Liquid will refund users who have participated in Telegram’s Gram token sale through their platform.
In 2018, Telegram conducted a token sale aimed at accredited and institutional investors which reportedly raised $1.7 billion through a SAFT agreement.
The SEC, the US financial supervisory authority, issued an ordinance on October 11th asking Telegram to stop developing its TON blockchain because it regards the ICO as a sale of unregistered securities.
At the beginning of this year, the SEC then requested from the Durov brothers a report on the spending of the funds obtained with the token sale, a request that Telegram had refused.
Now, thanks in part to the latest order of the Southern District Court of New York (SDNY), which gave Telegram until February 26th to submit the requested financial statements, it appears that Telegram is cooperating with the SEC.
But it was not only to institutional and accredited investors that Telegram had directed its token sale.
Gram Asia, one of Telegram’s organizations supporting the TON ecosystem, had conducted an IEO last July in collaboration with Liquid. The sale was open to all customers who had passed the usual KYC/AML procedures, allowing them access to GRAM tokens for $4 each.
The rationale behind this sale was not very clear, according to some market analysts it was a mere liquidation of Gram Asia funds.
However, those who participated in this Gram token sale have now received an email from Liquid informing them that the sale of Gram tokens on Liquid has been cancelled and that all funds held in escrow by Liquid have now been returned to users who participated in the IEO.
A part of the message received from the users says:
“Under the Gram Token Sale Terms of Sale, Liquid is required to return all funds committed by Liquid users in the Gram Token Sale due to the fact that the TON mainnet was not launched by 30 November 2019”.
In the meantime, the Gram Asia website has shut down with the following message:
“This page will be closed. We sincerely thank all who have been part of Gram Asia. All refunds have been completed”
Retail investors who thought they had bought GRAM tokens were therefore given back their committed funds. While Liquid proved to be a serious and reliable exchange, this move could be seen as a way to avoid further regulatory problems by effectively cancelling the only public sale to retail investors.