Telegram Pulls Plug on Its TON Blockchain Platform and Gram Tokens

Telegram is pulling the plug on its Telegram Open Network (TON) blockchain platform and the Grams token, after years of battling with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In an announcement published on his public Telegram channel, the firm’s founder and CEO Pavel Durov said:

Telegram’s active involvement with TON is over. You may see – or may have already seen – sites using my name or the Telegram brand or the ‘TON’ abbreviation to promote their projects. Don’t trust them with your money or data.

In an accompanying blog post, Durov said the SEC’s winning of a preliminary conjunction in a U.S. court led to the decision, as it stopped Telegram from launching the TON network, or distributing the Gram tokens.

The move is rather abrupt as Telegram said less than two weeks ago it was looking to launch the network in April 2021. Last month, the firm announced investors could receive 72% of their funds back immediately, or 110% in a year once TON had launched. In the recent blog post, Durov didn’t specify whether investors would be refunded.

The Telegram Open Network was a blockchain platform that was set to offer anyone with a smartphone access to a decentralized cryptocurrency. Last October, however, the SEC ordered Telegram to halt its token sale as the firm reportedly failed to register an early sale of $1.7 billion worth of Gram tokens with the regulator.

The funds were raised in pre-initial coin offerings (ICOs) that Telegram conducted back in 2018. In his announcement, Durov argued American courts should not be able to stop the sale of the cryptocurrency outside of the country, and urged others to take up the fight for decentralization. Per his words, it may “well be the most important battle of our generation.”

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