Telegram is now forcing U.S investors to immediately exit its TON blockchain project by accepting a 72% refund on their original investment.
The encrypted messaging platform’s unexpected volte-face also disqualifies American investors from the loan option, which promised a 110% refund either in Gram token or in any other cryptocurrency.
According to a letter sent to investors on May 4, Telegram said American-based investors will not be allowed to stay another 12 months in the project. The decision has been necessitated by regulatory challenges in the U.S., it said.
Telegram now expects to launch its Gram token next April, after failing to do so twice in the past. The latest failure came a week ago.
“Unfortunately, given your status as an investor from the United States and based on later discussions with the relevant authorities and our lawyers, we made the difficult decision not to use this option with you due to an uncertain regulatory attitude in the United States,” the company stated.
Last week, Telegram tabled two options to refund all investors who channeled $1.7 billion into the Telegram Open Network (TON) in 2018: either receive 72% of their investment immediately or loan Telegram for a year, then be paid in cash, Gram or another crypto, with an additional 10% bonus.
However, the new letter reportedly retracted from the crypto option too, meaning loan refunds will be in cash or something else apart from digital currency. This is contrary to an offer from a week ago.
“….We have made the difficult decision not to pursue an option involving grams or another cryptocurrency due to its uncertain reception from the relevant regulators,” Telegram told investors.
The company has faced serious legal challenges. The U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) wants the Gram project stopped because of alleged illegal activity by the Telegram development team.
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