Iran Takes Steps Against Telegram’s Cryptocurrency Development

Iran has taken further steps against Telegram’s cryptocurrency development, reported by Tehran Times on December 31st, 2018.

Javad Javidnia, the Secretary of the Criminal Content Definition Task Force, has declared that any cooperation with the encrypted messaging application to launch its Gram token would be assumed an act against national security.

Javidnia stated –

“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.”

Iran first banned such applications in April last year when Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that government agencies would no longer use the application. The nation’s judiciary forbade its use altogether.

In December 2017, Iran blocked Telegram and photo-sharing app Instagram on temporary basis for maintaining peace during widespread protests.

Before the ban was implemented, Iranian officials criticized the application, saying that its ICO was potentially undermining the national currency of the country.

The Secretary of the High Council of Cyberspace, Hassan Firouzabadi, approved the recommended ban owing to Telegram’s potential for bringing cryptocurrency to all of its Iranian users.

Firouzabadi remarked –

“Telegram is an enemy of the private sector. It never agreed to have an office in Iran and refused to work with the private sector.”

The go-to messaging app of the crypto industry was also banned in Russia because of concerns over its ICO, with the probability of a completely uncontrolled financial system that’s reportedly leading to the block.

Telegram raised approximately $1.7 billion in two funding rounds earlier this year, one of the industry’s largest. The ICO sought investment for supporting the development of the Telegram messenger application and its own blockchain platform called Telegraph Open Network.

A Russian billionaire, Roman Abramovich, reportedly took part in the first round of the ICO. People who are familiar with the matter told Russian media which Abramovich invested $300 million.