The American regulator dealt an unexpected blow to the upcoming TON blockchain, accusing Telegram of unregistered sale of tokens a year and a half after the ICO.
The U.S. government seems to consider corporate cryptocurrencies more dangerous than public blockchains. Until now, all claims of regulators and politicians have been streaming on Facebook for the Libra project, and a similar development by Telegram, which began selling $ 1.7 billion in tokens in January and March 2018, has remained in the background. But this silence was deceiving.
On the evening of Friday, October 11, the SEC demanded to freeze the sale of Gram tokens and blamed the two companies – Telegram Group Inc. and her “daughter” TON Issuer Inc. in unregistered sale of tokens and insufficient informing of investors. The relevant press release was posted on the SEC website.
According to a press release, these organizations sold 2.9 billion Grams tokens at discounted prices to 171 investors, with 1 billion Gram sold to 39 buyers in the United States. In addition, after the launch of the blockchain, which should take place no later than October 31, tokens can go on sale for all US citizens.
The SEC states that the above companies have not registered the sale of tokens, which are securities, which violates the Security Act of 1933.
SEC Executive Director Stephanie Avakian said:
“We must act immediately to prevent flooding of the US market with illegally distributed tokens. We argue that the defendants did not provide investors with the necessary information about their business operations, financial condition, risk factors and requirements of securities laws. ”
Her colleague Steven Peikin added:
“We have repeatedly warned that issuers of securities cannot circumvent laws by simply calling them digital tokens or cryptocurrency. Telegram decided to take advantage of the public offering of securities without the appropriate disclosure of information required to protect investors. ”
After such accusations, the prospects for the TON project are seriously shaken. Probably, this will not lead to the cancellation or prolonged delay of the blockchain launch if the development is really at the last stages. But the legal status of the project and Gram tokens now looks doubtful, since investors will not be able to legally dispose of tokens before the SEC is withdrawn. Moreover, now investors who doubt the future of the project will receive a legal basis for demanding a return on their investments. And the obstacles raised by regulators will force other corporations planning to issue tokens to think about the feasibility of developing such initiatives.