Telegram refuses to share 'bank records' related to its token sale, says SEC

Quick Take

  • The U.S. SEC has said that Telegram has refused to share financial details related to its token sale
  • The SEC had requested Telegram to provide documents, including how much money it has spent from $1.7 billion it raised from investors in a SAFT sale
  • These documents are “highly relevant” in the case, says the SEC

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said that Telegram has refused to share financial details related to its token sale worth $1.7 billion.

“Defendants are now refusing to disclose the bank records concerning how they have spent the $1.7 billion they raised from investors in the past two years and to answer questions about the disposition of investor funds,” the SEC said in a court filing on Thursday, as reported by Finance Magnates.

The SEC had requested Telegram to provide documents, including “how much money Telegram has spent, and in what manner, in developing the TON Blockchain, the Telegram Messenger application to be integrated with the TON Blockchain, and related applications.” The SEC said these records are “highly relevant” in the case.

In October 2019, the SEC sued Telegram for conducting an “illegal” sale of “digital-asset securities called Grams." Telegram raised $1.7 billion from 171 investors using a Simple Agreement for Future Tokens (SAFT). In a SAFT sale, a company promises tokens when a project becomes operational.

Telegram raised the funds for creating its blockchain, Telegram Open Network (TON), which is yet to get launched. The blockchain was originally scheduled to go live on Oct. 31, but Telegram recently said that the SEC lawsuit made the launch timing “unachievable.”

The messaging app provider, therefore, wanted to push the deadline for the TON launch to April 30, 2020. Investors agreed on the postponement and did not demand money back from Telegram.

The case is still ongoing. Telegram, on its part, has refuted all the allegations made by the SEC. The company recently claimed that "if and when" Gram tokens launch, "they will constitute a currency and/or commodity – not securities under the federal securities laws.”

© 2021 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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Aug 11, 2021, 5:18PM UTC