource reports that one of the FSS workers, Roman Antipkin, sent the letter to his colleagues, where he explained the real cause of Telegram ban:

Colleagues, you don’t understand that the story’s not about it at all! The story’s not about keys and terrorism <…>. Pasha Durov has decided to become a new Mavrodi. Launching his crypto, we in Russia will receive an entirely uncontrolled financial system. And this not Bitcoin for marginals, everything will be simple, reliable, and uncontrolled. This is a threat to the state security <…>. All drugs, laundered money, organ trafficing will go through Pasha’s crypto, and he would say: “I have nothing to do with it, forbid the words, they are used by terrorists,”

- writes Roman Antipkin in his letter.

Roman himself denies the information, but the federal official and the top manager of one of the cell operators have confirmed the authenticity of the letter, says RBK.

The plans on launching personal blockchain platform became known at the end of last year. The project was complemented by the detailed White Paper, worked out by the Telegram CTO Nikolai Durov, the brother of Pavel Durov.

The creators intend to build in the payment system, based on the personal blockchain TON, into the Telegram messenger, and in perspective implement it to other services and social networks. TON blockchain, the document states, will be able to process millions of transactions per second, while the most popular cryptocurrency – Bitcoin – can process only 9-12 transactions per second, and Visa and Mastercard – several thousand transactions.

Recently, Telegram has carried out two private rounds of ICO presale, gathering $1.7 billion for its project. As the Russian mass media reports, among the investors of the first round were the founder of Qiwi Sergei Solonin and the founder of “Wimm-Bill-Dann” David Jakobashvili.

The agreement between Telegram and Group Inc presupposes the main rules for using tokens, among which the prohibition to apply them for violating the sanction regime, money laundering, and financing terrorism. This is specified in the agreement’s appendix, where the investment risks, the risks of selling and using Gram tokens are described.

Mikhail Klimariev, CEO of the Internet Protection Society, considers that the FSS concerns are not unfounded. He comments:

At the first place, TON has been developed as a means of payment. It is presupposed that the transaction processing will be fast, and the use of cryptocurrency won’t require any specific knowledge. So this system may have much more users.

In the opinion of the PIR-Center consultant Oleg Demidov, Durov tries to create a legal project that will be impossible to drive into the gray zone. 

Durov carries out ICO, reports to the Commission on securities and exchanges. This project is not only more advanced, more decentralized, and more global, by its mechanism, it is aimed at legalization on the financial markets. It will be almost impossible to drive it into the gray zone if it works legally in other countries.

Demidov thinks that the blocking of Telegram will influence the company’s budget insignificantly, but there will be no consequences except the little slowdown of the token launching. 

At the moment, Telegram is jumping from one cloud provider to another to avoid blocking. This costs money. Durov has money for the short-term defense, but if the case continues, TON launching may be delayed,

- Oleg Demidov assumes.

Earlier we wrote that Durov announced that he would use Bitcoin to neutralize the ban of Telegram in Russia.


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