The Commission on securities and stock exchanges of the USA believes that tokens of the messenger was sold illegally, writes the BBC.
As the SEC said, the Commission received from the court order on temporary ban against two offshore companies allegedly selling a Gram tokens in the US and abroad. Company Telegram Group Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary TON Issuer Inc. has attracted more than $ 1.7 billion of investors ‘ funds.
As stated in the lawsuit, Fund raising began in January of 2018, to Finance the business of these companies, including launching a blockchain-platform Telegram Open Network (TON) and Telegram messenger.
The defendants sold approximately 2.9 billion digital Gram tokens at discount prices 171 to the initial purchaser worldwide, including more than 1 billion Gram 39 investors in the United States, said in a lawsuit.
Telegram promised to provide them with access tokens after the launch of blockchain-based platform no later than 31 October 31 October 2019, after which buyers would be able to sell them in the US market. The complaint States that the defendants did not register the offer of tokens, thus violating the rules of the U.S. securities act.
“Our emergency operations are directed to Telegram is not flooding the US markets with digital tokens, which, we believe, was sold illegally,” — said the representative of the SEC Stephanie Avakian.
According to her, the defendants did not provide investors with details of transactions with tokens, the financial position of the companies and the risk factors and management, as required by the securities act.
The SEC has repeatedly stated that issuers of crypto-currencies may not circumvent the requirements of the Federal laws, just tagging your product as a cryptocurrency or digital token, said in a statement to the Commission. Telegram, in its opinion, tends to benefit from a public offering without complying with the requirements on information disclosure to protect investors.
Filed suit in addition to suspend the ICO envisages penalty sanctions against Telegram.
Durov has not yet commented on the actions of the SEC and the decision of the court of Manhattan.
Telegram Group Inc. and its subsidiary, TON Issuer Inc. started to attract capital in January of 2018 for the development of blockchain-platform Telegram Open Network (TON) command Durov. Cryptocurrency to appeal to the TON is called a Gram.
Wrote Bloomberg, initially, the result of the ICO planned to attract 2.55 billion dollars. In the beginning of 2018 Telegram has attracted $ 1.7 billion.
Tokens are sold among a closed circle of investors, which have defined competences in the field of blockchain technology.
ICO messenger was targeted by the Russian investors. In TON invested co-founders of Qiwi Sergey Solonin and “Vimm-the bill-Dann” David Yakobashvili. The newspaper “Vedomosti” wrote that Telegram has invested and businessman Roman Abramovich.
The media also reported that the ICO’s messenger was attended by the founder of USM Holdings Alisher Usmanov. Representatives of USM Holdings has denied this information.
In the beginning of 2018 media published the white paper — a document which describes how to work blockchain project messenger. The owners of the messenger promised to send part of the funds to create their own cryptocurrency and blockchain Gram-platform Telegram Open Network (TON) with its own payment system described in this document.
Telegram expects that its platform will compete with the world leaders of the market of non-cash transactions — Visa and Mastercard. This will create a whole economy in the Telegram, mentioned in the project description TON.
At this point no bitcoin is not suitable for the role of a competitor to Visa and Mastercard, says the Telegram. Bitcoin, with its speed of seven transactions per second is difficult to compete with international payment systems, which handle an average of about two thousand operations per second. System speed TON will reach millions of operations per second, stated in the Telegram.
Telegram expects that the cryptocurrency will become mainstream because it will be embedded in the messenger, which is now used by more than tens of millions of people.
TON closed beta began in April 2019. In September, the Telegram posted in open access a test version of the platform much later than promised to investors, pay attention to “Vedomosti”. In this Telegram there is an obligation to investors to start working blockchain network that draws attention and SEC. Otherwise, the command Telegram promised to return investors their money.
In early October edition of the Bell reported that the command Telegram sent a letter to investors, which promised to run the blockchain TON in time. According to the publication, the developers also gave instructions on how to investors to get their cryptocurrency.
The established practice of settlement of claims the SEC to issuers of crypto-currencies, writes The Bell. Last week the regulator has reached a pretrial agreement with the company Block.One, which was filed the same claim over the unregistered ICO for $ 4.1 billion in 2017. The company has agreed to pay a fine of $ 24 million.
Not only Telegram
The SEC statement sounded simultaneously with the company’s decision, Mastercard, Visa, eBay and the payment system Stripe to withdraw from the project Facebook, which is going to launch a cryptocurrency Libra. This was reported by the newspaper Financial Times.
Last week of the project left the company PayPal.
The project has attracted close attention from regulators in the United States. In September, France had promised in Europe to ban the cryptocurrency Facebook. Finance Minister Bruno Le Mayor said that Libra carries risks for the financial system and can be used for illegal transactions.