Michael Arrington-backed crypto loans provider Nexo has announced that it will accept the gram token from messaging app firm Telegram as collateral.
Nexo told CoinDesk that, following the first public sale of gram tokens through the Liquid exchange platform, kicking off on July 10, it is allowing customers to use grams as backing for its instant credit lines and 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.
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.
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. The token will not be made available to investors immediately, however. New holders will have to wait until the TON launch, at which point tokens will be paid out in four tranches over 18 months.
Telegram in pocket image via Shutterstock