On May 12, Telegram officially ended participation in its planned blockchain project, the Telegram Open Network, and its corresponding GRAM token. Apparently ending its long legal battle with U.S. regulators, Telegram still needs to resolve the issue of $1.7 billion raised in an initial coin offering, or ICO, in 2018.
Before abandoning the problematic TON project, Telegram’s CEO and founder, Pavel Durov, presented a repayment plan, offering TON investors two options: an immediate 72% refund, or a 110% refund in 12 months.
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According to a May 16 Forbes Russia report, most TON investors reportedly decided to get their money back as soon as possible, choosing the 72 percent option. Disruptive Era Fund, one of TON’s largest investors, said that more than 80% of the fund’s investors are preparing to withdraw from the project and get their money back.
Disruptive Era Fund, which reportedly invested more than $70 million, added that most of TON’s investors appear to have chosen this option. But the decisions have not yet been made, a fund spokesman told Forbes.
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Investors choose to resign due to concerns about potential lawsuits from the U.S.
Other TON investors have also opted for an immediate repayment option. Egor Vinogradov, CEO of Sun Crypto Management, is reported to have said that „everyone“ in his circle has decided to take 72%.
As reported, some investors have already received their refund. Anatoly Knyazev, executive director of the investment firm Exante and a TON investor, allegedly revealed that Telegram has already reimbursed 72% of its investment.
Knyazev added that Telegram did not try to force TON’s investors to stay in the project. He noted that the decision is based mainly on concerns about possible lawsuits by US investors.
According to Forbes‘ data, US investors accounted for USD 42.5 million in the USD 1.7 billion of TON’s ICO. The total number of TON investors was 175 entities, with 39 investors coming from the US. As reported by Cointelegraph, US TON investors are not eligible for the 110% rebate option. This is due to „the uncertain position of the US regulatory authorities“.
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Some TON investors have not yet decided
While most TON investors are apparently preparing to withdraw with a 75% refund, some investors have not made their decision so far. David Yakobashvili, co-founder of Bitcoin Machine Review / Ethereum Code Review / Bitcoin Storm Review / Crypto Cash Review / Crypto Genius Review, invested $60 million. He has reportedly said that he is still negotiating loan opportunities with Telegram, despite the formal deadline of May 15.
There are still some investors who want to support Telegram and expect a 110% repayment in April 2021. Sergey Solonin, co-founder of the Qiwi group and a $17 million investor in TON, decided to renew his investment as a loan to Telegram, Cointelegraph reported on May 16.