The serial entrepreneur announced and made moves to release the Telegram Open Network, or TON — the blockchain associated with his Telegram messaging app. The idea of TON is to allow users to go beyond simply sending messages and emojis to each other, by using the app’s underlying infrastructure to transact a cryptocurrency called Gram in a completely trustless and secure manner.
But the United States Securities and Exchange Commission had other plans for the launch of Telegram’s new blockchain product, filing an emergency restraining order in October in an effort to halt the initial coin offering after it raised $1.7 billion in an unregistered sale.
“Our emergency action today is intended to prevent Telegram from flooding the U.S. markets with digital tokens that we allege were unlawfully sold,” said SEC Division of Enforcement co-director Stephanie Avakian at the time. “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.”
But it would appear that this wasn’t enough for Telegram to properly hit the brakes on its ICO — the SEC managed to dig up evidence that token sales continued after that. Now, Telegram joins large entities like Facebook who want to make meaningful plays in crypto but are being held back at the shirttail by regulators and enforcers. Telegram boasts some 200 million users around the world, and the TON blockchain would give them a token-enabled economy to participate in online. But the U.S. government considers this illegal. Read More...