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Telegram has yet to publicly or formally acknowledge the project, but investors in last year’s $1.7 billion token offering, widely publicized in the press, are selling their gram allocations via OTC desks, exchanges and special-purpose vehicles.
From the company they wrote:
“The development of the TON core technology is almost complete, according to sources close to Telegram. The version is expected to be launched by 1 September 2019: it will include a node code and the network validation module. The TON team is finalizing the documentation for these tools. This will be the final version before the launch of the core network. The core network will be active after the public tests.”
According to the announcement, it seems that this will be just a beta version of the code that will be used for testing and not the mainnet launch itself.
The Telegram TON Board channel is a private channel created by and for investors of the Telegram Open Network (TON), and also for future major owners of Gram tokens.
However, the TON project roadmap was never fully disclosed. First, there were talks that the mainnet will be launched last autumn. Then, after that hasn’t happened, in February this year, came rumours that 90% of mainnet was already done. Nevertheless, it seems it is still under development, even though upcoming release of a test version might be possible after all.
Meanwhile, the pre-sales of Gram tokens have already started, but, there are also some several uncertainties about it. For example, first pre-sale was that on Liquid, which began on July 10th at a price of 4 dollars, although there are also others. These include both real pre-sales of the token and the trading of not guaranteed futures, while other offers are real scams. So, even though early investors see 400% returns, secondary buyers may end up with nothing.
The problem is that only when the TON mainnet launches it will be possible to know for sure who is actually offering Gram tokens and who is trying to defraud investors.
The purchase agreement, written for Telegram by U.S. legal powerhouse Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, allegedly specifies that buyers of grams may not “offer, pledge, sell, swap, encumber or dispose of their tokens, directly and indirectly.”
Also, investors are forbidden to sell “any securities convertible into or exercisable or exchangeable for the investment contract” between an investor and Telegram.
The future allocation of tokens is subject to the investor’s compliance with this rule. One investor claims that if Telegram learns the investor broke the agreement, it can cancel the allocation.
Because of these and other uncertainties, and the slow development, some pronounced Telegram’s ICO among the most unsuccessful ever.
Between March and June of last year, 1.7 billion dollars were raised in two private sales of 850 million, but since then, nothing specifically hasn’t happened.
Anna Palmina, head of an OTC desk and investment company Palmina Invest, says that investors share their allotments with friends and family without signing any documents.
Vladimir Cohen, an over-the-counter trader said that over the counter sellers are making confidential GRAM deals purely on trust. Sellers are struggling to make a revenue by reselling their tokens purchased either at 0.37 dollars or 1.33 dollars per Gram token in the first and second round respectively. The offerings of Gram tokens are increasing considerably; the price tag is between 1.60 dollars to 2 dollars
On the other hand, if TON Board is truthful, the project will finally be able to deliver something more significant, as is the open-source code of the network nodes and the validation module.