The biggest ICO to-date, limited to rich accredited investors and banks only, has raised $1.7 billion according to Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) filings.
That makes it a combined $1.7 billion from 175 investors. Suggesting each investor paid an average of around $10 million for the TON tokens.
That means they are probably institutional investors, like banks, or very rich billionaires, picking up all these tokens at sale prices in the hope of then selling them on to the masses.
Telegram, however, might not be done yet, stating “the issuers may pursue one or more subsequent offerings.”
That’s based on Telegram’s current revenue of around $70 million per year, with around 200 million users.
They say $400 million would be enough to cover them for four years, but bankers and billionaires were seemingly happy to give them a lot more.
Presumably because they hope they can just flip the TON tokens since the discriminatory Securities Act has kept everyone else out but the banks and billionaires.
These tokens do not grant any ownership rights as far as we are aware, nor any voting power. So if Telegram goes bust the 175 investors would not be entitled to anything, not even office laptops.
That’s because all this money is for the funding of a new blockchain which promises to have sharding, Lightning Network, and kind of everything. Or as Matthew Green describes it:
“The whitepaper reads like someone went out on the internet and harvested the most ambitious ideas form a dozen projects and said ‘let’s do all of those but better!'”
How all of this money is being raised and what exactly investors are being shown remains a bit of a mystery, with none of it in the open.
Even the whitepaper was “leaked,” while the raised funds come from SEC filings. That being, what Telegram claims they raised because there is no token as such yet as far as we are aware, no smart contract or anything.
Making it all sound like an old style, traditional, bankers-intermediaries, or billionaires, secretive alleyways, old boys network fundraising. Rather than a 21st century ICO, but who knows, maybe something will come out of it.