Encrypted messaging provider Telegram has reportedly abandoned its TON blockchain project after a lengthy court battle with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Pavel Durov, founder of Telegram, confirmed on May 12, 2020, that the Telegram Open Network (TON) initiative would be discontinued, because of the messaging giant’s intense legal battle with the SEC.
“Today is a sad day for us here at Telegram. We are announcing the discontinuation of our blockchain project.”
The Telegram team stated in a blog post that the winning of a preliminary injunction in a US court had influenced the firm’s decision. That’s because it prevented the company from launching the TON blockchain network or handing out Gram tokens to investors.
Telegram’s decision to abandon the project is quite abrupt. The company had recently claimed that it was planning to launch TON by April of next year.
Telegram had noted in late April 2020 that its investors would get 72% of their investment back immediately. They were also offered 110% of their money back if they were willing to wait another year before getting their refund (this offer is not available to US investors due to regulatory issues).
In Telegram’s most recent blog post, Durov did not clarify whether all TON investors would receive an immediate refund. He also did not confirm exactly how much of the funds would be refunded and when.
“While networks based on the technology we built for TON may appear, we won’t have any affiliation with them and are unlikely to ever support them in any way. So be careful, and don’t let anyone mislead you.”
TON Labs, a blockchain startup that has been operating a test network, introduced a different version of the DLT network, called “Free TON,” after Telegram kept delaying the launch of the actual TON platform.
Durov further noted:
“Sadly, the US judge is right about one thing: We, the people outside the U.S., can vote for our presidents and elect our parliaments, but we are still dependent on the United States when it comes to finance and technology (luckily not coffee).”
“So yes, it is true that other countries do not have full sovereignty over what to allow on their territory.”
“I want to conclude this post by wishing luck to all those striving for decentralization, balance and equality in the world. You are fighting the right battle. This battle may well be the most important battle of our generation. We hope that you succeed where we have failed.”