Pavel Durov Warns Telegram Backers of Financial Reprecussions if Launch Not Delayed
Telegram Founder and CEO Pavel Durov has warned investors that refusing to delay the launch to April 30, 2020, will result in investors receiving only 77 percent of their funds back. If investors insist on getting their money released by the initial October 31 deadline, the token purchase agreements are effectively terminated, and only $1.3 billion of the $1.7 billion raised will be given back, as reported by Bloomberg, October 17, 2019.
Telegram Takes on SEC
The company has vowed to engage with the SEC to resolve the lawsuit; Telegram has already contacted the United States Treasury.
From the surface, the entire issue seems to be with just the issuance of a security. Telegram is registered as a money services business in the United States, so they can technically run the Telegram Open Network (TON) in a legal manner.
Opinions regarding the SEC’s treatment of Telegram are oscillating all across the spectrum. Many believe this is inconsistent given the mere slap on the wrist that EOS received; others believe that this is a completely different case, and is in line with consistent treatment as the SEC flagged GRAM through the infamous Howey test.
Whilst their actions toward Telegram and EOS might have been different, the categorization of their respective tokens may have been the cause. If Block.one was accused of illegally issuing tokens or raising capital, but not issuing a security, then it makes sense that Telegram is being forced to carry the brunt of SEC anger.
The Road Ahead
Investors are left with a dilemma: get 77 percent of their money back and realize a 23 percent loss or trust in Telegram’s ability to get themselves out of this mess and launch by April 30.
Each of the major investors may have a different outlook. Some may not be willing to take on massive regulatory risk, while others see a high risk-reward play if this turns out in Telegram’s favor.
While the company is confident and working towards resolving their miff with regulators, the decision to extend the deal or liquidate their capital is up to the investors.
The opportunity on the table here is massive. Telegram is one of the largest messaging platforms in the world, and they are probably the only firm capable of furthering the adoption of a legitimately decentralized cryptocurrency.