Pavel Durov refused to launch the revolutionary TON blockchain platform and the Gram cryptocurrency. The reason was the actions of the US authorities, which banned the sale of Gram not only to Americans, but generally did not exist. Durov regrets that the United States has financial and technological control over the whole world, and 96% of the world’s inhabitants outside the United States should depend on the remaining 4%.
The creator of the Telegram messenger announced the termination of his team’s work on the “revolutionary” blockchain platform Telegram Open Network (TON) and the Gram cryptocurrency. This is stated in the message of Durov, posted on his blog. The reason was the ban of the American court on the distribution of Gram.
How Telegram raised investor funds to launch Gram
The TON project became known at the beginning of 2018. It was supposed to create a platform with a transaction spreading speed significantly higher than Bitcoin and Etherium. Gram was supposed to be a simple and easy-to-use cryptocurrency built into the Telegram messenger.
Telegram conducted two rounds of initial token placement (ICO), during which 2.9 billion tokens were sold for $ 1.7 billion. It was planned that the tokens could be exchanged for Gram after the launch of this cryptocurrency in a 1: 1 ratio. Payment for tokens was accepted both by cryptocurrency and fiat money.
In total, 5 billion Gram was planned for launch, that is, during the ICO, tokens were sold for 58% of the total Gram. 171 buyers took part in the ICO, including 39 US buyers who spent $ 424.5 million on tokens. During the first round of ICOs, a high entry threshold was set for investors – $ 20 million.
The Gram issuer was supposed to be an offshore company registered in the British Virgin Islands Ton Issuer. It belongs to another offshore company from the same jurisdiction – Telegram Group, which also owns the eponymous messenger. Investors were promised that if TON and Gram were not launched before October 31, 2019, they would be refunded.
The struggle of the US government with Telegram
In October 2019, U.S. authorities intervened in the process. The U.S. Securities Commission (SEC) has filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York State against TON Issuer and Telegram Group. The SEC considers Gram to be an unregistered security and demands that the defendants be prohibited from issuing it and that funds received during the ICO are returned.
The court in the fall of 2019 introduced temporary interim measures prohibiting defendants from issuing cryptocurrency. After that, Durov agreed with his investors to postpone the launch of the project to April 30, 2020. Also, during the trial, Telegram was forced to provide information about its banking transactions and abandon plans to integrate the future cryptocurrency into the messenger.
Unsuccessful attempt to limit the distribution of Telegram’s crypto
In March 2020, the court made a preliminary decision banning Telegram from issuing tokens to investors. Telegram tried to challenge this decision by asking for a ban only for American investors, but the court refused.
Against Telegram, he argued about the anonymity of the future cryptocurrency. The court ruled that in this case Telegram will not be able to distinguish American investors from other persons, in addition, it will not be possible to prevent the sale of Gram to US citizens on the secondary market.
After that, the parties entered into an agreement according to which Telegram will take measures to terminate the agreements with investors on the purchase and sale of tokens, will inform the SEC about the progress of negotiations with investors and will provide the commission with all the necessary information on the transfer of investors’ assets, including bank transactions.
How the US controls the whole world
Durov disagrees with the court decision. He compares this situation with the story when a group of investors invested in a gold mine, but not for the purpose of gold mining, but for its further resale. In the Telegram situation, TON acts as a mine, and Gram as gold.
The court forbade investors to buy or resell Gram in the same way as it does with Bitcoin, Durov notes. Moreover, this decision applies not only to American investors, but also to investors from all over the world. Investors from countries that do not have a ban on Gram will also not be able to buy them.
According to him, 96% of the world’s population living outside the United States is dependent on 4% of people living in the United States. People outside US jurisdiction can choose their own president and parliament, but are dependent on the US for technology and finance. US authorities, controlling the dollar, can close any bank account in the world, just like controlling Google and Apple. They can remove any application from their App Store and Google Play. The creator of Telegram wished good luck to those who continue to make such attempts.
Pavel Durov also warned that sites using the TON abbreviation may appear on the Internet, as well as the appearance of a network based on this technology. But the Telegram team has nothing to do with these projects, will not support them or will not be affiliated with them to any extent. Durov urged users to be careful when providing such projects with their money and data.