Telegram’s native cryptocurrency seen as a disruptive force to the Iranian economy
With the pressure of the U.S. imposed sanctions mounting, Iran is increasingly looking at non-traditional means to increase their reserves with a few keen eyes turning to virtual currencies. However, the regime has stated that the use of certain cryptos will be considered a threat to the country’s sovereignty.
Javad Javidnia, Iran’s Secretary of Criminal Content Definitions Task Force has stated that any cooperation with the cloud-based messaging application Telegram’s native virtual currency Gram would be seen as an action against the national security of the country. This harsh measure is taken because the use of such a decentralized currency could disrupt the country’s economy, as reported by the Tehran Times.
Iran had banned Telegram back in April 2018 as it posed a disruptive force to the country’s economy. Javidnia further claimed that the Russia-based application caused unease in the politics of the country.
The Tehran Times reported Javidnia stating, “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.”
Following the January 2018 protests that engulfed Iran, the authorities banned Telegram as they through these protests were organized via the messaging service. BBC reported that Iran’s Telegram ban could also be linked to the infamous Trump Administration move of pulling out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or the Iran deal and imposing sanctions on the Asian country back in May 2018.
Back in May 2018, Telegram’s blockchain platform, Telegram Open Network (TON) canceled their public ICO after the company raised in excess of $1.7 billion through private sales. Two private investors told Vedomosti, a Russian media outlet in October 2018, that TON will be able to process transactions faster than the blockchains of Bitcoin [BTC] and Ethereum [ETH].
The investors also claimed that the TON payments would be through Gram and a wallet would be integrated into Telegram’s services.
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