The Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Liquid has canceled the token sale of Telegram’s own Gram tokens because it failed to release its mainnet. Originally announced last year, it seems that the Gram project is officially in limbo.
Telegram raised some $1.7B during its ICO in 2018, but the project has been a legal nightmare for the company. The SEC claims that the sale of Gram tokens was illegal due to them being securities, and the South District of New York has demanded Telegram provide banking records regarding the ICO. The situation has been nothing short of a complete disaster for one of the largest-ever ICOs and investors are now wondering if they’ll get their money back.
However, the plot has now thickened with the Liquid exchange announcing it will not be selling Gram tokens on its exchange. All funds held in escrow for the token sale have been returned and the sale is now effectively canceled. It seems unlikely to be resurrected. Liquid made the announcement yesterday:
The reason for canceling is that Telegram’s Open Network (TON) mainnet was supposed to be launched on Oct 31, 2019, but has still not been released. Liquid gave the messaging giant one more month to release but has now officially canceled the token sale. Although many were disappointed by the news, Liquid’s transparency has been praised.
In October of last year, BeInCrypto reported that Telegram was struggling to rescue its $1.7B ICO. Telegram will have to spend large sums of money just to keep their blockchain idea afloat. There are also lingering questions as to why Telegram needed $1.7B to begin with, considering that many projects are able to build with tens of millions of dollars just fine. The SEC has thus clamped down on Telegram for both selling unregistered securities and for misleading investors in a flagrant money grab.
The saga surrounding Gram tokens will likely linger on, but it seems that Telegram’s record-setting ICO is effectively dead. It’s a reminder on how overhyped ICOs were in 2017/18 — which now in hindsight, seems absurd.