The US SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) has stated that Telegram has refused to share the financial details of its $1.7 billion ICO.
According to reports, it appears that the US SEC has sued the messaging platform, forcing it to disclose its bank records in order to know how the funds raised over the past two years have been spent.
The dispute between Telegram and the SEC had already started last October, when the platform decided to postpone the launch of the Telegram blockchain, TON, and the Gram token on charges of illegally selling the token.
The SEC, in fact, had already taken the company to court arguing that the Gram token falls into the category of security and that Telegram had failed to register it with the regulator.
However, despite the postponement of TON planned for this 2020, it seems that Telegram has not yet managed to reorganise its legal situation. In this regard, the SEC has stated:
“Defendants are now refusing to disclose the bank records concerning how they have spent the $1.7 billion they raised from investors in the past two years and to answer questions about the disposition of investor funds. […] The requested bank records are highly relevant to the issues in dispute in this case, including how much money Telegram has spent, and in what manner, in developing the TON Blockchain, the Telegram Messenger application to be integrated with the TON Blockchain, and related applications.”
Telegram raised $1.7 billion through two token sales in early 2018 for the development of its TON blockchain. Although the company prevented US investors from participating in the round, many managed to buy them through third parties.
Telegram has denied all the allegations made by the SEC, adding that if and when the Gram token is launched, it will be a currency and/or product and not a security.
Telegram ICO: potential scam?
The Telegram situation is haunted and in a certain sense could give the impression that the project is a potential scam. Gram should have been launched as early as the end of last year and the delay has captured the attention of the crypto community.
Moreover, for some characters like Tone Vays, the doubt lies in the method used by Telegram. In this regard Vays had stated:
“Are they creating money for the world? Or are they simply finding a way to monetize their company? If you’re monetizing your company, you’re supposed to do it through the equity space. You’re supposed to give shares of your company. You’re not supposed to invent money”.