Telegram’s decision comes days after the Free TON community launched a free version of the blockchain
Telegram has announced that it has terminated plans to launch the Telegram Open Network (TON) and Gram tokens.
Telegram CEO, Pavel Durov, said in an announcement posted on May 12, that he contends that the TON project and its Gram token cannot possibly be realised given the tussle between the company and the United States Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC).
In his “What Was TON And Why It Is Over,” post, the Telegram CEO points to a March 2020 court order as the reason the company has opted to bin TON and Gram.
“The US court declared that Grams couldn’t be distributed not only in the United States but globally. Why? Because, it said, a US citizen might find some way of accessing the TON platform after it launched,” Durov wrote.
The court thus barred the firm from distributing Grams “anywhere in the world,” which the Telegram CEO criticises saying:
“This court decision implies that other countries don’t have the sovereignty to decide what is good and what is bad for their own citizens.”
According to Durov, TON was built to advance the principle of decentralization, a key concept espoused by pioneering cryptocurrencies Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). But the US government, he added, has prevented TON from launching.
While the US is the world’s leader in matters of finance and technology, Durov felt the decisions made by its regulators should not encroach on the sovereignty of the rest of the world.
Durov points to this as being the case when he states in his post that American “decision-makers” get their mandate from a paltry 4% of those living in the country. But he thinks it is unfortunate that”the 96% of the world’s population living elsewhere” have to depend on the decisions taken by the U.S.
Faulting the SEC and U.S. court’s orders, Durov added:
“If the US suddenly decided to ban coffee and demanded coffee shops in Italy be closed because some American might come there – we doubt anyone would agree.“
Where it all began to crumble for Telegram
Telegram announced plans to launch TON and Gram in 2017, before completing one of the largest ICO sales in crypto history at $1.7 billion in early 2018.
But in October 2019, just days to the launch of TON blockchain, the SEC accused Telegram of planning to distribute unregistered securities, in violation of U.S. law. And in March this year, a court supported the SEC’s view and barred Telegram from launching the network.
Although Pavel Durov announced plans to refund investors, a group of validators and developers under the Free TON community launched an independent or free version of the TON blockchain on May 7. On the same day, Telegram filed a court motion agreeing to hand SEC documents related to the ICO and other financial statements.
But before that happens, the firm has terminated the TON project and will not be part of the Free TON blockchain.
What now remains is to see how the proposed payout plan, which should have seen investors get a 72% immediate payout or a 110% refund in April, 2021,unfolds.