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Telegram leaves TON and Gram: the announcement by Pavel Durov
Telegram leaves TON and Gram: the announcement by Pavel Durov
Blockchain

Telegram leaves TON and Gram: the announcement by Pavel Durov

By Eleonora Spagnolo - 12 May 2020

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TON, the Telegram blockchain will not see the light. The announcement came directly from Pavel Durov, creator of the messaging app Telegram, who cultivated the dream of launching his blockchain with a cryptocurrency, Gram. But eventually, the litigation with the US SEC persuaded him to withdraw. 

He explains what happened in a long letter. 

Unfortunately, a US court stopped TON from happening. How? Imagine that several people put their money together to build a gold mine – and to later split the gold that comes out of it. Then a judge comes and tells the mine builders: “Many people invested in the gold mine because they were looking for profits. And they didn’t want that gold for themselves, they wanted to sell it to other people. Because of this, you are not allowed to give them the gold.”

If this doesn’t make sense to you, you are not alone – but this is exactly what happened with TON (the mine), its investors, and Grams (the gold). A judge used this reasoning to rule that people should not be allowed to buy or sell Grams like they can buy or sell Bitcoins.

Thus ends a project that lasted two and a half years, for which Pavel Durov is proud with what he did and a project that, he says, was supposed to be superior to Bitcoin and Ethereum in terms of speed and scalability. 

Paradox of paradoxes, explains Durov, the judge ruled that Gram tokens may not only be sold in the United States but globally, because, according to the judge, a US citizen can buy them elsewhere. 

It’s like banning coffee in the United States and also closing coffee shops in Italy to prevent the same citizens from consuming coffee elsewhere, according to Durov, who adds: 

“We doubt anyone would agree. And yet, despite that, we have made the difficult decision not to proceed with TON”.

Durov adds:

“Sadly, the US judge is right about one thing: we, the people outside the US, can vote for our presidents and elect our parliaments, but we are still dependent on the United States when it comes to finance and technology (luckily not coffee). The US can use its control over the dollar and the global financial system to shut down any bank or bank account in the world. It can use its control over Apple and Google to remove apps from the App Store and Google Play. So yes, it is true that other countries do not have full sovereignty over what to allow on their territory. Unfortunately, we – the 96% of the world’s population living elsewhere – are dependent on decision makers elected by the 4% living in the US”.

He concludes with a “We tried” and the hope that future generations can learn from the mistakes made previously: 

“I want to conclude this post by wishing luck to all those striving for decentralization, balance and equality in the world. You are fighting the right battle. This battle may well be the most important battle of our generation. We hope that you succeed where we have failed”. 

Telegram, Ton and the scams

In the final part of the announcement, Pavel Durov announces that there are other projects around that use the names of TON or Gram, but have nothing to do with the Telegram project, such that none of the developers of TON are involved and Telegram will not support them in any way. Durov is practical: 

 “So be careful, and don’t let anyone mislead you”.

It’s the end of a dream and one of the most exciting and engaging projects in the blockchain world. The legal issue is not over: investors are ready with a class action. 

Eleonora Spagnolo
Eleonora Spagnolo

Journalist passionate about the web and the digital world. She graduated with honours in Multimedia Publishing at the University La Sapienza in Rome and completed a master's degree in Web and Social Media Marketing.

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