As Telegram continues to fight the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over the assertion that it violated securities laws in the country with its Gram offering, the company has remained relatively silent over what is happening with the digital token and the reason for its creation, the Telegram Open Network (TON). As it prepares to square off with the SEC in court in February, and in an attempt to quell rumors about what is actually going on, Telegram has finally published an update on the world surround TON and what the future holds.
In a notice posted on the company’s website, Telegram explains that it has remained silent in order to not confuse anyone with the details of what has been happening behind the scenes. It adds that it has continued to “build the TON Blockchain platform and work out the exact details of the project to ensure that the TON Blockchain and Grams can operate in a way that is compliant with all relevant laws and regulations,” a statement that should help shore up confidence after a long silence on the subject.
Once TON is launched, Telegram doesn’t expect to have any involvement with the platform. It hopes that it will be completely operated and maintained by third parties, with independent developers taking the lead in creating usable content on the network. The company asserts that it “won’t be able to control the blockchain” subsequent to its launch and that the idea is for the blockchain to be self-sustaining and completely decentralized.
In 2017, Telegram collected $1.7 billion in investments in anticipation of building the blockchain. The investments were issued in exchange for Grams, but their issuance carries little weight at this point. Telegram points out that the Grams do not provide “equity or other ownership interest in Telegram,” that they do not offer “rights to dividends or other distribution rights from Telegram” and that they also don’t offer “any governance rights in Telegram.” In essence, the investment in Grams doesn’t offer any tangible rewards.
The goal of the announcement is to allay concerns that Telegram is offering, or has offered, unregistered securities with the end result of bolstering its defense when it appears in court against the SEC. Telegram also asserts that it is “under no obligation, and makes no promise or commitment, to ever establish a TON Foundation or similar entity in the future,” which makes it sound like, once TON is up and running, the company is going to be able to walk away and not provide any input or oversight on how the platform operates going forward.
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