Encrypted messaging company Telegram is postponing the launch of its embattled blockchain project a second time following the expiration of its contract with the investors.
The Telegram Open Network (TON) was scheduled to launch initially back on October 31st, however, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) managed to secure a temporary restraining order from a US court to halt the launch of the blockchain before the launch date.
The SEC claimed that Telegram had sold illegal securities to US investors. With their plans halted, Telegram was faced with the decision of returning investors their funds.
The company made the investors a deal to opt for postponement of the launch till April 30th this year or receive 72% of their initial investment back. The investors chose to stick with the project and voted unanimously to keep the money with Telegram as it fought its battle with the SEC.
Needless to say, Telegram lost the case with the SEC and was ordered not to deliver the promised gram tokens to the investors. According to a letter to investors sent on Wednesday, April 29th, Telegram has a new proposition in place now that the launch date has come around without its legal troubles settled.
In the letter, Telegram is proposing to its investors to stay with the company with a potential return on their investment. Otherwise, the investors can still claim their investments back amounting to 72% of the initial investments.
The offer: If the investors keep their money with the company, Telegram will strive to launch the TON blockchain same time next year and refund the investors 110% of their money.
“Unfortunately, in light of the recent US district court decision, we are unable to issue Grams to you by the 30 April Deadline Date. Accordingly, under the terms of the Purchase Agreement, we owe you the Termination Amount. We are hereby honoring our plan communicated to you in October 2019 to repay 72% of your original investment,” Telegram wrote to its investors.
“As a token of gratitude for your trust in TON, we are also offering you an alternative option to receive 110% of your original investment by April 30, 2021, which is 53% higher than the Termination Amount.”
The new offer will see the investors agree to a loan arrangement with Telegram potentially giving investors the chance to redeem their investments as Telegram shares once the 2021 launch date matures.
So far Telegram is 100% owned by its founder and CEO Pavel Durov and according to the Wednesday letter, Telegram is currently serving more than 400 million active users a month. The app is also seeing new signups at the rate of over 1.5 million each day. Crude calculations show that before the expiry of the agreement period, Telegram should have added at least 500 million new signups potentially crossing the coveted 1 billion monthly users.
“Based on the valuation of messaging services at similar stages of their growth, we believe Telegram’s equity value will exceed the aggregate amount of its potential debt resulting from this offer by at least several times,” Telegram added.
This offer is appealing enough to convince the TON ICO investors to stay with the company. Investors have always wanted to invest in Telegram but that was never an option, until now. Durov is offering the TON investors a chance to become stakeholders in the company with explosive potential not just in terms of the messaging business but also the TON network.
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