Fortune adds Telegram founder Durov to 40 Under 40 list
MOSCOW, Jul 19 (PRIME) -- Pavel Durov, founder of popular messenger Telegram, has joined the 40 Under 40 list, the most influential young businessmen, drawn by the Fortune magazine, according to the rating seen by PRIME on Thursday.
“He’s been called the ‘Mark Zuckerberg of Russia,’ but it’s time to ditch the epithet and recognize Durov’s achievements in their own right. After having his Facebook clone, VKontakte, the second-most-popular website in Russia, ripped away from him by alleged Kremlin cronies in 2014, Durov focused his efforts on Telegram,” Fortune said.
“The encrypted-chat app has amassed more than 200 million monthly active users since its founding five years ago. It has even hosted one of the most extravagant ‘initial coin offerings’ to date, raising a reported U.S. $1.7 billion in exchange for promised crypto coins. Now Durov, a newly minted billionaire, is fighting bans in Russia and Iran, where government leaders claim Telegram facilitates insurrection.”
Russia’s communications service started muting Telegram in April upon a court decision because of the messenger’s reluctance to share encryption keys with the Federal Security Service, the move Telegram says is technologically and morally impossible.
The Fortune list also contains one more businessman of Russian descent, Vitalik Buterin.
“Buterin describes his open-source blockchain platform Ethereum as a ‘world computer.’ The skinny visionary’s experiment, which began as a white paper, now has a market valuation of $48 billion, making it the second-most-valuable crypto network next to Bitcoin. Ethereum caught a lucky break this year when the SEC said it would not regulate Ether, the network’s native coin, as a security. Rumor has it Google recently tried to hire Buterin to lead its own whispered crypto endeavors, but he declined,” Fortune said.