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Telegram Calls It Quits On Cryptocurrency Ambitions


After a series of battles between messaging service, Telegram, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the platform has announced that it’s quitting on its blockchain ambitions.

“Today is a sad day for us here at Telegram. We are announcing the discontinuation of our blockchain project,” said Parel Durov, founder and chief executive of Telegram, in a blog post.

Telegram first revealed plans for building a Telegram Open Network(TON) in 2017, which was to make payments via the messaging app possible. TON was termed as a next-gen blockchain platform and was to be coupled with a cryptocurrency which was to be called Gram.

The main pitch around TON was its speed and scalability something which the company felt the current Blockchain and Ethereum technologies fell short of.

Despite the regulatory battles with SEC, Telegram had announced last month that TON will be launched in April 2021. The platform even went ahead and refunded $1.2 billion to its investors.

Unfortunately, the SEC has stood in their way. Here’s what happened according to Telegram’s founder.

“Imagine that several people put their money together to build a gold mine – and to later split the gold that comes out of it.”

“Then a judge comes and tells the mine builders: “Many people invested in the gold mine because they were looking for profits. And they didn’t want that gold for themselves, they wanted to sell it to other people. Because of this, you are not allowed to give them the gold,” he added.

The US court also declared that Grams was not only prevented from being used in the US but also in the rest of the world. Citing that some US citizens might find ways to access the platform after it has been introduced elsewhere.

“…the US judge is right about one thing: we, the people outside the US, can vote for our presidents and elect our parliaments, but we are still dependent on the United States when it comes to finance and technology,” he added.

He concluded the post wishing luck for other people out there “striving for decentralization, balance and equality in the world” urging them to continue with the fight.

“You are fighting the right battle. This battle may well be the most important battle of our generation. We hope that you succeed where we have failed.”

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Alvin Wanjala

Alvin is a freelance tech journalist. Covers gadgets, cybersecurity, and social media. Talk to me via email alvinwanjala[at]pm[dot]me

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