US Investors Forced Out Of Telegram Cryptocurrency Project Due To Regulatory Hurdles

Telegram is looking to buy out the United States-based investors in its blockchain network immediately, CoinDesk reported Monday.

US Investors Cannot Extend Investments 

The launch of the "Telegram Open Network" was delayed to another year after the London-based company missed the April 30 deadline.

Telegram had promised, as part of the investor agreement, that it would offer a 72% refund on every investment if TON wasn't launched in time.

The company is still offering the refund, but informed buyers in a letter last week it will pay 110% of the original amount on any investment that is extended to April 2021.

In a second letter to investors on Monday, Telegram said that only investors based outside of the United States are eligible for the extension of investment, according to CoinDesk. Those based in the U.S. will only have the option to accept the refund.

"This offer is only being made available to offerees outside the United States who are not U.S. persons within the meaning of Regulation S under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933," the letter said, as reported by CoinDesk.

SEC Lawsuit Delays TON Launch

Telegram's decision to omit U.S.-based investors from the latest move isn't surprising given the regulatory hurdles it has run into the country.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit against the company in Southern District of New York in October last year and obtained an emergency restraining order, which delayed the launch of TON from the original planned date later that month.

Last month, the court also denied Telegram the right to distribute the TON native cryptocurrency, called Gram, to its non-U.S. investors, until a decision in the case is made.

Others that have tried launching their cryptocurrencies in the U.S., including Facebook Inc.'s FB Libra Project, have faced skepticism from regulators.

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