This sounds concerning amid instagram picture of Pavel living in 11000 euro per night hotel in Paris and renting private jet for his team.
One of them, in a recent detailed post on Medium, recounted how his personal history with genius brother of Pavel, Nicolai, who is also the author of the technical whitepaper and creator of the MTP protocol. The former staff's version of story is: Nicolai, who he knew since teenage years as a maths genius, secretly hated him and pursued his girlfriend. After being confronted, Nicolai asked Pavel to fire the staff. When the staff refused to resign, Pavel sued him for an astronomical figure.
I have read the relevant parts in the technical whitepaper and would like to ad some dimensions for understandings here. What was described in the technical papers are visions in the forms of "such and such network can theoretically be realized". However, in reality, building a network of decentralized nodes, which serve as the foundation of most of these services, require a decentralized community willing to devote energy and believe in the reward through TON coins. At the very minimum it takes time. In addition, we shall consider whether there is already sound providers of those services, whether there is a real need for the additional services. For example, TON proxy is effective in hiding the IP address of TON nodes, which do not need to exist except for running the TON blockchain. Can we understand TON proxy as exclusively a self-service for Telegram?
For people still using Telegram, I suggest you switch to Signal, which is recommended by Snowden.
I may be really really biased here, but all these "services" below, within 10 years, look like futuristic utilizations forcefully made up to legitimize its tokens.
I am really expecting Telegram to churn out a product on par with SpiderOak, or upgrade its messaging encryption to the level of Signal, which is based on Open Whisper System. I may be biased here but Telegram currently uses its own encryption protocol: MTProto. In 2015, a security researcher published a research paper detailing theoretical weaknesses in MTProto.
Read the entire paper here cs.au.dk/~jakjak/mas...
Interesting part of the paper: "We have found that Telegram does not check integrity of the padding applied prior to encryption, which lead us to come up with two novel attacks on Telegram. ... We conclude that Telegram should have opted for a more standard approach.
Put simply, before stepping into the new territory of encrypted storage, Telegram is better upgrading its own messaging encryptions.
In an effort to find commercial opportunities on a communication platform, Telegram is essentially learning from Wechat, where users cannot only send messages but also payments. Different from Wechat though, Telegram uses its own token in the place of FIAT. That said, given the volatile nature of crypto-asset, I remain highly skeptical about the prospect of using any digital asset to "buy coffee". We shall ask ourselves some simple questions: will we want to transfer TON coin to friends for our share of the dinner knowing it might worth more tomorrow?
Puvel Durov seems to be finally running out of money. According to recent report he is burning at 1 million usd per month to run Telegram, which he admits is not sustainable. However, to avoid repeating the tragedy of losing control over his first venture VK (the Russian facebook), he is not taking on external investors. In addition to refusal to traditional investors, he registered Telegram in several jurisdictions and currently travels with a team of four core staff in a nomad fashion, all these to avoid betting on single jurisdiction. His personal wealth at the time of fleeing Russia in 2014 was estimated to be around 300 millions.