The sale of TON (Telegram Open Network) Gram tokens has just been invalidated by Liquid Exchange. The company sent out a blog post on 10th January 2020 announcing to the investors of this new development. It, however, sent out refunds to all the crypto enthusiasts who had taken part in this unsanctioned auction.
The Gram Token Sale on Liquid has been cancelled, and all funds that were held in escrow by Liquid have now been returned to Liquid users who participated in the Gram Token Sale. https://t.co/9AioN75xdk
— Liquid (@Liquid_Global) January 15, 2020
Reports indicate that the main reason why this sale had to be called off was that numerous interruptions were being experienced in the introduction of the TON mainnet. By the time this sale was taking part in the month of July 2019, many, including people working for the exchange were of the belief that the mainnet would have gone live by the end of October 2019.
The SEC Investigation
But this was never to be, as the unveiling was eventually harbored by an unforeseen and unexpected SEC investigation. The investigation by the authorities was focused on the very first offering of these tokens. It’s an investigation that was initiated by reports that seemed to indicate that the sale was, in fact, an unregistered auction of securities.
When launching this particular auction, the exchange had stated that it would issue refunds to all buyers in the event that TON didn’t end up going live by the end of November 2019.
Prior to the sale, Cointelegraph had published numerous news reports noting that the token sale being undertaken by Liquid Exchange wasn’t related to Telegram in any way. According to the terms of sale released by Telegram:
“Participants in the original initial coin offering (ICO) are not allowed to resell or swap the tokens in any way until 18 months after the launch of the network.”
But according to the ICO page that had been posted by the Liquid Exchange, it was expected that the tokens would get delivered in several tranches as soon as the TON mainnet was operational.
Many crypto pundits believed that Liquid was acting as the transactional agent for Gram Asia. Unconfirmed reports had stated that Gram Asia was at the time the biggest entity holding the Gram tokens in all of Asia.
But this was denied by a news report published by Cointelegraph which quoted sources at Telegram who had gone on record to state that they had never heard about this company.