Japan-based Liquid Exchange has canceled the sale of Telegram’s Gram tokens and returned funds to customers as the messaging app company remains embroiled in an SEC lawsuit.
The exchange has said that it is acting in compliance with the investor agreement, which states that Telegram’s Open Network (TON) should have been launched by October 31, 2019; otherwise it must initiate the process of returning funds to investors. As a result of the longstanding lawsuit brought against the messaging app by the SEC, an injunction has been brought out to prevent the launch of TON indefinitely.
In a blog post posted earlier today, Liquid said, “The Gram Token Sale on Liquid has been canceled, and all funds that were held in escrow by Liquid have now been returned to Liquid users who participated in the Gram Token Sale. Every Liquid user that submitted a purchase order for Gram tokens via Liquid will receive an email in the coming days with further details.”
Despite being one of the largest early investors, Liquid’s Gram sale is totally unaffiliated to Telegram due to the terms of sale in the original ICO, which state that the reselling of Gram tokens within the first 18 months from the launch of TON is prohibited and could lead to the cancelation of the tokens. Despite this, a secondary market for Gram tokens quickly sprung up, with some investors seeing gains in excess of 400%.
Telegram has been fighting a lawsuit with the SEC after the commission alleged that Gram tokens are, in fact, a security, and therefore the US$1.7 billion raised by way of an ICO in early 2018 should have been registered with the commission. Telegram has unequivocally denied all allegations leveled at it; however, it was hit with new evidence this week, which appeared to show that at least two entities invoiced Telegram for a commission from selling Gram tokens in June and July of 2018, several months after its ICO ended.
Telegram is set to return to court with the SEC on February 18 and 19, when more clarity should be provided on the future of TON and Gram tokens.
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