Private Messaging App Telegram Ready to Go Public In Next Two Years, Valuation Between $30-$50B

Instant messaging app Telegram is reportedly planning to go public.

According to Vedomosti, a Russian business newspaper that cited multiple sources familiar with the matter, Telegram plans to launch an Initial Public Offering (IPO) within the next two years with a possible valuation in the region of $30 to 50 billion.

The details of the intended IPO are yet to be made public or finalized, according to Vedomosti. Amongst the possible scenarios for Telegram’s listing are market dynamics, a traditional IPO model, direct listing, or a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

While details of the IPO are yet to be made known, Telegram is reportedly conducting pre-IPO analysis and is looking to decide on the most appropriate region for going public.

Telegram’s Historic User Growth

Telegram has had an exponential year after an additional 25 million new users were onboarded on its platform within three days. According to a report, these new users were spread out across all parts of the world, with 38% from Asia, the largest of the entire figure. Pavel Durov, CEO of Telegram, stated,

“We’ve had surges of downloads before, throughout our 7-year history of protecting user privacy. But this time is different.”

Durov did not fail to acknowledge that the influx of new users was due to the changing of WhatsApp’s privacy policy, its rival app.

At the time, WhatsApp threatened users that they were now required to share their data with Facebook or stop using the service. This prompted concerns from users, such that they opted for Telegram instead.

Why Telegram May Snub US For China

Although Vedomosti’s sources said a preferable choice for Telegram’s shareholders would be a direct listing on either Nasdaq or Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the latter is more likely the destination due to the platform’s Asia-centric user base.

At the moment, 40% of Telegram’s users are based in Asia. Due to a projection that the number would reach 50% in two years, and with the total number of users expected to have grown to 1 billion, Hong Kong may be the messaging app’s destination.

Another reason why the US may not be a preferred place for the company to be listed is its long-running confrontation with the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The company had to abandon its Telegram Open Network (TON), an ambitious project that raised $1.7 billion from investors in a private Initial Coin Offering (ICO), which the SEC labeled illegal and subsequently folded up.

With TON, Telegram aimed to integrate a decentralized economy, thereby enabling its users to move money around outside of governments’ purview. But the project was dead on arrival as the SEC forced Telegram to shut it down.

The post Private Messaging App Telegram Ready to Go Public In Next Two Years, Valuation Between -B first appeared on BitcoinExchangeGuide.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Digital Assets Lender, Nexo, Rolls Out Crypto Exchange Platform With Instant Swaps

Digital Assets Lender, Nexo, Rolls Out Crypto Exchange Platform With Instant Swaps

  • Nexo, a Cryptocurrency lending platform, announces its new exchange service that provides 75+ cryptocurrency trading pairs on its mobile application. The exchange comes with a “Smart Routing” system to minimize slippage cases and guarantee the best price swaps.

In an announcement this Monday, leading regulated digital assets lender Nexo launched its in-built Nexo exchange service, offering a broader suite of financial tools to its users. The new swap feature offers users over 75+ cryptocurrency and fiat pairs and supports 17 cryptocurrency assets. It aims to offer no-limit, fast, and cost-effective transfers across assets provided on the exchange.

In a statement, Nexo confirmed traders would have no limits on the number of trades made on the platform with a maximum amount of $50,000 set per trade. Additionally, the exchange will allow direct fiat deposits from bank transfers and wire transfers and allow crypto deposits and withdrawals from any other wallet or exchange.

Speaking on the capabilities that the new exchange offers in onboarding new clients, Nexo Co-founder and Managing Partner Antoni Trenchev said,

“Fast, transparent, and inexpensive transactions are the backbone of fintech, but making them easily accessible and secure in a seamless, intuitive environment is the single most important step towards mass crypto adoption.”

To prevent price fluctuations or slippage cases, Nexo exchange has integrated a “Smart Routing” system, an in-house innovation. The system connects to multiple exchanges and splits your orders according to the available prices and volumes, ensuring the order is executed at the same price as is submitted.

The statement did not mention the exchanges that will execute the trades. Still, a spokesperson from Nexo confirmed that the Smart Routing system would connect to five of the “most trusted and well-capitalized exchanges.”

The exchange is registered and ISO compliant to provide clients with an impeccable risk assessment, data protection, and state-of-the-art cybersecurity of their assets. Users’ assets in custody will be insured up to $100 million by the Lloyd’s of London.

Finally, the exchange is also building a full-suite banking platform announcing a series of product launches, including the Nexo crypto credit card. Furthermore, Nexo is also looking to expand its already broad banking licenses to strengthen its compliance with global regulators.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Coinbase Now Allows Instant WIthdrawals via Mastercard & Visa Debit Card

San Francisco-based Coinbase is now allowing instant cash withdrawal through Mastercard and Visa debit cards.

“Don’t wait days for your cash when you need it now,” it says.

In a move towards the defining characteristics of crypto, transacting instantly, and anywhere, anytime that is curbed by the traditional banking system, Coinbase is offering instant withdrawals in about 40 countries.

These instant withdrawals will cost US customers a 1.5% fee (minimum $0.55), while for the UK and European customers, it is up to 2%.

Coinbase product manager Eddie Lo shared that customers in the US, UK, and Europe can withdraw funds with a linked Visa debit card with US customers allowed through Mastercard as well.

“The ability to easily spend, send, and receive crypto is critical to growing the cryptoeconomy, so we’ll continue building even more ways for our customers to access and use their crypto on Coinbase,” said Lo.

Using Visa to convert crypto balances into fiat means it can be spent at more than 60 million merchant locations while providing “faster, simpler and more connected experience” for Coinbase users, said Terry Angelos, SVP and global head of fintech, Visa.

Customers have the option to select between standard or instant withdrawal methods.

According to Sherri Haymond, executive vice president, Digital Partnerships at Mastercard, today’s digitally driven consumers want real-time payment options, and Mastercard will help them achieve “greater flexibility and convenience” in converting their cryptocurrency into fiat currency.

Also Read: Coinbase Pro to Pass the Rising Network Fees Onto The Customer

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Author: AnTy

Securitize Launches ‘Instant Access’ P2P Trading Service For Private Investors

  • The Coinbase, Sony, MUFG, and Santander-backed project, Securitize, launches ‘Instant Access’
  • A project aiming to open up and ease trading digitized assets in a peer-to-peer network.

Securitize, a tokenization firm launched a service that allows users an easy and secure gateway to instantaneously trade digitized assets through a web-link. The peer-to-peer gateway offers KYC/AML compliant users a direct way to purchase and sell cryptocurrencies and digitized assets in a bid to boost adoption rates.

The new platform is highly touted as a solution to the “counterparty risk” synonymous with centralized crypto exchanges. According to the released report, Instant Access aims to open up a convenient and regulation-compliant gateway for users to exchange tokenized assets over a web-link.

According to a spokesperson from Securitize, the new platform is expected to provide investors in private tokenized assets to securely exchange their assets. The spokesperson further said,

“What has typically been a very burdensome and time-consuming process (trading private securities) can now be completed compliantly in seconds with no fees other than the “gas costs” associated with the Ethereum blockchain.”

The new platform came to be through collaboration with the Airswap team, an Ethereum-based project. Airswap was part of the team that facilitated the registration of Securitize as the first-ever U.S compliant tokenization platform.

So how can you trade directly on a web link?

Instant Access is built to transact the exchanges off-chain – reducing the waiting time and ensuring the security of the assets from hacking. Users communicate on an off-chain platform in the following way;

If you are a seller you need to send a web-link to prospective buyers through messages on social media, text, or email. Once the buyers receive the message, if they wish to buy, they click the link and follow through the steps provided. Once the buyer initiates the exchange, the funds and assets are transferred almost instantaneously.

The tokenization market is steadily growing and recently Securitize announced a partnership with Jan-based firm, LIFULL, to tokenize the rural Japanese real estate market.

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Author: Lujan Odera

bitFlyer Europe Introduces “Instant Buy” Feature to Create a Simpler, Convenient and Transparent Crypto Experience

On Thursday, December 5, crypto exchange, bitFlyer announced the launch of their Instant Buy feature, the latest of their updates, on its Buy/Sell exchange platform. This feature enables users to make crypto investments using their credit or debit cards or by simply using local transfer methods.

According to the Co-Head and COO of bitFlyer Europe, Andy Bryant, this feature sets well with the organization’s goal of promoting convenience when it comes to investing in cryptocurrencies while promoting simplicity and a sense of secureness.

That said, the feature is said to resemble what users are already accustomed to in today’s society. He said:

“By making it similar to that of a traditional e-commerce experience, we are helping [to bring] cryptocurrency to a mainstream audience, while also giving experienced users a faster and simpler way to get their currency.”

Accessible on both desktops and smartphones, the feature is deemed beneficial to those looking for an all-in-one solution to purchase, store and secure their investments, getting hold of assets at predefined prices from the bitFlyer platform, and fees are said to be as transparent as they could get.

Speaking of fees, Bryant spoke with news outlet, The Block, disclosing that the transaction fees for processing credit card payments are 1.95% + €0.25/ transaction and for else methods, 1.95% + €0.30.

Besides Europe getting access to the Instant Buy feature, bitFlyer Japan recently added trading support for the XRP token because it stands as the second-largest cryptocurrency in Japan.

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Author: Nirmala Velupillai

Ripple’s xRapid Usage Experiences Sudden Increase in Usage: Senior VP

XRP-And-Ripple-Supporter-Raises-Concerns-About-Network-Decentralization

Ripple, a cryptocurrency founded on the need to offer real-time, instant and cross-border payments, is a no-ordinary asset. The coin’s consensus ledger is unique and a lot different from a majority of the digital currencies because it essentially requires no confirmation. Its original objective of being an alternative for banks and financial institutions to settle payments transparently and at a much lower cost is alive.

As for XRP, the project’s native cryptocurrency, the fact that it’s been doing quite well, according to Coinmarketcap, is a testament to how exciting Ripple is. XRP has been hovering around $0.30 lately, constantly exhibiting bullish signals that favor buyers. And this is partly linked to the recent happenings in the coin’s demand – an influx of XRP users.

Over the past few days, xRapid, a liquidity platform dedicated to banks that use Ripple, has been experiencing an unprecedented increase in traffic. According to the senior vice president of product management at Ripple, Asheesh Birla, the phenomenon is attributed to a massive user increase.

It is safe to say xRapid is Ripple’s most vibrant project right now. It has been active before, but not as alive with multiple banking institutions and other mainstream cash transfer entities as it is right now. It has been so buzzing lately that it is only recently that MoneyGram finally joined the clique of companies relying on it.

MoneyGram Inc, the world’s second-biggest financial transfer firm, chose xRapid for the cross-border transactions and payments. Besides the efficiency guaranteed, the decision is largely attributed to the platform’s surging number of customers.

ILP Connector Implementation Slated for Next Year

The platform’s newly acquired fame hasn’t been without questions, especially on Twitter. A user named Michael iPinky7 sought to know whether xRapid employed the ILP conductor functionality.

ILP connector is designed to address different network hosts and also guarantee swift completion of payments sent across various, independent ledgers. One of its core uses is to safely allow routing of disbursements across digital asset ledgers while eliminating any risk of intermediary failures between the two parties.

In response to the question, therefore, Asheesh Birla was categorical in her answer. First, xRapid, according to her, works as an ILP connector. She, however, said they are still working towards making it a fully-fledged one, a project they expect to complete in early 2020.

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Author: Lillian Peter

Telegram and Lantah Dispute Over GRAM Crypto Trademark, Telegram Takes Home Injunction Win

Telegram and Lantah Dispute Over GRAM Crypto Trademark, Telegram Takes Home Injunction Win

It has been recently revealed that cloud-based instant messaging service provider, Telegram and blockchain-based commerce platform, Lantah have been in dispute over who gets the rights to the name, ‘GRAM’ for their respective crypto token reports The Block.

Telegram is supposedly demanding the latter from using the aforementioned name, which led to the involvement of the district court (a lower court) and their issuing of “a preliminary injunction,” which prevents Lantah from using the name.

As per Lexology, Telegram made the following argument at the time of their complaint (which was found in paragraph 43):

“Lantah’s unauthorized use in commerce of a service mark that is confusingly similar to Telegram Messenger’s GRAM mark has caused and is likely to continue to cause confusion or mistake, or to deceive consumers and potential consumers, the public, and the trade concerning an affiliation, connection or association between Lantah and Telegram where there is no such affiliation, connection or association.”

The Block covered the specifics as to why the Ninth Circuit was part of all this. It turns out that Lantah’s lawyers appealed the district court’s granting of the preliminary injunction by having the Ninth Circuit court (higher court) evaluate the decision prior to arriving to a conclusion.

In the case of the presence of the latter, it is usually considered a step toward the Supreme Court with a panel of judges versus just one from the district court. The final judgement? The circuit court has since sided with the district court by disclosing that Telegram’s use of ‘GRAM’ was acceptable.

Here are some of the reasons why Telegram’s uses of the trademark were deemed acceptable and why the district court’s decision towards the preliminary injunction was supported:

  1. During the ICO, Telegram provided purchasers with “Purchase Agreement for Grams” in which buyers were required to make the necessary payments by a set date to receive the GRAMS.
  2. Evidence exists in relation to Telegram’s plans of distributing GRAMS

[Author Alert] The author’s opinions above are solely based on their own self-conducted research. Assume any and all authors are using, holding, trading and/or buying cryptoassets mentioned as a portion of his or her financial portfolio. Use information at your own risk, do you own research, never invest more than you are willing to lose.

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Author: Nirmala Velupillai