It’s never a good sign when a judge says the argument in favor of your motion, “is less than straightforward, to be polite.” Unfortunately for messaging app turned blockchain developer Telegram, that's exactly what federal Judge P. Kevin Castel said when its lawyers asked him to “clarify” whether it could sell of gram tokens outside the U.S. while an SEC lawsuit delays the launch of its TON blockchain.
Telegram had planned to launch the Telegram Open Network, or TON, blockchain on Oct. 31, 2019. At that time, it planned to create 2.9 billion gram tokens, which sold to the general public. The SEC said that public sale would be an unregistered and illegal securities offering, and sued to block it.
A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction stopping Telegram's planned resale of $1.7 billion in gram tokens, saying it is "part of a larger scheme to distribute those Grams into a secondary public market."
Telegram’s victory in court over the Securities and Exchange Commission Monday wasn’t much of a victory. In fact, it could prove to be the undoing of its planned Telegram Open Network blockchain platform and gram cryptocurrency. The simultaneous announcement that it won't integrate gram payments into its Telegram Messenger platform signals a recognition that its fight to keep the $1.7 billion in gram tokens it sold in 2018 from being declared a security is faltering.