In brief

  • The Telegram Open Network has failed to launch on time.
  • Telegram offers investors the opportunity to receive a 72% refund.
  • But amid delays, will it ever launch?

Telegram, the group behind the eponymous 400-million-strong messaging app, reportedly intends to return $1.2 billion of investors’ money raised in a 2018 token sale for its upcoming blockchain network. It also plans to further delay the launch of the network, which has been held up by a lawsuit with the SEC.

According to a letter to investors obtained by CoinDesk, Telegram is offering to give back up to 72% of each investors’ stake. Else, Telegram is offering investors “an alternative option to receive 110% of your original investment by April 30, 2021, which is 53% higher than the Termination Amount."

Telegram reportedly told investors that it is "continuing to engage in discussions with the relevant authorities” and that investors could be entitled to "Grams or potentially another cryptocurrency on the same terms as those in their original Purchase Agreements."

Telegram is a popular messaging app. Image: Shutterstock.

The decision to return investors’ money is expected: in its initial purchase agreements for the Telegram Open Network’s token sale, Telegram had always agreed to return money should the network not launch by its deadline. 

TON was originally supposed to launch in October 2019, but then revised its deadline to accommodate for a lawsuit with the SEC, which claims that its token sale, which raised a total of $1.7 billion, was an unregistered securities sale and was thus illegal.

The case is still being battled in the courts, though the judge presiding over the case, Judge P. Kevin Castel of the New York Southern District Court, wrote in a letter last month that the SEC “has shown a substantial likelihood of success in proving that Telegram’s present plan to distribute Grams is an offering of securities.”

A temporary injunction against TON is still in place. Will it ever launch?

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