Saturday, August 8, 2020

Telegram gives in to the SEC

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Social networks are spearhead of the new digital economy, but one of its most important elements resists them. The universe of cryptocurrency remains their unfinished business. The unsuccessful launch of the Facebook pound has just been joined by the Telegram fiasco, which has completely given in to the American supervisor in defense of its gram.

After eight months of push and pull between Telegram Group and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the pulse has been resolved with the complete dismantling of the project that the social messaging network I had been planning for years. Although the company has not recognized the charges that the supervisor accused him of, it has accepted each and every one of the demands.

Last March, Telegram Group had already proceeded to formally close the Telegram Open Network (TON) project, in charge of developing, placing and issuing your grams. This decision was made when the Court for the Southern District of New York decided to take letters in the matter at the request of the complaint made by the SEC.

Locking the project

Very soon after that, the company founded by Russian brothers Nikolai and Pavel Durov, relocated the TON team. Finally, just a few days ago has agreed to meet two of the toughest demands from the American supervisor. The first was to return all the money they had given in exchange for their digital ‘tokens’ to some 170 investors around the world. The second, accept direct SEC oversight in any attempt to return to the cryptocurrency industry or asset ‘tokenization’ in the next three years.

Montage of a hacker with the Facebook logo.

TheDigitalArtist | Facebook

Total, the invoice amounts to 1,242.5 million dollars for Telegram, about 1,084 million euros to the currency exchange. The bulk of this item is the return of the 1,224 million dollars to the buyers of the failed grams. Then the fine of 18.5 million Agreed for not having followed the channels set by the SEC for an initial offer of cryptocurrencies (ICO, by the English initials with which the industry knows these operations).

With the guardianship established by the SEC and this strong outflow of resources, it does not seem very likely that Telegram is willing to try its luck again in the medium term. In this sense, the company had avoided by all means having to assume the full refund of the money delivered in exchange for about 2.9 billion grams.

So much so that, in order to have the resources to keep this business unit alive, had launched a formula to return only 72% in cash of the amount invested or exchange it in participative loans as bonds that would ensure the receipt of up to 110% of the amount initially invested. In the end, she is forced to remove the funds from her safe in one fell swoop.

Different stories, similar ending

A very different and much more rugged story than that of the Facebook pound, which however has also been shipwrecked before going sailing. Although both grams and pounds were presented as exchange currencies within the platform, the main difference between both projects is that the first ones contemplated a finite issue and its trading in secondary markets.

For its part, the Facebook pound was seen as a simple reference to fixed exchange against a basket of currencies without its own entity. A design that brought it closer to the universe of digital currencies than to ‘tokens’ and crypto assets. Something that initially it was considered that it could give rise to a birth less surrounded by suspicions and investigations supervisors.

In addition, Libra did not see the light of day as an isolated Facebook project, but rather had a cohort of followers and enthusiasts with extensive and recognized backgrounds in the world of finance and communications. Paypal, Vodafone, Mastercard, Visa, Stripe and eBay were some of them, but little by little they abandoned the ship, fearing regulatory complications or conflicts with their base business.

Since then, the project has been paralyzed, although it still stands. With Telegram’s forced reverse, social networks collide again with the aim of making the jump to the growing business of crypto assets.

China on the prowl

A segment in which China is also claiming its share with the launch of its own blockchain network that aims to accommodate projects of this type and other applications of this technology at a time when it is also struggling to enhance the prominence of your ChiNext market. Shenzhen Technology Park is in Beijing’s focus to make it your local Nasdaq.

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