A U.S. court order prevented Telegram from launching its blockchain, but that doesn't mean that others can't do it in its place.
This was stated by the TON Community Foundation, a group of over two dozen software developers and investors, who are now discussing possible ways to launch Telegram Open Network (TON) without the participation of the messaging platform.
"We are seriously thinking about it," said the group's founder, former communications manager at Fedor Skuratov of TON Labs. The community is now discussing the options and no final decisions have been made.
Impossible to stop open source technology
U.S. District Court Judge Kevin P. Castel in New York ruled in Tuesday in favor of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which asked the court to hold Telegram's blockchain tokens, called Gram, titles and stop their issue and sale with quotations from 1,7 billions of dollars.
Telegram has notified that it would appeal the ruling. The foundation's response highlights the limitations of the government's powers to regulate open source technology. As with 3D printed firearms, the state may prevent certain individuals or groups from executing a code, but if this is in the public domain, others may take on the assignment.
According to Skuratov, all the code needed to start TON is already available, previously published by Telegram.
Indeed, TON Labs, the startup that has helped Telegram work on the testnet since last spring, recently launched its parallel testnet. Telegram released the code for TON's blockchain nodes in September and continued to churn out parts of the project even after being sued by the SEC, publishing a document on TON's consensus protocol and a native crypto wallet since last fall.
Now the code is available online and can theoretically be used to launch how many versions of the TON blockchain it wants to run. Since TON is a proof-of-stake blockchain, validators will need to bring into play a significant amount of tokens from the start so that they can validate transactions. This means that a certain number of grams should be distributed to the project stakeholders at the time of launch.
Investors are impatient
According to one of the investors who asked to remain anonymous, about half of the investors at the moment would like to get their money back while the other half would like to see Telegram devise a way to still issue tokens.
The deadline for the launch of TON, reprogrammed last October with the blessing of the investors, is April 30th. Telegram is unlikely to respect him, said Yakov Barinsky, CEO of investment firm HASH CIB, who consulted some TON investors.
"But if in October, most investors agreed to put it off, they wouldn't do it now," said Barinsky. Hence, founder and CEO Pavel Durov "will do everything possible to withhold the money, asking investors to approve another reprogramming or perform the launch despite the court decision."