Telegram has announced that it is choosing to shut down its cryptocurrency subsidiary, Telegram Open Network (TON). The company’s CEO Pavel Durov wrote this announcement on his channel saying, ” “Telegram’s active involvement with TON is over. You may see – or may have already seen – sites using my name or the Telegram brand or the ‘TON’ abbreviation to promote their projects. Don’t trust them with your money or data.”
If you may not be familiar, TON was a blockchain-based platform built to offer any smartphone owner with decentralised cryptocurrency. This would be similar to what Facebook is trying to do with Libra which has also faced scrutiny since its announcement last year.
Like Libra, Telegram did face legal hurdles that ended up in an order from the US government to halt sales of its cryptocurrency (called Gram). This was after the company was found to have failed to register an early sale of $1.7 billion in tokens prior to launching the network.
The funds were raised in a series of what Telegram billed as pre-ICO (Initial Coin Offering) back in 2018, though the company ended up cancelling the much-hyped ICO due (in part) to increased SEC scrutiny.
Speaking on the decision to call it quits on the network, Durov did express his disappointment in the ruling of course. According to him, the American courts shouldn’t have the power to stop the sale of cryptocurrency beyond US borders, He also urged others to adopt decentralisation fight in Telegram’s stead. “This battle may well be the most important battle of our generation,” he wrote. “We hope that you succeed where we have failed.”