The SEC, the United States Stock Exchange Commission, fines Telegram $ 18.5 million. The company will also have to return more than $ 1.2 billion to investors who had participated in an organized ICO to take off its digital house money technology, the TON (Telegram Open Network).
Last September, the marketplace specializing in Coinbase cryptocurrencies said it was studying the possibility of adding Telegram to its platform, in order to be able to work with the TON network. The Telegram Open Network was a project designed to introduce blockchain-based payments into the Telegram messaging application. Except that everything is decidedly very very fast in the world of cyber currencies.
The TON project had raised $ 1.7 billion through an initial issue (ICO – Initial Coin Offering). The proposed token was called GRAM. Telegram even published its TON source code, documentation, technical guides and a white paper.
An initiative not supervised
This settlement puts an end to a legal battle of several months between the company and the American regulator. In October 2019, the SEC filed a lawsuit against Telegram, alleging that with this transaction, the company had raised capital through an issue of securities. An action supervised by the regulatory authorities, while the Telegram ICO was not reported to the authorities.
In March, a US court ruled in favor of the SEC and issued a preliminary injunction. Consequently, in May, Telegram announced that it would end the TON initiative.
“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 fight. This battle may well be the most important of our generation. We hope that you will succeed where we failed “mentions Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram, in a blog post.
“New and innovative companies are welcome in our capital markets, but they cannot do so in violation of the registration requirements of federal securities laws,” the SEC said for comment on the matter. “These regulations oblige Telegram to return funds to investors, impose a significant penalty and require Telegram to give notice of future digital offers.”