Messaging service provider Telegram was tipped to be on track to beat rival Facebook to the punch by launching a cryptocurrency, which would be used as an alternative to credit card payments.
Named Gram, the currency is heavily expected to launch in October. A Reuters report cited by LiveMint states the messaging company is working to create a currency which would be easier to use and more widely available than existing options.
Crucially, though, the move would also pitch the company into direct competition with Facebook, which unveiled plans for its Libra currency in June. Telegram reportedly already has $1.7 billion-worth of private investment lined up, which it pledged to return if Gram doesn’t launch by the end of next month.
Facebook aims to launch Libra in 2020, but has run into a number of regulatory issues.
In July, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell called on the company to stay the launch, believing the service raised serious concerns regarding privacy, money laundering, financial stability and consumer protection.
This week, Reuters reported officials at the European Banking Authority had similar concerns about Libra’s potential to be used in money laundering, noting the European Union lacked a single approach to tackling the issue, which could leave member states exposed.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back