Telegram abandons TON blockchain project after legal dispute with SEC

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Telegram founder Pavel Durov wrote on public television on Tuesday that the Telegram Open Network (TON) project would be abandoned due to the company’s legal fight with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

“Today is a sad day for us here at Telegram. We are announcing the end of our blockchain project. Here is a summary of what it was and why we had to abandon it, “he wrote.

An accompanying blog article said that the SEC’s winning of a preliminary injunction before a US court led to the decision because it prevented Telegram from launching TON or distributing its gram tokens. The move is an abrupt change for Telegram, which said less than two weeks ago that it would launch the network in April 2021.

Telegram announced at the end of April that its investors could receive 72% of their funds immediately, or 110% in one year, once TON is launched. US investors would not be able to take the latter option, said Telegram in a later update. In Tuesday’s publication, Durov did not specify whether all investors would be reimbursed immediately or how much they would receive.

Durov referred to efforts by third parties to launch independent versions of the TON blockchain, but said that no Telegram employee was involved in these projects.

“Although networks based on the technology we have built for TON may appear, we will have no affiliation with them and it is unlikely that they will support them in any way. So be careful and don’t let anyone mislead you, ”he wrote.

TON Labs, a startup that operated a test network, launched its own version of the network last week, dubbed “Free TON,” after Telegram announced further delays.

Durov also targeted the injunction banning the distribution of grams worldwide, noting that the judge in his case had indicated if grams were being delivered, an American citizen could still have access to them.

“Unfortunately, the American judge is right on one thing: we people outside the United States can vote for our presidents and elect our parliaments, but we are still dependent on the United States for finance and technology (fortunately not coffee), “he wrote.

The dollar and its influence on the global financial system give the United States immense power, said Durov, adding that the country can also influence Apple and Google to remove apps from their respective app stores.

“So yes, it is true that other countries do not have full sovereignty over what to allow on their territory,” he wrote.

Durov closed his post with a call for decentralization.

“I want to conclude this post by wishing good luck to all those who are fighting for decentralization, balance and equality in the world. You are fighting the right battle, ”he wrote. “This battle may well be the most important battle of our generation. We hope you will succeed where we have failed. “

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