Telegram to delay TON blockchain launch; could return investors’ money after SEC lawsuit

Messaging app provider Telegram has informed investors that the launch of its native blockchain network TON will get delayed and thus investors could get their funds back as part of their deal.

Telegram provided the information in an email to investors, CoinDesk reported Wednesday. A Telegram investor separately confirmed to The Block about the email.

The messaging company wants to push the deadline for the TON launch from Oct. 30 to April 30, 2020, after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently sued it for conducting an “illegal” sale of “digital-asset securities called Grams."

“We had intended to launch the TON network in late October. However, the recent SEC lawsuit has made that timing unachievable. We disagree with the SEC’s legal position and intend to vigorously defend the lawsuit. We are proposing to extend the deadline date in order to provide additional time to resolve the SEC’s lawsuit and work with other governmental authorities in advance of the launch of the TON network,” the email reads.

The email was sent to investors who participated in Telegram’s second fundraising round in February 2018. These investors have to sign a form approving the deadline extension before Oct. 23. If the majority chooses not to sign by the date, these investors can get back “approximately 77 percent” of their money, per the email.

Telegram hopes to receive investors' support "to ensure we can proceed with our vision for TON."

A court hearing in the Telegram-SEC case is scheduled to take place on Oct. 24.