Investors in the funding rounds for Telegram’s troubled ‘TON’ blockchain project have reportedly voted to accept an extension to its expected launch date as contractually stipulated, representing a vote of confidence after difficulties imposed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The news was broken by Forbes.ru on October 23rd, which claimed to have been informed by two sources close to Telegram who confirmed an extension through to April 2020. Rather than accepting a refund as a result of the project failing to accomplish a key milestone on time, the majority of investors are positive that the project will pull through in due course.
Last week, on October 11th, the SEC filed a complaint against social media platform Telegram, in which it ruled that the ‘Grams’ token as a security. This also means that its token sale back in January 2018 has been retroactively deemed an illegal unregistered security fundraising event.
This action is, according to the SEC, directed at attempting to stop Telegram from continuing what it describes as an “illegal offering of f digital-asset securities called “Grams”… in violation of the registration provisions of the federal securities laws”.
Regarding the complaint, Stephanie Avakian (Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement) said:
“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.”
Whilst action has been initiated, proceedings have been delayed until next year – and will likely come back around by April when TON expects to launch.
This isn’t the only ongoing example of the SEC waiting for a project to snowball in public and corporate interest before making it retroactively “illegal” – with Facebook’s Libra project receiving a massive backlash from various US regulators, and members of congress.