Arrington-backed Crypto Loans Firm to Accept Telegram's Token as Collateral

Crypto loans firm Nexo says it will accept the gram ICO token from Telegram as collateral. Trouble is, the tokens may not be available for some time.

AccessTimeIconJul 5, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 10, 2022 at 8:08 p.m. UTC

Crypto loans firm Nexo says it will accept the gram ICO token from Telegram as collateral. Trouble is, the tokens may not be available for some time.

Nexo said that, once tokens have been received following the first public sale of gram tokens through the Liquid exchange platform, kicking off on July 10, it will allow customers to use the tokens as backing for its instant credit lines and planned credit card.

The limited gram sale – the first open to the general public – is being made via Gram Asia, a Korean firm claiming to be the largest holder of gram token – obtained through Telegram's private, multi-stage ICO in 2018. The token sale reaped an astonishing $1.7 billion in two phases – the highest raised via an ICO at the time. Telegram is not associated with the gram offering, Liquid has told CoinDesk.

The ICO funding is being used to develop the Telegram Open Network (TON), an ambitious blockchain project aimed to decentralize multiple facets of digital communication, ranging from file sharing to browsing to transactions.

The Liquid exchange indicates that gram tokens will go on sale at a price of $4 each. Both U.S. dollars and the USDC stablecoin may be used for purchases.

However, it may be some time before grams are actually in users' hands and can actually get to use them for backing Nexo's loans.

That's because the tokens will not be made available to investors immediately. New holders will have to wait until the TON launch, at which point tokens will be paid out in four tranches over 18 months.

Nexo told CoinDesk:

"If the mainnet launches, users would be able to claim their tokens at launch and immediately leverage them to borrow from Nexo, or to spend via our upcoming credit card."

TON is slated to go live in Q3 2019, the representative said.

Should grams go see a wider public offering, the token has "the potential to become one of the largest cryptocurrencies by market cap," according to Nexo. The full launch of the TON network is also likely to boost the market for grams, it said.

Nexo offers, its website says, insured accounts that provide automated and "instant" approvals for loans in over 45 fiat currencies. Crypto holders can also earn "up to 8 percent" interest on their assets.

The firm launched in April 2018, and is notably backed and advised by TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, who confirmed to CoinDesk at the time that he holds a stake in the startup.

Telegram in pocket image via Shutterstock


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