Pavel Durov disclosed his ownership of Bitcoin in a recent post commemorating the platform’s accomplishments on his official Telegram channel.
Pavel Durov, the CEO and inventor of Telegram, has admitted to owning Bitcoin. In a recent post honoring the platform’s accomplishments on his official Telegram channel, he did so.
Telegram and Bitcoin
In fact, Durov stated that every day, more than 2.5 million new users join up for Telegram, and by the beginning of 2023, the platform would have more than 800 million monthly active users.
The post’s primary purpose was to explain their most recent decision to issue bonds.
Durov drew attention to the fact that such rapid expansion has inevitably led to higher costs for user services, particularly in the areas of storage and traffic.
Even though he claims Telegram is very effective at controlling costs, he acknowledges that the service is still not making money.
It should be noted that the site has only been actively monetized since last year, therefore he thinks it was impossible to reach full profitability in such a short period of time. He emphasizes that Telegram is more profitable than rivals like Twitter or Snap, nevertheless.
And this week they issued bonds with a total value of roughly $270 million in order to fund the platform’s continued growth with the aim of reaching a balanced budget. These bonds were also bought, according to Durov, by reputable funds “with stellar reputations.”
In addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars he claims he has spent over the past ten years to keep it running, about a quarter of the new Telegram bonds were bought directly by him, investing tens of millions of dollars in the platform’s expansion.
Pavel Durov was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, but he is also a citizen of France, the United Arab Emirates, and St. Kitts & Nevis.
His previous venture, VKontakte (VK), the most popular social network in Russia and the former Soviet Union, which he launched in 2006, predates Telegram.
Durov left VKontakte in 2014 because he disapproved of political meddling by certain of President Putin’s aides.
When he left VKontakte, Alier Usmanov, the owner of Mail.ru, and Igor Sein, the former CEO of the oil corporation Rosneft, took over. Later, Usmanov also acquired Sein’s stock, becoming the latter’s largest shareholder.
In fact, he had already run afoul of the Russian government in 2011, and the following year Mail.ru tried to purchase VK. In 2013, Durov sold all of his shares to Ivan Tavrin, who immediately resold them to Mail.ru Group.
It’s probable that he made more than $150 million from this sale, a large portion of which he reportedly spent in Telegram.
Bitcoin and Telegram investments
Durov did not, however, put all of his millions into Telegram, he said.
In fact, he admits in his article from two days ago that despite some people’s suggestions that he purchase a home or a jet, he chose to invest in his profession instead, only purchasing a little amount of Bitcoin and Toncoin.
He therefore declined to say how much BTC he has, although he did acknowledge that the only significant investment he has made in his life since leaving VK is Bitcoin.
Although it has now changed its name to The Open Network (TON), Toncoin (TON) is still the cryptocurrency that Telegram itself launched. It was formerly known as the Telegram Open Network.
Telegram’s Gram ICO, which began in late 2017, ended the following year. After a huge SEC fine in 2020, the corporation abandoned the project and turned it into a decentralized endeavor.
Therefore, it is not unexpected that Durov continues to have TON in his portfolio, which are the newer tokens that took the place of the older Gram tokens that were never accepted by cryptocurrency exchanges.
Instead, the BTC he has must have been bought, potentially even before 2014, or extracted through mining. However, the cost of acquisition is unknown, thus it is impossible to determine how much money he has gained so far from them.
It is not impossible to imagine that Telegram approached Bitcoin around the same time, that is, during the first significant post-halving bull run that took the price of BTC from $10 to over $1,000 in less than a year, given that Telegram was created in 2013, when it was looking for an alternative that was unassailable by the authorities (unlike VK).
It is important to note that the price of TON has been dropping in 2023, in contrast to the major cryptocurrencies, going from $2 at the start of the year to the current $1.4. However, it has already increased significantly from the low point of $0.8 in 2022.
The current price is significantly higher than the $0.7 it started at in the crypto exchanges in August 2021, however it is 76% behind the highs reached in November of that year.
Although the initial project has been active since 2017, the coin has only been available on the crypto exchanges for a little over two years.
It’s important to note that the previous Gram coin was never accepted by the financial markets due to the earlier suspension of Telegram’s cryptocurrency project.
The fact that Telegram launched a cryptocurrency project in 2017 suggests that Durov purchased BTC before of that year’s major bull run, which saw the price jump from roughly $1,000 to almost $20,000.
In other words, all evidence points to Durov having profited thus far from his Bitcoin investments.