Telegram Says it will Be Unable to Offer Previously Promised 110% Refund to US Investors after SEC told Company to Suspend Operations

Encrypted messaging provider Telegram reportedly missed its April 30, 2020 deadline for launching the Telegram Open Network (TON), a blockchain platform (under development) that will be protected by a built-in “anonymizer” and proxy. The TON platform aims to offer messaging, the Gram cryptocurrency, and various other services.

After missing its recent deadline for launching TON, the company sent a letter to its investors in which it reportedly noted that US-based TON investors won’t be able to participate in the initiative for another year.

US TON investors may only be able to get an immediate 72% repayment, instead of a 110% refund in April of next year. This, according to a May 4 report from Russian news outlet RBC.

This update has come after Telegram decided to provide a refund to investors on April 30, 2020. The company had offered an immediate 72% refund, or a 110% in a year from now.

Telegram claimed it was offering the 110% refund as “a token of gratitude” of trust in the TON project. The company also said it would offer interested investors a loan agreement.

As noted in an investor letter reviewed by RBC, Telegram was forced to retract the 110% refund option for US residents because of the “uncertain stance by regulatory authorities” in the country.

Telegram has had to deal with serious regulatory issues that mainly involve its native Gram (GRM) crypto token. Last year, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had told the company to suspend its operations.

Established in 2017, Telegram had been planning to launch the TON blockchain network toward the end of last year. But the SEC ruled that Telegram’s $1.7 billion initial coin offering (ICO) had been conducted illegally as it didn’t follow applicable US securities laws.

In March 2020, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York stated that the SEC would most likely be able to prove that GRAM tokens were unregistered financial securities. Telegram was also instructed not to deliver the tokens to investors until a final decision was reached on the matter through a trial.

Pavel Durov, CEO at Telegram, had recommended a refund plan on April 30, 2020, which made it seem as if he had accepted the court’s decision.

Several reports claim that the TON network may still be launched by external or third-party validators, even though the project faces regulatory pressure.

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