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‘Grams Are Not Investment’ Says Telegram, Subtly Denying SEC Jurisdiction

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In a new public notice, Telegram stresses that Gram tokens are not investment products, which would mean that they are not under the SEC’s sway.

Telegram’s Gram, the native cryptocurrency for the Telegram Open Network (TON), is not an investment product, the firm stressed in a fresh public statement.

In a Jan. 6 blog post, Telegram emphasized that Grams should not be associated with expectations for profits based on purchase or holding of the token. Such an expectation usually defines a security.

In the United States, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) governs the sale of securities, and their recent actions against Telegram’s offering of its Gram token assume that Grams fall within the commission’s purview. Grams are instead designed to serve as a “medium of exchange” between users in the TON network, the firm elaborated. Telegram wrote:

“You should NOT expect any profits based on your purchase or holding of Grams, and Telegram makes no promises that you will make any profits. Grams are intended to act as a medium of exchange between users in the TON ecosystem. Grams are NOT investment products and there should be NO expectation of future profit or gain from the purchase, sale or holding of Grams.”

Telegram promises that the TON network will be decentralized

As part of the announcement, Telegram pointed out its ambiguous plans to launch the TON as a decentralized project, noting that the firm will not be obligated to maintain the platform or create any applications for it. The firm once again emphasized that Telegram will have no control over the TON blockchain once it is launched.

Additionally, Telegram clarified that no one can purchase or sell grams at the moment. The company added that holding grams in the future will not mean owning a piece of Telegram. Reiterating previous claims that grams will merely be a currency or commodity, Telegram said:

“Grams don‘t give their holders any special rights, just like owning Euros doesn’t give you shares in the European Union.”

Notice comes amid a pending court decision on new arguments with the SEC

The statement comes a few days after Telegram’s lawyers requested a United States court to reject a demand by the SEC to reveal the details of how the firm spent $1.7 billion raised in its initial coin offering in 2018. As reported by Cointelegraph, Telegram argued that the SEC’s request was nothing but an “unfounded fishing expedition.”

The new request by the SEC is part of the regulator’s emergency action against Telegram brought up in October 2019, a few weeks before the planned launch of the TON. While the SEC believes that Telegram violated securities laws by conducting its $1.7 billion Gram token sale in 2018, Telegram denies that Grams are securities.

According to a study, the TON network’s value is expected to surpass $20 billion over five years.

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