A federal judge denied Telegram's request to issue future Gram tokens to non-US investors.
The last stage of the process
US District Judge P. Kevin Castel, of the Southern District of New York, wrote that Telegram would like to release its tokens to investors, but the guarantee that these tokens do not end up in the hands of US investors is not convincing.
He dismissed the request from the messaging platform to clarify his previous preliminary injunction which totally prevented the release of Gram.
The order came as the final stage in a six-month judicial battle between Telegram and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which asked the court to stop launching the blockchain project of the messenger company TON and prevent Telegram from issuing tokens, called Grams, to buyers who participated in the $ 1,7 billion sale in 2018.
Maybe one day we will be able to buy them here too?
Citing the SEC's lack of jurisdiction over foreign investors, Telegram suggested that "it will implement safeguards to protect buyers of non-US private placements that will resell Gram to US investors in the future", including a condition that non-US buyers can receive their Grams only if they don't sell them in the United States and set up their digital wallet to cut Americans out.
The argument did not convince the judge, who wrote: “Focusing on the initial buyers and their purchase agreements for Gram is missing one of the central points of the Court's opinion and order. In particular, that "security" was neither the purchase agreement of Gram nor the Gram itself, but the entire scheme that included the purchase agreements of Gram and the understandings and accompanying commitments made by Telegram, including the prospects and intent for initial buyers to distribute Grams in a secondary public market. "
In addition, the judge was not impressed with the proposed measures to block US investors, writing that Telegram did not actually explain how it could prevent secondary sales or how it could legitimize a change in Gram's purchase agreements to create this restriction. "... Incidentally, the TON Blockchain has been designed and is intended to guarantee anonymity for those who buy or sell Gram, "he wrote.
Investors "could simply deny having an address in the United States," he said. The order also stresses that the issue of SEC jurisdiction has not previously been raised by Telegram and said it is too late to consider it at this point.
"Too little, too late"
Gabriel Shapiro, a blockchain lawyer specializing in cryptocurrencies, said the judge understood the nature of blockchain technology quite well and stressed that "His response to Telegram's request for clarification shows admirable technological expertise and skepticism."
"I think it is clear that Judge Castel fully agreed with the SEC that Telegram's post-injunction arguments about extraterritoriality are 'too little, too late,'" he said. Telegram said he would appeal to Judge Castel's injunction.
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