Telegram agrees to voluntarily halt token sales for now; argues that Grams are not securities

Telegram said that it has agreed to stop selling and delivering its Gram tokens, and an injunction is thus not needed, although the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) wouldn't budge. 

In a filing dated Oct. 16, the messaging app said the SEC refuses Telegram's offer to voluntarily halt the token sales for now. Instead, the regulator insists that Telegram should enter into a preliminary injunction that the SEC requested in a filing last week and produce by Oct. 24 documents requested by the regulator. 

In the filing, Telegram also argued that Grams are not securities, and the SEC's allegation "runs counter to longstanding Supreme Court precedent, the SEC’s own views relating to other cryptocurrencies, and common sense." 

Last Friday, the SEC filed an emergency action against Telegram to prevent it from distributing its Gram tokens, which the agency deems as unregistered securities. In a letter to investors following the SEC filing, Telegram said that it has been engaged with the SEC "over the past 18 months" without being informed that the SEC was going to take legal action against them. 

The firm now accused the SEC of failing to advise Telegram on its TON blockchain project and waiting "until the eleventh hour to file an ex parte application to enjoin Telegram's launch." 

The firm has previously informed its investors that the launch of its TON blockchain will be pushed back from Oct. 30 to April 30, 2020. Telegram conducted an initial coin offering in 2018 that raised around $1.7 billion.