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Telegram Is Not Walking Away From TON and Gram Tokens

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Telegram Is Not Walking Away From TON and Gram Tokens
Telegram Is Not Walking Away From TON and Gram Tokens

Per a May 12 message from Telegram CEO Pavel Durov, the company is calling it quits on the Telegram Open Network (TON) and the linked Gram tokens following a lengthy battle with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. After announcing the TON network and Gram token back in 2017, Telegram is now officially terminating its involvement with the project, Durov said.

In the post, dubbed “What Was TON And Why It Is Over,” Telegram CEO said that they made the decision in response to a U.S. court prohibiting Telegram from distributing its Gram tokens anywhere in the world. Durov wrote:

“The US court declared that Grams couldn’t be distributed not only in the United States but globally. Why? Because, it said, a US citizen might find some way of accessing the TON platform after it launched So, to prevent this, Grams shouldn’t be allowed to be distributed anywhere in the world – even if every other country on the planet seemed to be perfectly fine with TON.”

In the post, Durov explicitly criticized the U.S. government’s involvement and efforts to prevent the launch of a project based on principles of decentralization pioneered by Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). Reiterating his recent negative remarks about the U.S., Durov wrote that the global community is still dependent on the U.S. when it comes to finance and technology. 

“Unfortunately, we – the 96% of the world’s population living elsewhere — are dependent on decision-makers elected by the 4% living in the U.S.,” he added. Telegram CEO also emphasized that the court decision breaks sovereignty of jurisdictions around the world, saying:

“This court decision implies that other countries don’t have the sovereignty to decide what is good and what is bad for their own citizens. If the US suddenly decided to ban coffee and demanded coffee shops in Italy be closed because some American might come there – we doubt anyone would agree.”

By abandoning the TON project, Telegram seems to have lost its long-running legal battle to the U.S. SEC. The SEC brought an action against Telegram in October 2019, a few days before the firm was planning to launch the TON network. In the lawsuit, the SEC accused Telegram of violating the U.S. securities law by conducting its $1.7 billion initial coin offering in 2018. In March 2020, a U.S. court recognized that the SEC had a good chance of proving that Telegram’s GRAMs were unregistered securities. Telegram CEO Pavel Durov subsequently suggested a reimbursement plan on April 30, apparently accepting the court’s decision.

Telegram’s departure from the TON project may not be the end of the Telegram Open Network’s story. Durov’s sudden announcement comes after the Free TON, an independent community of validators, launched the TON blockchain independently from Telegram on May 7. Mitja Goroshevsky, a key member of the Free TON community and CTO at TON Labs, a third-party group of TON infrastructure developers, commented on Durov’s announcement:

“Well, it’s quite clear. Pavel was forced to do this statement. Yet I agree with every sentiment it has and particularly with the last statement regarding decentralization. This resonates exactly right with Free TON goals. We will continue to develop, build, and distribute TON around the world. We will get it into the hands of millions of people. Because that is the right goal!”

Regarding the Free TON launch, Durov clearly said that Telegram will not have any affiliation with any entities involved in further deployments of the TON technology. Concluding the post, Telegram CEO appeared to encourage the independent launch of the TON network, saying:

“I want to conclude this post by wishing luck to all those striving for decentralization, balance, and equality in the world. You are fighting the right battle. This battle may well be the most important battle of our generation. We hope that you succeed where we have failed.”

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Tether Chimes In On Why It Hasn’t Burned Any USDT

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Tether Chimes In On Why It Hasn’t Burned Any USDT
Tether Chimes In On Why It Hasn’t Burned Any USDT

Tether (USDT) cites the popularity of its Ethereum (ETH)-based asset as the reason why the company has never burned a single token. The recent report from Flipside Crypto concluded that Tether is not in the practice of burning its Ethereum tokens: “We can also see that no tokens ever go to the “burn” category, which means that throughout the course of April no USDT supply was destroyed. Looking at the full history of USDT on Ethereum, we found that no tokens have ever been burned.”

Paolo Ardoino, who serves as CTO for both Tether and Bitfinex, explained that the company burns its tokens on Omni and Tron (TRON) networks, while it holds authorized but unissued and unbacked ERC20 tokens in the “inventory”:

“We have not yet destroyed Ethereum-based USDt. We have destroyed unneeded USDt on Omni and Tron so far. Ethereum has been the most popular blockchain in recent months and demand for ERC20-based USDt has been high. Accordingly, when redemptions have been processed, Tether retained those USDts in its authorized but unissued — and unbacked — inventory for future market demand.”

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New Tipbot Uses Cryptocurrency As An Incentive For People To Answer Questions

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New-Tipbot-Uses-Cryptocurrency-As-An-Incentive-For-People-To-Answer-Questions
New Tipbot Uses Cryptocurrency As An Incentive For People To Answer Questions

A new kind of cryptocurrency tipbot allows users to pay others to answer their questions on social media, providing a new tool to pool data in the ecosystem. Liser Lee of CCTip said that the system can help drive engagement or generate expert commentary. It lets users create a Twitter poll and automatically pay anyone who shares it with cryptocurrency, helping a poll gain more exposure and answers. 

The company is also considering a system that pays the poll respondents instead. Other than Twitter, CCTip will also work on Telegram, Discord, WeChat, and on Reddit as well. It supports 200 different crypto assets, including Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ether (ETH), Tron (TRX), and many Ethereum-based tokens. Tron founder Justin Sun publicly thanked the firm when it added support for TRX in early April. Lee explained said that using a cryptocurrency-powered system is more effective when interacting with crypto enthusiasts compared to traditional systems. She pointed out that crypto community members may be simply happy to see their favorite crypto asset being used in the real world:

“If you pay BCH to a BCH enthusiast, he’s happy to see that BCH being used.”

Furthermore, the firm also launched the CCTip Ask feature last week, enabling users to ask any Twitter user a question. Lee showcased the system on May 18 by asking Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury Sechet if he believes Bitcoin Cash’s value can exceed the value of Bitcoin. Sechet was paid 0.5 BCH (about $114 as of press time) to answer the question he was asked on Twitter through the system. Lee commented:

“[CCTip Ask is] an effective way to get your question answered by a celebrity. If you raise a good question, answering the question is a good way to show your opinions. And it will attract more users’ attention.”

Cryptocurrencies enable anyone to instantly send payment to anyone else without having to share sensitive information with each other. This feature makes crypto assets the perfect fit for social media tipping, as many users on those platforms prefer to remain pseudonymous or otherwise protect their privacy. Because of this synergy, there’s lots of development in the crypto tipping space. 

It was recently reported, that blockchain firm Aeternity recently launched its own social media monetization tool, which supports tipping in the form of Aeternity’s native coin, AE. The ever-changing landscape of cryptocurrency regulation still often threatens companies operating in the space, including tipbot services. In mid-May, XRP TipBot, a service enabling users to transfer XRP to each other via comments on Twitter, Reddit, and Discord, managed to save itself from having to shut its operations due to new regulations by partnering with digital payment platform Uphold.

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A Crypto Futures Exchange Is Integrating Chainlink’s Price Oracles

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A Crypto Futures Exchange Is Integrating Chainlink's Price Oracles
A Crypto Futures Exchange Is Integrating Chainlink's Price Oracles

Forthcoming Seychelles-based crypto derivatives trading exchange Digitex Futures has announced it will integrate Chainlink’s (LINK) decentralized price reference contracts on its platform. Chainlink’s decentralized price oracles are typically utilized by decentralized finance (DeFi) applications. 

With the integration, Digitex claims to comprise the first centralized crypto futures exchange to decentralized oracles. The integration will be used as an anchor to detect internal deviations over a defined percentage. Chainlink describes its price feeds as “security reviewed, sybil resistant, fully independent.” The index is informed by “a variety of trusted spot market sources.”

Digitex asserts that the price reference contracts provide traders “with strong protection against price manipulation,” and “overexpos[ure] to slippage” should the firm’s internal index produce extreme fluctuations. The contracts will be used to support Digitex’s initial Bitcoin (BTC)/U.S. dollar perpetual contracts, before incorporating additional feeds alongside other crypto assets in the future. 

Adam Todd, the founder and chief executive of Digitex, stated that “Chainlink provides Digitex with highly reliable and transparent price feeds that protect our users against the negative outcomes of abnormal market conditions or internal complications.” Digitex’s futures exchange opened on mainnet to selective user onboarding at the end of April. The platform currently plans to publicly launch during summer.

At the end of April, it was announced that leading Tezos (XTZ) developer teams Cryptonomic and SmartPy had begun working to bring Chainlink’s price oracles to the Tezos network. The move followed Coinbase’s launch of its own price oracle for the DeFi ecosystem.

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