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Telegram Decides to Drop Plans for TON Network and Gram Token

Saad Ullah

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Telegram has decided to call it quits on the launch of its TON network and the associated Gram token.

Losing Battle

Pavel Duron, the CEO of Telegram, announced through a message on May 12 that the internet messenger service company has decided not to go through with the launch of its Telegram Open Network (TON) and the accompanying Gram tokens.

With the initial announcement to have its own blockchain network back in 2017, the company it seems has lost the will to fight the Securities and Exchange Commission. The legal battle has taken many turns and twists, with both sides not willing to let go off the struggle. Pavel, in the post aptly titled What was TON and Why is it Over explains on the decision he made, citing the SEC stopping the messaging platform from going ahead with its tokens sales,

“The US court declared that Grams couldn’t be distributed not only in the United States, but globally. Why? Because, it said, a US citizen might find some way of accessing the TON platform after it launched So, to prevent this, Grams shouldn’t be allowed to be distributed anywhere in the world – even if every other country on the planet seemed to be perfectly fine with TON.”

He criticized the business atmosphere created by the US government. He said that the decision by the US court that the Gram is not legal to be launched in any part of the world shows that US does not care about the sovereignty of other nations and acts like a big brother. He compared the decision to a what if scenario in which it would ban coffee and tell coffee shops in Italy to shut down because US citizens could come over in the European country to enjoy the beverage.

TON Lives On

The decision by Pavel spells out the end for TON and its Gram tokens, but an iteration of TON will live on, carrying the legacy of the original. Right before the Telegram CEO made the announcement of not pursuing the decentralized network, a group of blockchain validators announced the launch of a separate TON blockchain called the Free TON.

Mitja Goroshevsky, the Chief Technical Officer of TON Labs, an independent TON infrastructure developer and senior member of the Free TON community, spoke in favor of TON and why the Free TON was born,

“Well it’s quite clear. Pavel was forced to do this statement. Yet I agree with every sentiment it has and particularly with the last statement regarding decentralization. This resonates exactly right with Free TON goals. We will continue to develop, build and distribute TON around the world. We will get it into the hands of millions of people. Because that is the right goal!”

The SEC had fought the launch of Gram tokens, declaring them to be unregistered securities and said that the 2018 initial coin offering (ICO) amounting to a sale of USD 1.7 billion was illegal.

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