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ANNA: Making Sense of the SEC's Case Against Telegram

Telegram lost another round in court against the Securities and Exchange Commission and now can’t launch its $1.7 billion token sale. What does it mean for the crypto industry and other startups that sold tokens? Attorneys Philip Moustakis and Gabriel Shapiro are discussing what's next for Telegram and the token industry.

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Telegram, the popular messaging app, has big plans for its blockchain Telegram Open Network, or TON. It also had one of the biggest token sales in history, followed by a huge legal fight over it.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC) sued the company to stop its $1.7 billion private token sale, saying the future tokens for TON, called grams, are unregistered securities. Telegram argued grams were a commodity. A federal court judge in New York issued a preliminary injunction agreeing with the SEC, blocking Telegram from issuing tokens.

The court battle has been an interesting one, as is the ruling of the judge. Together with two experienced attorneys, Gabriel Shapiro of BSV Law and Phillip Moustakis of Seward & Kissel, we’re unpacking this process, which is likely to set a precedent for other token sales structured as SAFT, or simple agreement for future tokens – starting with Kik and potentially followed by many more.

  • SAFTs used to be a popular form of fundraising in crypto – What went wrong for Telegram?
  • Is there still a chance an ambitious proof-of-stake blockchain will still get launched?
  • Is there still a safe way to raise money via a token sale or not?
  • What are the remaining options for Telegram – and for its investors?

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