Following the official halting of Telegram’s TON blockchain project, Co-founder of Qiwi Group Sergey Solonin has decided to loan his $17 million investment back to the company, according to a recent report by Forbes RU.
$17 Million Investment Stays In Telegram
The past several weeks have been particularly challenging for Telegram’s blockchain project called TON. Firstly, the prolonged legal battles with US authorities led to missing the April 30th, 2020, deadline to launch the network and to distribute the GRAM tokens.
Telegram postponed the release of the tokens for a year and offered investors two options. They had until May 15th to decide whether to receive a refund of 72% of the initial investment or allocate the money as a loan to the company for a year. In the second scenario, they would receive 110% of the value in April 2021.
Before the week was over, however, Telegram CEO Pavel Durov announced that his company’s work with TON has officially finished.
According to a Forbes report from today, Sergey Solonin, Co-founder of Qiwi Group, has chosen to re-issue his $17 million initial investment as a loan to Telegram. “I decided to reissue on credit. Pavel has a smart team; I hope they will come up with something,” Solonin said.
With US investors having only the option to receive a refund of the 72% investment, Solonin believes that about 30% of all investors will ultimately provide their funds as loans to Telegram.
“I think that should be enough for a year of work, taking into account the risks arising from the settlement of relations with the SEC. I hope that during this time, Pavel will be able to come up with sources of income or a way how to finance the company further,” he added.
Free Ton Emerges
Despite the downfall, an independent group of validators and developers hard forked the code created for Telegram’s blockchain network and launched an open-source project named Free Ton.
They even released a “Declaration of Decentralization,” in which they “announce the launch of Free TON Blockchain upon the principles and terms stated in this DOD.”
Instead of the planned GRAM tokens from Telegram, the group has replaced them with TON Crystal, or simply TON. They will distribute 5 billion TON tokens among partners and users (85%), developers (10%), and validators (5%), according to freeton.org.
US-based users won’t be able to receive Free TON initially, but the group hopes this will eventually change.