Telegram was recently sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the United States over the USD 1.7 billion Grams initial coin offering (ICO). The SEC is demanding that Telegram refund all investors in addition to paying interest and civil penalties. This would not only destroy the Telegram Open Network (TON) and the Grams cryptocurrency before it ever even launches, but it could threaten Telegram Messenger itself.

Originally the TON network was to launch on 31 October, coinciding with the distribution of Grams tokens purchased in the ICO. Now Telegram has announced that the launch of the TON network and the Grams distribution is delayed until 30 April 2020, to give Telegram time to fight the SEC in court.

Telegram disagrees with the SEC’s legal position, and pledges to vigorously fight in court.

It is perhaps optimistic that there is a TON launch date at all, since there is no precedent for a cryptocurrency ICO to defeat the SEC in court. Indeed, the Kik Messenger tried to fight the SEC over the USD 100 million Kin ICO, and ultimately Kik spent so much money that they were forced to shut down their messaging service, and the court case continues unresolved.

 

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