- Telegram’s Ton Blockchain Investors who facilitated their $1.7 billion ICO are on the brink of suing the messaging platform. They are apparently not happy with the terms and conditions offered by Telegram to recover their investments.
News has now surfaced that Telegram is about to be sued. A group of the disgruntled investors were not happy with the terms offered for refunds by the firm. This was after the CEO Pavel Durov suddenly announced shutting down their Blockchain program on May 12th.
In a January ruling, Telegram were instructed by the Southern New York District Judge, Kevin Castel to release all the essential information regarding their GRAM token sale inclusive all banking reports. They were given a month deadline to turn the information over to the SEC, who were hoping to shine a light on the irregularities of the $1.7 billion ICO that happened last year. $405 million of which had already been channeled towards development of the Blockchain.
The court later shut them down, prohibiting issuance of the Gram not only in the US but globally. This was based on the line of thought that a US citizen may be able to access the TON platform after launch thus effectively placing a ban on Gram everywhere. Pavel then further highlighted the effects of the dollar’s global dominance.
“Unfortunately, we – the 96% of the world’s population living elsewhere – are dependent on decision makers elected by the 4% living in the US. “
The investors had been extended options by the messaging platform: recouping up to 72% of their initial investment or loan the money to the company and get up to 110% of their investment in 2021.
One of the investors who heads Tokenbox a crypto startup, Vladimir Smerkis was particularly not impressed by the conditions since they were not met with the value of their investment. He thought that instead Telegram should be more inclined to offer them equity options adding that there were other like minded investors who shared the same sentiment therefore considering a class action suit against the company.
Other Investors sympathetic with Telegram’s plight
There are however other investors who have accepted the terms as they don’t want to cause the company any further troubles. Some investors such as Anatoly Knyazev, a director at VC firm Exante opted for reclaiming their 72% citing that some investments fail. Other investors like Zurab Kazhiloti an executive at BitScale preferred converting their investment to a loan for Telegram in the hopes of earning 110% of their investment.
According to a former employee of Telegram, Anton Rosenberg highlighted that Telegram wasn’t in a position to refund the money as they would be unable to fund their operations. Adding they had been keeping the lights on solely based on investor funds. Notably he was fired by Durov in 2017.