Telegram’s rocky road to TON launch date - OhNo "WTF" Crypto

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Telegram’s rocky road to TON launch date

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With the SEC now taking it to court, the company is trying to navigate its legal challenges while pushing ahead with the launch of TON. Recent developments, however, suggest that it will be a rocky road before the messaging company can deliver its blockchain product.

Launch date pushed back

Telegram was supposed to deliver its GRAM tokens - per the investor agreement - by the end of October 2019. However, the company faced regulatory pushback by the SEC, which labeled the ICO as an unregistered securities sale.

Telegram, therefore, reached out to its investors to get them to agree to an extension of the launch deadline to forego having to repay investors their funds. Investors agreed and the launch of the Telegram Open Network (TON) blockchain has been pushed back to April 2020.

Moreover, investors - in what can be seen as a vote of confidence for TON despite the company’s legal woes - also agreed to a further $80 million to go towards organizational costs to meet the new launch date.

Telegram refuses to share details of ICO funds

While the company is working towards delivering its blockchain and GRAM tokens in April, the company is in court to fight the SEC’s claim that it sold unregistered securities.

In the latest development, Telegram reportedly refuses to comply with the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s request to hand over details of how the funds that were raised during its ICO have been used.

According to a report by _Finance Magnates_, the US regulator has requested a court order to gain access to the company’s financial accounts so that it could see how the messaging platform has been using the funds that it raised two years ago.

“Plaintiff respectfully moves to compel defendants to answer questions and provide documents regarding the amounts, sources, and use of funds raised from investors in connection with the unregistered sale of securities at issue in this case,” the SEC’s court filing stated.

“Defendants are now refusing to disclose the bank records concerning how they have spent the $1.7 billion they raised from investors [...] and to answer questions about the disposition of investor funds,” the SEC claims.

While Telegram did not comment publicly on the matter, the company did provide its investors and users with an update about the current state of the development of TON.

TON wallet available on a stand-alone basis only

In a public notice published on the company website, the Telegram team provides insight into the current state of the TON blockchain. Aside from warning investors about fraudulent GRAM pre-sales that are circulating on social media, the company stresses that it will have no control over the TON blockchain as it will be decentralized and maintained by third parties.

The most important takeaway from the announcement, however, is that Telegram has decided not to integrate the TON wallet into its messaging app as it was previously suggested. This may come as a shock to investors who were expecting GRAM tokens to become immediately available for use within the popular Telegram messaging app.

In light of Telegram’s 200 million people-strong user base, investors were excited about the prospect of investing in a cryptocurrency that could potentially be met with immediate adoption. However, that will now - most likely - not be the case.

Interestingly, Telegram also stressed in its public notice that buying GRAM tokens is not a way to get rich.

“Grams are intended to act as a medium of exchange between users in the TON ecosystem. Grams are NOT investment products and there should be NO expectation of future profit or gain from the purchase, sale or holding of Grams,” the company stated.

The media has been more focused on the Libra story since Facebook first announced its plans to launch a digital currency. However, Telegram’s GRAM is more likely to launch in 2020, which would make it the first corporate-issued cryptocurrency and, thus, an interesting use case that other corporations (and regulators) will follow closely.



Alex Lielacher, Khareem Sudlow