UK-based regulated crypto exchange DSX claims today that it is the only Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)-registered venue to offer the GRAM token when it goes on public sale on 31 October.
The hotly anticipated GRAM token public sale from the Telegram messaging app has been surrounded by confusion as exchanges jockey to become the go-to venue to trade the digital asset.
Telegram raised $1.7 billion in the private token sale held last year, which saw the select investors invited to take part earn a return of 400%.
DSX in a press release published today says it will have 150 million GRAM tokens available for sale.
“Over 150 million tokens will be available for purchase, with many significant investors choosing to exclusively sell their tokens through DSX.”
Commenting on the news, the UK exchange’s chief executive Mike Rymanov said: “Telegram’s tokens are one of the most hotly anticipated cryptocurrencies of 2019 and we’re thrilled to be the only FCA registered UK exchange offering traders a chance to buy tokens.”
DSX styles itself as an exchange for professional traders and its state-of-the-art systems which, among other things, allows for interoperability with high frequency trading tech, helps to set it apart from the competition. Its regulated aspects provide a comfort blanket for both experienced and relatively inexperienced traders and investors.
“DSX prides itself on harnessing the professionalism of the financial world and combining it with the adventure of the crypto market, so it’s an obvious destination for the inaugural investors to sell their Gram tokens exclusively through DSX,” said Rymanov.
The DSX exchange was founded in 2014 and is registered with the FCA as an agent of ePayment Systems Ltd, which is recognised as an authorised electronic money institution.
This means that DSX customers get the benefit of full access to SWIFT and SEPA, allowing customers to withdraw and deposit a variety of fiat currencies, although that does mean account opening is a bit more cumbersome than usual because users have to register with ePayment Systems as well as with DSX.
Crypto exchanges race for piece of the Telegram token action
It is estimated that one million tokens were purchased in the Liquid sale at $4 a piece.
Since then, small Cayman Islands-based exchange Blackmoon Crypto with a mere 4,000 user accounts has popped up claiming it will be selling the token too. It claims to have a third of the participants in the private sale onboard.
Despite reports from some quarters that there is a corporate relationship between Telegram and Blackmoon, the latter denies this is the case.
Telegram popular with the security-conscious
Telegram was founded by Russian brothers Nikolai and Pavel Durov in 2013 and has risen in popularity over the past couple of years and for some time now has been the messaging platform of choice in the crypto world.
It is also a favourite with Hong Kong’s protesting activists because of its encryption features, although some argue it is less secure than open source Signal.
The much-vaunted security features of Telegram, in common with other end-to-end encrypted messaging services, has a major point of weakness in the fact that you use a phone number to sign up.
Putting those issues to one side, Telegram continues to grow. It has 200 million active users and is looking to monetise activity on the network and open up e-commerce as it platys catch up with Chinese apps such as WeChat..
But has the GRAM private sale sucked the value out already?
The trend seen last year at the height of the ICO boom was for presales to institutions and high net worth individuals before public sales took place.
Arguably this allowed wealthier investors to suck the value out of a project in a similar way to how private equity and venture capital operate outside of the public capital markets.
Critics also say that the GRAM public sale when it eventually happens will in effect enable the richer investors to profit at the expense of the smaller ones as they offload their tokens at a profit and effect a fiat-denominated exit.
Since launch DSX has traded around $2.35 billion worth of crypto, according to the release but is not listed in coinmarketcap’s top 100.
Unusually for crypto exchanges, DSX provides those interested in availing themselves of its services with a practice account so you can familiarise yourself with the site before funding a real account.
DSX offers trading pairs in USD, EUR, GBP, RUB (Russian Rouble) and TRY (Turkish Lira).
The exchange charges 2.6% for bank card deposits but deposits and withdrawals to the ePayments wallet is free.