The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced today that they are to stop Telegram owners and operators from continuing their ongoing illegal offering of Gram tokens. From January to March 2018, Telegram sold approximately 2.9B Grams, which accounts for about 1.7B USD. Over 1B Grams were sold to US citizens.
According to an Oct. 11 press release, the SEC found that the offering violated the registration provisions of federal securities laws. Telegram Group Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary TON Issuer Inc. didn’t file a registration statement for Gram as they were required to do under the Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities 1 Act”). The Gram token is considered a security, not a currency, as investors expect profits from obtaining them, and there are still no goods or services that can be purchased with Gram.
Now, just a couple of weeks before the Gram delivery to initial investors, which is scheduled no later than Oct. 30, the SEC filed an emergency action and obtained a temporary restraining order against Telegram Group Inc. and TON Issuer Inc. The aforementioned defendants should stop any ongoing and future actions to deliver Gram and conduct unregistered Gram offerings or sales.
According to Stephanie Avakian, Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, the primary objective for the SEC, in this case, is to “prevent Telegram from flooding the U.S. markets with digital tokens that we allege were unlawfully sold.”