Telegram has announced it will be ceasing all active involvement with the TON blockchain. The CEO of Telegram, Pavel Durov, announced the news in a Telegra.ph post on May 12, 2020, which declared Telegram’s work with TON officially finished. Durov announced:
“I am writing this post to officially announce that Telegram’s active involvement with TON is over.”
The news comes shortly after an independent group of developers decided to hard-fork away from Telegram’s version of TON. The newly created Free TON marked its independence day on May 7, complete with its own Declaration of Decentralization.
However, in Tuesday’s sorrowful post, Durov questioned the ability ever to bring decentralization to a centralized world. A downbeat Durov wrote:
“We are in a vicious circle: you can’t bring more balance to an overly centralized world exactly because it’s so centralized. We did try though.”
2.5 Years of Hurt for Telegram
Telegram’s decision to terminate all cooperation with TON comes after a long legal battle with US courts. Telegram’s plans to integrate the TON blockchain was stalled from the outset when a US court decided the blockchain’s currency—GRAMS—were security tokens which couldn’t be sold in the US or anywhere else.
Durov makes no mention of how this will affect Telegram’s ongoing battle with US regulators. Will the case suddenly be dropped completely? Durov doesn’t say. However, Telegram has already offered to refund investors 72% of their original investments. They also offer to pay investors 110% of their investments by April 30, 2021, if they keep their funds locked in with Telegram for the time being.
The Telegram CEO decried the US government’s ability to wield arbitrary power, which affects the lives of people all over the world. But despite Durov’s obvious anger at the stubbornness of the legal system, he left the door open for the next generations of entrepreneurs—who he says will take up the fight.
“We’re leaving it to the next generations of entrepreneurs and developers to pick up the banner and learn from our mistakes,” wrote Durov.