FUD-free Fridays: Testing times for Telegram

It’s been a week filled with mass adoption news, as more companies and governments race to get ahead in the crypto game. We won’t say we told you so, but… Without further ado, let’s dive straight in.

Telegram denies SEC allegations ?

Telegram has denied all allegations put forward by the US-based SEC pertaining to their cryptocurrency project, Telegram Open Network (TON), which raised $1.7 billion during an ICO for its native GRAM token.

In October, the SEC filed a complaint against Telegram and their TON project, claiming that the ICO was unregistered and therefore illegal in the US. After weeks of speculation, Telegram finally released an official response to the US regulator.

The filing reads: “Plaintiff’s claims are without merit as Telegram‘s private placement to highly sophisticated, accredited investors was conducted pursuant to valid exemptions to registration under the federal securities laws and Grams will not be securities when they are created at the time of launch on the TON Blockchain.”

Do you think the company violated the law? Let us know on Twitter.

Blockchain analyst wanted: French Central Bank ??

Calling all blockchain analysts: France needs you. The Central Bank of France, Banque de France, recently posted a job opening for a blockchain analyst who will help the bank define a programme for implementing a digital currency.

The bank is looking for an analyst with experience in crypto-economics, game theory, and public or private blockchain technology. The bank is also on the hunt for a blockchain developer to explore potential applications for the technology in finance. Combined, the news suggests a real push from the bank.

Alibaba denies partnership with Lolli ?

It was reported last week that Lolli, a retail startup that gives online shoppers Bitcoin rewards instead of traditional cashback perks, announced their first Asian partnership with Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba. The app allows users to shop through the merchant’s website as they normally would, but earn small Bitcoin rewards delivered to the in-browser app. The move would allow Alibaba shoppers to claim 5% of their rewards in the form of Bitcoin.

However, the announcement has since been denied by Alibaba. The Chinese retail giant has claimed that the ‘partnership’ was the work of one of Alibaba.com’s contractors, who hired a subcontractor who brokered an affiliate marketing program with Lolli. “This was done without the knowledge of Alibaba.com,” an Alibaba spokesperson told CoinDesk. “Alibaba.com’s contractor is terminating the relationship with the subcontractor who was working with Lolli. As a result, Lolli should no longer promote or bring traffic to Alibaba.com.”

Lolli’s head of communications, Aubrey Strobel, claimed: “It seems as though there was a miscommunication on Alibaba’s end and while that’s unfortunate, we look forward to the possibility of working with Alibaba.com again in the future. In the interim, Alibaba Group’s AliExpress is still live on Lolli.”

Lolli did have some good news this week when it was named the only bitcoin-related company in CNBC’s third annual #Upstart100 list of 100 of the world’s most promising start-ups to watch in 2019.

China’s blockchain spending shows no signs of slowing ??

According to a report carried out by market intelligence firm, IDC, China’s blockchain spending is expected to see rapid growth in the upcoming three years. China is forecast to spend more than $2 billion on blockchain technology by 2023 – a compound annual growth rate of a remarkable 65.7%.

The report comes shortly after Chinese President, Xi Jinping endorsed the distributed ledger technology.

The Chinese government is not the only one to endorse the technology and allocate budget – last month, the Russian Minister of Finance allocated roughly $5.5 million for the development of blockchain technology. Let the great crypto race continue.

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