The expectations around the idea of a cryptocurrency mass adoption had been fading for the past two years, due to regulatory scrutiny and several weaknesses that digital money carries. In the meantime, some big companies still saw value in the blockchain technology and decided to create their own networks. Since we’re dealing with similar cryptocurrencies, we want to talk about TON and Libra, two of the most discussed projects, and see why these tokens are so special.
Introduction to TON (Telegram Open Network)
Launched in 2013, Telegram is a cloud-based instant messaging app and voice over IP service, allowing users to send messages, exchange photos, videos, stickers, and any type of files. Based on the latest numbers, Telegram has more than 200 million users worldwide and looks set to venture into the blockchain industry.
According to the-blockchain.com, there is an agreement between investors and Telegram to launch the network by October 31st. This means the company will venture into the blockchain world with a platform as well as a native cryptocurrency which can be used for payments within the chat app.
Investors will be provided with the TON Generation Software and they will have to provide Telegram with the public key to receive Gram tokens by October 16th. The ICO token price had been set at $4 and there will 5 billion tokens available.
Introduction to Libra
In a similar move, Facebook, the biggest social media giant and one of the largest tech companies in the world, had announced during the first half of the year its new cryptocurrency project. Libra had been one of the top headlines for the last few months, given the significance it may have.
At the present time, Facebook has over 2.4 billion users and the implementation of such a project will have a major global impact. Same as Telegram, Facebook wants to offer its users a faster alternative to make online payments, but will it succeed in its venture?
Is Libra uncertain?
Since the Libra project had been officially confirmed by the company, a new surge in regulatory scrutiny had been seen. Crypto currencies had come under the radar of regulators in the US and Europe, with Facebook’s Libra regarded as a potential disruptor for the global financial system. The tech giant already announced that the 2020 launching date might be postponed due to regulatory issues, which puts the project under a question mark.
However, the Telegram project seems to be moving forward without any scrutiny, favored by the lower user base, as compared to Facebook. Even though the regulatory concerns on Libra will continue, in the months ahead we will see how the TON will perform and whether it can bring improvements for users.
Why these projects are so special?
With almost 3000 different cryptocurrencies registered on coinmarketcap.com, is there anything special when it comes to TON or Libra? Did these two networks fill the gaps of traditional cryptocurrencies? The answer is “absolutely not”. Their main advantage is that two important companies, with great financial power and a big user base, are behind them.
Facebook and Telegram could have easily relied on existing cryptocurrencies, yet they didn’t, because most of the tokens existing in the market had been developed by blockchain-based startups, meaning companies that do not have an established track record and reputation. Big tech names are able to use the blockchain technology and exploit their current status in the process.
However, as we’ve seen in the case of Facebook, a high-status company wanting to develop a cryptocurrency may be perceived as a threat by the financial regulators. We must acknowledge that big companies have the power to leverage the potential of the blockchain. Microsoft, Visa, JP Morgan, and other important names are currently involved in blockchain-related projects and as the business community continues to become aware of the potential behind the technology, we should continue to see more big names venturing in the field.
The bottom line is that networks like TON and Libra can achieve in a short period what others are unable in years. Since TON will go live this month, it will be interesting to see how the token fueling it – Gram – will perform as compared with traditional crypto currencies. Even though Telegram does not have the same user base as Facebook, expectations surrounding its blockchain project are high. This should serve as a major trial and people will get to see whether payments inside massaging apps represent a viable solution.