The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said Telegram began selling tokens in 2018 due to a shortage of working capital to pay for servers.
During the litigation, the regulator presented a document stating that the CEO of the company Pavel Durov did not want to sell shares, transferring a share of capital to venture capital investors, sell advertising or charge fees from messenger users so as not to disappoint clients. Alternatively, he decided to issue the Gram cryptocurrency.
The SEC also said that in conversations with potential token buyers, Telegram representatives used traditional capital market terms to explain the product. Adding that the investors themselves also considered them as securities, since they were acquired not for use in the TON blockchain, but to make a profit in the future.
Although the company did not submit a relevant application to the regulator before the start of sales, but from February 6, 2018 it began to hold presentations and actively cooperate, not counting its tokens as securities, since they do not bring dividends and do not provide rights to a share of capital or profits of Telegram.
Whatever the initial incentive, after fundraising, the project team eventually developed the TON network and wallet for Gram. However, due to the delay in the launch of the project, the Liquid crypto exchange had to cancel the sale of tokens and return all the money to investors..
text: Ivan Malichenko, photo: dofa