Russia has decided to block Durov’s messenger Telegram in response to founder Pavel Durov’s plans to launch his own cryptocurrency, reports RBC news agency,citing an internal letter of the Federal Security Servicen (FSB).
“The story is not about terrorism. Pasha Durov decided to become a new Sergei Mavrodi [a Russian financial fraudster],” the letter reads. “After such cryptocurrency is laucnhed in Russia, we would have a completely uncontrolled financial system. It is not Bitcoin for a marginal group—it will be simple, reliable and uncontrolled. This is a threat to the security of the country. Activity such as drug and organ trafficking will be done through Pasha’s cryptocurrency and he will say: ‘I have nothing to do with it.’”
Reports aboiut Durov’s plans to launch his own cryptocurrency appeared in the end of 2017. The Russian Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications (Roskomnadzor) threatened to block Telegram after it tried to obtain the encryption keys forTelegram messenger for half a year.
Durov intends to build a payment system based on his own platform ‘Telegram Open Network’ (TON). He plans to introduce it onto the app and other social networks in the future. At the beginning of 2018, Telegram held two closed rounds of initial cryptocurrency coin and token offerings and generated $1.7 billion from investors.