Telegram investor battles court to redact Gram investment strategies

An anonymous investor in the disputed Telegram ICO has joined forces with other backers to petition the court to keep their investment strategies out of the public domain, as legal battles over the coin offering continue.

Known only as “Investor Z,” the investment company said it wanted to redact its unique analysis of the Telegram ICO from the case, arguing that to divulge the details of its investment strategies was akin to publishing the much-guarded recipe for Coca Cola.

The case concerns the disputed issue of Gram tokens by Telegram, with the SEC successfully securing an injunction against the firm to prohibit the issue of any further tokens. According to the regulator, the offering was an unregistered security, and therefore illegal under U.S. securities law.

While the SEC has conceded that it will redact “the names of certain investors and prospective investors,” it has so far refused to compromise on publishing full details of the analyses by different investors in the project.

Highlighting their concerns over privacy, Investor Z said the SEC was “wrong” in its view of the case.

[The SEC] contend[s] that redacting identifying information of the various non-parties involved in the communication alone is sufficient to protect their privacy interests. The SEC is wrong.

Investor Z said investors in ICOs “rely upon their proprietary internal decision-making processes for investments and other strategic decisions.”

“Thus, […] the analyses in this document from these non-parties is likely their version of the ‘formula for Coca Cola or McDonald’s Secret Sauce’.”

The petition brings Investor Z into line with around a dozen other firms in arguing for commercially sensitive information to be removed from the case.

Noting that it had already “voluntarily complied” with SEC requests around the case, Investor Z said the courts “routinely protect the categories of non-party proprietary information […] from public disclosure.”

As a result, the investor said its privacy rights “supersede the public’s right of access to their proprietary information.”

The development is only the latest twist in the long running legal battle, and follows similar redaction requests from a group known as “Investor F” in February 2020.

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