Jason Bloomberg, a contributor to Forbes, exposes the Telegram messenger ICO as the greatest scam of all!
Telegram/TON’s 132 page whitepaper says nothing substantial about the hard parts of designing a decentralized protocol. It is essentially a wishlist of things they want to have, and how it will work assuming that their wishlist doesn’t crash and burn.
Investors who missed last year’s cryptocurrency boom see Telegram’s offering as a chance to grab some of those gains, Bart Stephens, managing partner at Blockchain Capital, which also declined to invest in the ICO, said in an email interview.
While such generalist firms and other newbies are happy to jump on board, the more technically savvy investors are uncomfortable with the technical depth in the white paper.
Some venture firms are also passing. Softbank’s Vision Fund spoke with the Telegram team about the coin sale but decided to pass on the investment, according to a person familiar with the talks. Fortress, which is owned by Softbank, isn’t investing in the deal either, the person said.
Nick Tomaino, who manages Peter Thiel and Marc Andreessen-backed cryptocurrency fund 1confirmation, said he also passed on the deal as he’s skeptical that the team will be able to deliver on its promises.
Emails to Telegram and Benchmark Capital seeking comments weren’t answered, while other venture firms mentioned declined to comment.
“It’s a big-name ICO, attracting big-name investors, but I ultimately believe the effort requires deep technical expertise and historical context on crypto-economics, consensus mechanisms, and scalability, which they don’t have,” Tomaino said by phone.
“Venture investors with deep domain expertise in the blockchain technology sector and crypto ecosystem are passing,” he said. “Generalist VC firms who feel that they have so far missed the boat on crypto appear to be interested.”
Articles like the one TechCrunch put out on this are laughable. The entire thing should have a disclaimer attached:“all of the technical things we said this will do are completely unproven and have not been subjected to outside scrutiny.”
The coin offering valuations have become too irrational, said Carlos Mosquera, who has invested in Bitcoin since 2013 and now runs Solidus Capital, a cryptocurrency fund, and also skipped on the offer. “The supposed adults in the room are getting into these ridiculous deals, getting their chips in just in case,” he said by phone. “It’s casino money.”
Michael Jackson of Mangrove Capital Partners echoes this sentiment. “It’s an interesting case—but only for the brave. As in, very, very, brave,” Jackson says. “It makes normal crypto look blue-chip.”
This craziness is causing even risk-tolerant crypto experts to give pause. “Telegram is definitely much more crazy than some of the bigger ICOs we have seen,” says Siddharth Kalla, Cofounder of the Turing Advisory Group.
“The entire thing should have a disclaimer attached: ‘all of the technical things we said this will do are completely unproven and have not been subjected to outside scrutiny,’” says Charles Noyes, Quant Researcher/Protocol Analyst at Pantera Capital. “They’re promising something that will somehow be radically better than everything else out there, with no real explanation of how that will happen or outside scrutiny of those claims,” Noyes continues.
It is also worth mentioning that numerous web sites, including gramtoken.io, gramtoken.tech, tgram.cc, ton-ico.com, ton-gram.io, grampreico.com, tgram.cc, and others have arisen, collected perhaps tens of thousands of dollars or more in Bitcoin and Ether, only to disappear from the web (although some may still be online).
Each of these sites claims to be giving investors a back door into the upcoming Telegram ICO, and one – gramtoken.io – purportedly collected more than $5 million before going dark, according to TechCrunch.
To trust or not to trust in the Telegram ICO is a private matter of its investors.
For the money that investors paid, they can find any scammer and force to answer for the fraud . If Pavel Durov reported to the SEC about 850 million dollars attracted from 81 companies, this is an average of 10.5 million dollars from each. As we know sometimes people are killed for a lot less money. So it’s unlikely that Durov and the company will risk their lives by scamming such serious investors … As for the raw White Paper of the project, this can be attributed to the eternal Russian hope for “maybe”!