Telegram to Delay TON (GRAM) Token Launch for Spring of 2020
Ahead of a US Securities and Exchange Commission court hearing, the Telegram team decided to delay the actual token launch.
Telegram may want the least complications in its upcoming hearing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. For that reason, the project sent out a message to ICO participants, stating the distribution of TON tokens would be delayed at least until April 2020. At this point, the token distribution may give the SEC more grounds to state that Telegram will distribute an unregistered security via exchanges.
“Telegram never held a public ICO and instead raised funds directly from 171 private investors, each of whom were verified as "professional clients," meaning that they have sufficient wealth to avoid the usual level of protection provided by the SEC.
Nevertheless, the government claims that the distribution of those tokens itself should be considered as a public offering of securities, even though Gram tokens are clearly meant to be used as money and not as shares in the Telegram app,” commented Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at eToro.
The SEC called for a court order to halt the activity of the Telegram token-based project, based on claims that the TON digital asset was an unregistered security. Currently, large-scale ICO backers still hold onto the tokens, with only a small-scale secondary market on derivatives based on TON (GRAM) tokens.
The Telegram ICO, which reportedly gathered the equivalent of $1.7 billion, did not go through a crowdsale, which may diminish the impact of the SEC action. Unfortunately, all backers had to wait for more than a year until the token launch. The SEC announced its decision to block the token project just two weeks before the tokens were supposed to be unlocked for trading.
The Telegram ICO was supposed to be an event to boost the performance of the altcoin market, with a long-awaited asset that also has a strong use case within the Telegram ecosystem. Unfortunately, the announcement that the token sale was illegal broke down optimism further.
The GRAM token was also supposed to be another instance of using a digital asset within a well-established product, the Telegram chat app. Unfortunately, the launch is not going to be used as a gauge on the potential success of Facebook’s Libra.
In the past, multiple projects tried and failed to link mainstream chat products with a token. The Status Network project did not have an appealing chat product, and Kik saw its token attacked by the SEC as well.