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Telegram investors agree to delay network launch to April 2020

Both groups of investors in Telegram's token sale have agreed to postpone the launch of the TON Network to April 30, 2020.

Photo via Unsplash

Fri, 25 Oct 2019, 04:35 am UTC

In 2018, Telegram raised $1.7 billion through a token sale to create what’s called the Telegram Open Network, otherwise known as the TON Blockchain. The project received massive backing from hundreds of accredited investors, who bought $2.9 billion worth of its token, called Gram, at a discounted price.

With such an overwhelming reception, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) peered into the initiative. It found that of the 171 investors who bought the initial sale, 37 were from the United States. That accounts for $424 million worth of investment that is on the U.S. market.

Since the SEC deemed Gram as a security, the regulator said that the messaging giant conducted the token sale in violation of the federal securities laws.

SEC explains why it filed the restraining order

With Telegram promising its investors to deliver Gram by Oct. 31, 2019, the SEC filed a restraining order against the token. Needless to say that the filing is a massive roadblock for the project since Telegram promised its investors to deliver the token on or before the aforementioned date. Failing to do so will result in Telegram refunding the $1.7 billion that it initially raised. Co-director of SEC’s Division of Enforcement Stephanie Avakian explained why the SEC filed the restraining order.

“Our emergency action today is intended to prevent Telegram from flooding the U.S. markets with digital tokens that we allege were unlawfully sold. We allege that the defendants have failed to provide investors with information regarding Grams and Telegram’s business operations, financial condition, risk factors, and management that the securities laws require,” Avakian said.

The fears of the agency stem from the law exemption that Telegram made. By selling Gram to accredited and sophisticated investors – the latter being investors who are savvy enough to know the risks that Gram poses – Telegram managed to sidestep the blockade.

Gram investors agree to postpone token’s release

While the SEC and Telegram are at loggerheads about whether Gram token is security or not, the company recently proposed to postpone the launch of the TON blockchain project to April 30, 2020.

As reported by CoinDesk, the two groups of investors, who participated in Telegram's two-phased token sale, have given their consent to delay the launch and rejected the refund offer. In a letter to one of the groups, Telegram said:

“We are happy to share with you that we have successfully obtained the consent of a significant majority of investors in both the Pre-Sale and Stage A to extend the deadline for the Network Launch to 30 April 2020. We would like to thank everyone for your support. This extension allows us to proceed with the necessary regulatory work described in our last e-mail.”

Meanwhile, the hearing on the case has been postponed till February 18-19. Telegram welcomed the postponement saying that this will give it time to prepare its case.

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