According to multiple sources, the number of major Telegram ICO investors ready to accept refunds has skyrocketed. Originally, investors wanted a 100% refund of their funds. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused many to switch their stance over to settle at a fraction of the funds paid into the token.
One report listed 10 major investors in Telegram’s blockchain project as ready to take what they can get immediately. Importantly, the Telegram ICO raised $1.7 billion from a variety of international investors. Up until this week, investors seemed ready to battle for a full refund. Now, given the state of uncertainty all the markets face, investors revealed they are ok with a 72% refund. Notably, Telegram stated that 5- 7%% of the funds were already spent on the development process in the intervening months.
Not Enough to Appease Investors in a Bull Market
Notably, back in October 2019, the firm offered 77% of invested funds back as refunds for the project. At the time, investors chose to reject the offer and agreed to extend the deadline for issuing the tokens to April 2020. The market was strong and most investors revealed a desire to receive tokens over refunds. However, these tokens never issued.
Telegrams Difficulties Continue
Telegram’s problems arose from their record-breaking ICO. The crowdfunding campaign came under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last year. Regulators claim that Telegram violated securities laws when it illegally sold securities. In addition to the legal issues, the platform promised to deliver GRAM token to initial buyers before November of 2019. Unfortunately, the SEC blocked the company from completing this task just two weeks before the scheduled launch.
SEC Files Injunction – Telegram
At that time, the SEC filed an emergency action to halt the launch of the TON blockchain and GRAM token. Shortly following this decision, regulators obtained a restraining order against the company. On top of the SEC infractions, a federal court in New York ruled against Telegram this week. The court found that issuing the Gram tokens would constitute a violation of securities laws. Specifically, a judge of the Southern District of New York instituted a preliminary injunction. This injunction claimed that Telegram failed to register its ICO. Consequently, the firm violated the registration provisions of the Securities Act of 1933.
Market Speaks on the Changes
Speaking on the new developments, Head of Russian digital currency investment firm Hash CIB, Yakov Barinsky explained how the attitude of most investors changed recently. He stated that investors accepted the new refund conditions after the market collapsed. Currently, the entire global economy is in a state of stagnation.
Telegram Faces Uphill Fight
The hugely-popular messaging app became a global leader in the sector through a combination of an easy-to-use interface and advanced features. Of these features, Telegram’s use of end-to-end encryption is best known. In the past, this feature received heavy government scrutiny as it prevented their surveillance efforts.
Today, Telegram finds itself in the middle of a hard-fought court battle and a global epidemic that halted economic activity across the board. Unfortunately for the TON blockchain project, this perfect storm could prove as a death blow to the firm’s blockchain aspirations. For now, Telegram seeks clarification on the rulings.