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Telegram Gives Up On Its Blockchain, Crypto Project

Rest in peace GRAM coin, we hardly knew ye.

No, seriously. TON was the next big cryptocurrency project attached to one of the biggest messaging apps in the world — Telegram — run by Pavel Durov, the expat Russian holed up somewhere between the Caribbean and Dubai after self-exiling from Moscow.

Durov said on his Telegram channel today that the two and a half year blockchain and crypto project has been put to sleep.

Ironically, after leaving Russia because the government wanted his encryption keys to his social media firm, Durov’s cryptocurrency idea lost steam because of a U.S. court.

“The technology we created allowed for an open, free, decentralized exchange of value and ideas. TON had the potential to revolutionize how people store and transfer funds and information,” he wrote on his channel. “Unfortunately, a U.S. court stopped TON from happening.”

New York’s Southern District court declared that GRAM couldn’t be distributed in the United States. The judge ruled that U.S. citizens might find some way of accessing the TON platform after it launched, so the platform couldn’t be allowed either. Keeping the project alive would be difficult now because it meant a legal headache for Durov to make sure no Americans would ever be involved in transactions on the platform.

Today marks the last day for Telegram’s active involvement with TON. No present or past member of Telegram is involved with any TON projects out there. Some networks based on the technology may appear, they won’t have any affiliation with Telegram, Durov told his channel followers.

TON Labs, a startup that had been running a test network, launched its own version of the network last week, dubbed “Free TON,” after Telegram announced further delays, Coindesk reported today.

Telegram Gives Up On Its Blockchain, Crypto Project, Forbes, May 13

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