Telegram has abandoned the $1.7 billion TON cryptocurrency program and is being asked to refund investors in the face of strong regulatory oversight by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The 400 million-user messaging app operator announced today that it is finally abandoning its upcoming Telegram Open Network blockchain project after a protracted battle with the SEC.
“Today is a sad day for Telegram,” Telegram co-founder Pavel Durov wrote in a blog post. We announce the termination of this blockchain project and Telegram’s active involvement in TON has ended.”
Last October, the SEC accused Telegram of illegally issuing securities in 2018 for a $1.7 billion Grams cryptocurrency ICO.
Although Telegram denied the allegations, the SEC obtained a temporary injunction, which delayed the launch of the Telegram Open Network project.
Under the terms of the agreement issued at the time of the purchase of Grams, Telegram promised that the company would refund investors if TON could not be launched by April 30.
Clearly, the collapse of TON means that the window of opportunity to launch various air coin ICoos to the public has been slammed by regulators.