The Telegram Open Network (TON) ICO, which raised $850 million during an initial pre-sale, is reportedly not allowing participation from investors under the net of international sanctions.
According to a contract for the purchase of Gram tokens (the network’s proposed native digital currency) verified by Russian publication, RBC, persons who are under sanctions from the United States, Britain, European Union or the UN Security Council, will not be able to invest in the initial coin offering.
Interestingly, the rule is applicable on relatives of such persons, including their children, spouses, parents and siblings. Moreover, the ICO is also refusing investments from countries which are under sanctions, such as Cuba, Iran, Crimea, North Korea and Syria.
The TON ICO is expected to have stringent KYC (know your customer) processes in order to identify all investors via their passports, bank recommendations and proof of residence. Given how Telegram is aiming to raise an unprecedented amount of money during an ICO, it is not surprising that the company wants to cover its bases and focus on qualified investors in order to prevent any legal issues or conflicts moving forward.
After having raised $850 million in the first round of their closed sale, a second round is underway, seeking another $850 million in investments. With such demand and investor interest, there have also been talks of TON not holding any public offering, since closed sales allow for more control over participants.
However, even without a public sale, once the closed sales are completed, investors will be able to freely use or sell their tokens, which are likely to end up on cryptocurrency exchanges for public trading.
Even at this stage, the hype around TON and the leaked whitepaper has set huge expectations. Not only does Telegram claim its blockchain network will be faster than existing ones, it also discusses several additional services, such as decentralized storage, VPN, proxy service and a complete ecosystem for decentralized apps, much like Ethereum. Unfortunately, it seems, most of us may not be able to participate in the ICO.