SEC (Security and Exchange Commission) announced on Friday, September 11, the launch of an emergency procedure to temporarily suspend the ICO (Initial Coin Offering) and making the future of Gram, the cryptocurrency of Telegram, uncertain.

Dirty time for cryptocurrency projects. After the setbacks of Libra, who faces a barrage of criticism and major withdrawals, it is the turn of Gram, telegram’s cryptocurrency, to be in turmoil. The SEC (Security and Exchange Commission), the U.S. federal regulator and control of financial markets, said on October 11, 2019, that it was launching proceedings in the Manhattan District District Federal Court to block the ICO (Initial Coin) Offering) scheduled for the end of the month. In other words, U.S. investors who have purchased tokens are no longer allowed to resell them. The temporary restriction injunction against two companies, Telegram Group Inc. and its subsidiary ton Issuer Inc., was issued.


In a statement, Stephanie Avakian, co-director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, said the reasons for the ban. “Our action is aimed at preventing Telegram from flooding U.S. markets with digital tokens that were allegedly sold illegally. We state that the defendants did not provide investors with information regarding Gram and Telegram’s business activities, financial position, risk factors and management, in accordance with securities laws.”

For the U.S. Gendarme, For the SEC, Telegram raised capital as early as January 2018 to finance the company’s activities, including the development of its own blockchain. The tokens were illegally marketed because the offer was not registered in violation of the registration provisions of the Securities Act of 1933. For the investors involved, nearly $420 million will be temporarily frozen, with the SEC leaning toward a refund of investments. The Russian messaging platform, which put 12.5 million Gram up for sale last July, is said to have sold 2.9 billion chips to 179 investors, more than a quarter of whom reside in the United States.


Telegram, which said it was “surprised” by the SEC’s position, said on October 12 that it was taking a “pause to analyze new information and adapt [its] policies. The TON team will be with you again once it has more clarity on the legal status of TON and GRAM, as well as on the type of authorized analysis that can be published about them.” The company could thus postpone the launch of its cryptocurrency.

On the authorities’ side, we’re pushing the nail a little deeper. The SEC, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued a joint statement to “remind” that cryptocurrencies, tokens and other digital assets are subject to banking legislation prohibiting by money laundering. This position sounds like a very clear message to the various projects in progress that, according to their critics, give the impression that they want to break free from the regulations.



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