Iranian government is taking steps that would stall the development of Telegram’s cryptocurrency.
According to a report by Tehran Times which was published on December, 31, 2018, secretary of the Criminal Content Definition Task Force Javad Javidnia has said that any firm found cooperating with the encrypted messaging app to launch its Gram token will be considered an act against national security and a disruption to the national economy.
Javidnia while speaking, said: “One of the most important factors in banning Telegram was a sense of serious economic threat from its activities, which was unfortunately marginalized and neglected due to the fuss in the political atmosphere of the country.”
It would be recalled that Iran first placed a ban on the app in April, 2018, when supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said government agencies would no longer use the app.
More so, the country’s judiciary forbadetje use of the app altogether. Meanwhile in December 2017, Iran temporarily blocked Telegram and photo-sharing app Instagram in order to “maintain peace” amid widespread protests.
However, Iranian officials continued to criticize the app, stating that its initial coin offering (ICO) was potentially “undermin[ing] the national currency of Iran.”
Hassan Firouzabadi, the secretary of the High Council of Cyberspace approved the suggested ban due to Telegram’s continued attempt at spreading cryptocurrency to all Iranian users.
Firouzabadi referred to Telegram as an “enemy of the private sector,” since “Telegram never [agreed] to have an office in Iran and refused to work with the private sector.”
Russia also placed a ban on the go-to messaging app of the crypto industry due to concerns over its ICO, with the possibility of a “completely uncontrolled financial system” reportedly leading to the block.
Telegram raised nearly $1.7 billion in two funding rounds earlier this year, one of the industry’s largest. The ICO sought investment to support the development of the Telegram messenger app and its own blockchain platform Telegraph Open Network.
Russian billionaire and owner of Chelsea Football Club in England, Roman Abramovich reportedly took part in the first round of the ICO.
He was said to have invested $300 million, according to associates, but, Jon Mann, Abramovich’s spokesperson, refused to comment if Abramovich invested in the scheme, but denied the reported $300 million.