Telegram founder Pavel Durov presents TON investors with a challenge, agree to postpone the launch of the Gram cryptocurrency or take their investments back. Not in full, however, but only 77%.
Telegram invited TON investors to approve the decision to postpone the launch date of the blockchain platform until 30 April. Those who do not want to agree can get back 77% of the money they invested in TON ICO, The Bell reports citing a letter sent by the Telegram team to TON investors on 16 October. Investors will have to make their choice before 23 October, a day before the meeting between Telegram lawyers and representatives of the US Securities and Exchanges Commission. “We were going to launch the TON network in October. But the latest SEC lawsuit made this timing impossible,” the letter said.
Earlier, the agreement with investors enjoined on Telegram team to launch the TON blockchain platform before the end of October 2019, otherwise, Durov promised to return investments to token buyers.
On 16 October, Telegram and TON lawyers filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York State court within the case brought against it by the SEC. According to the documents, Telegram states that the company is ready to comply with SEC requirements and suspend all operations with TON and Gram for 5 months, in order to maintain the current state of things before the court can resolve all legal issues. Telegram insists that Gram is not a security, but cryptocurrency.
Earlier, the SEC issued an announcement stating that it had filed an emergency action and obtained a temporary restraining order against two offshore entities, Telegram Group Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary TON Issuer Inc., conducting an alleged unregistered digital token offering in the US and overseas that raised more than $1.7 billion of investor funds. According to the SEC study, Telegram now has 300 million users, 39 US investors invested $424.5 million in TON (both retail investors and funds). The remaining investors are scattered across dozens of jurisdictions of the world, from Switzerland and Singapore to Russia, Kazakhstan, Australia and the UAE. As of 31 January 2019, the founders of Telegram and TON spent $218 million of the $1.7 billion raised to develop the messenger and its blockchain. The Telegram team informed investors that $520 million will be spent on the messenger within the period from 2019 to 2021, and the agreement for investors warns that part of the funds raised will go to the personal needs of the founders of the project.