The Telegram team has posted a public message to address concerns about its TON crypto project amid claims from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it will flood the market with unregistered securities.
Since 2017, messaging service Telegram has been developing its own blockchain platform known as ‘TON’ along with a native cryptocurrency called ‘Grams’.
The company believes the project will improve the “speed, efficiency, and security of everyday commercial transactions globally”, and the blockchain will “create a stable ecosystem and represents a significant improvement upon previous platforms in terms of speed, usability, and scalability”.
Back in October, US regulator the SEC filed for and received an emergency action and restraining order which forced Telegram to stop selling or distributing Grams in the United States.
Telegram reportedly sold 2.9 billion tokens at a discounted price to 179 initial buyers across the world, but the SEC alleges it had not registered its offers and sales.
“Our emergency action today is intended to prevent Telegram from flooding the US markets with digital tokens that we allege were unlawfully sold,” said Stephanie Avakian, co-director of the SEC’s division of enforcement.
Telegram has now openly responded to the claims in an attempt to address any concerns, writing: “In light of recent events, we wanted to take the time to publicly clarify certain aspects of the TON Blockchain and Grams as we continue to prepare for a successful launch of the project.”
The company notes that following its pre-sale, while numerous scammers are offering Grams, they don’t actually exist yet.
“Nobody can buy or sell them before we announce the launch of the TON blockchain. Don’t get scammed,” the firm writes.
It also states nobody should expect profits based on their purchase or holding of Grams tokens, and it makes no promises that people will do so.
“Grams are intended to act as a medium of exchange between users in the TON ecosystem. Grams are not investment products and there should be no expectation of future profit or gain.”
According to Telegram, the native cryptocurrency does not represent any of the following:
- Any equity or other ownership interest in Telegram or its affiliates
- Any rights to dividends or other distribution rights from Telegram or its affiliates
- Any governance rights in Telegram or its affiliates
The company also stresses that it will not integrate the TON wallet into the Telegram messaging service – at least not until it receives proper approval under applicable laws and governmental authorities.
Telegram CEO Pavel Durov is set to testify in his deposition for the case on January 7 and 8 in Dubai.
Interested in reading more Telegram-related stories? Discover more about the SEC claiming the company has refused to share its ICO financial details.