We got our hands on an investor update for Telegram’s blockchain project | ‘Crypto bank’ Silvergate is gearing up for an IPO | Coinbase's chief policy officer is leaving

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“I think we in western civilization tend to overestimate our own abilities to solve the problems and challenges that we face.” — Pavel Durov, founder Telegram

The Big Block

Investors earlier this year received an update on one of the hottest projects in the cryptocurrency space — and it could mean it’s close to being finished. 

Telegram, the messaging-app operator which raised more than a billion dollars in a token sale to build out its own blockchain, released a status update on the development of TON (Telegram Open Network) in September. It was previously reported by Russian media, but the circular itself was never published. According to the document, many aspects of the project are more than 90% complete. 

Overall, the project is 70% complete, according to the document. To be sure, it’s impossible to say how well the network will operate once it is live. A network can look good in a white paper or in a specification document, but there’s a big difference between what’s on paper and what exists in the real world. 

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Around The Block

‘Crypto bank’ Silvergate is gearing up for an IPO after strong digital-currency customer growth

Silvergate Capital Corporation, the holding company of startup-friendly Silvergate Bank, filed an S-1 in preparation for an IPO to be underwritten by investment banks, Barclays Capital Inc. and Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. Based in La Jolla, California, the bank is well-known for welcoming customers that work with digital currencies, in part due to the long-standing passion of chief executive Alan Lane.

Companies and investment firms dealing with cryptocurrencies are often viewed as high risk by financial institutions. Despite the risk profile of many crypto related firms, Silvergate banked some of the earliest startups working in the space, including Gemini, Paxos, bitFlyer, and Kraken, who were turned away by other financial institutions. More recently, the firm has worked with blockchain analysis businesses like Elliptic to help analyze the Bitcoin blockchain and launched the Silvergate Exchange Network, allowing crypto customers to easily transfer balances between them. — More

Gab moves to BitPay bitcoin payments after Stripe, PayPal and Coinbase cut off payment processing

Gab presents itself as a social network that “champions free speech, individual liberty and the free flow of information online.” Gab says that it is not politically affiliated, but in its financial filings, it listed its target market as more than 50 million “conservative, libertarian, nationalists and populist internet users around the world.”

In early October, payment processor Stripe gave Gab two weeks to remove “adult or illegal content” from the site. Following the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting in late October, in which 11 people were killed, both PayPal and Stripe banned Gab. The bans occurred after it was revealed that the shooter used the site to post anti-Semitic speech and posted “I’m going in” just moments before the shooting. Gab’s hosting provider Joyent, as well as GoDaddy and Medium, also terminated their relationship with Gab following the shooting. — More

Coinbase’s chief policy officer is leaving, and Fannie Mae’s former general counsel is taking his place — More

Researchers: ICOs are more successful in raising funds when they disclose more information to investors — More

Colorado securities regulator issues cease-and-desist orders against four more ICOs — More

Bitcoin mining firm Giga Watt files for bankruptcy — More

Binance invests $3 million in OTC trading desk Koi Trading — More

Chainalysis: Bitcoin merchant payments down almost 80% this year — More

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