13 May 2020 11:37

Durov announces shutdown of TON blockchain platform due to U.S. actions

MOSCOW. May 13 (Interfax) - The founder of the Telegram messaging service, Pavel Durov has announced the shutdown of the Telegram Open Network (TON) due to a dispute with the U.S. authorities, which halted the issue of Gram tokens based on the blockchain platform after ruling that the sale of the tokens should have been registered as an ICO.

"I am writing this post to officially announce that Telegram's active involvement with TON is over. You may see - or may have already seen - sites using my name or the Telegram brand or the "TON" abbreviation to promote their projects. Don't trust them with your money or data. No present or past member of our team is involved with any of these projects," Durov wrote on his Telegram blog.

He said a "U.S. court stopped TON from happening," and the court declared that Grams could not be distributed outside of the United States either because it said a U.S. citizen might find some way of accessing the TON platform through another country.

"This court decision implies that other countries don't have the sovereignty to decide what is good and what is bad for their own citizens. If the U.S. suddenly decided to ban coffee and demanded coffee shops in Italy be closed because some American might go there - we doubt anyone would agree," Durov said.

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which initiated the court case in October 2019, Durov raised about $1.7 billion from investors. After this the launch of the platform was repeatedly postponed, first until the end of 2020 and later until 2021, Russian media reported.