Telegram has finally acknowledged their connection to the TON. The Telegram Open Network raised approximately $1.7 billion last year, but was never formally connected to or commented on by the Telegram messaging app.
However, on Tuesday, mention of the network and tokens was added to the Telegram website. The token’s wallet app is going to be integrated into the flagship messaging app, but Telegram wants to put a specific emphasis on the fact that they will not be holding any personal information for users of the app, including public or private keys.
This is a key aspect of the network that Telegram wants made very clear. As well as not having anything to do with the processing and verification of transactions, they want users to know that:
“You are solely responsible for managing and maintaining the security of your Credentials. If you lose your Credentials, we do not have the ability to recover your Credentials or assist you in retrieving your Credentials, and you may not be able to access your Grams.”
Change In Story
Up until now, there were no formal links between the companies. TON’s simple agreement for future tokens (SAFT) did list some Telegram executives, but nothing else was confirmed in the last year. Now it seems like the project is ready to move forward and will be unveiled by the end of October.
The separation yet integration of these two applications is just the beginning of the guidelines that Telegram is trying to provide to users. They also go on to talk about how the company will not be held responsible for determining what jurisdictions in which users may use the service, as well as calculating tax liabilities.
They go on to explain that users may be terminated from using the service at any time. The terms of service are expected to be continually modified in the future, but this is the brunt of their effect for now.
Avoiding KIK’s Downfall
All of this comes in the wake of the controversy surrounding Kik and their imminent extinction due to violation of securities laws. The SEC sent a Wells Notice in early 2018 detailing the rules that Kik had broken with their September 2017 raise of over $100 million for their KIN token.
The legal troubles and lack of clarity that Kik is facing from the SEC has led to a fund being created to “defend crypto”. Unclear regulations make it very difficult for companies to operate with guidelines, and the fund aims to get a proper Howey test created for crypto. So far, the SEC has only just started to weigh in on whether the big three (Bitcoin, Ethereum , and Ripple) are securities, but not provided a framework for newer tokens to work off of.
The Kik app has been shut down and 70 of their 100 employees have been given notice of termination. At this point, the company is in war mode and is doing everything they can to minimize their burn rate.
Seeing as Telegram and Kik are both messaging apps with encryption features that are likely not considered desirable by the government, these developments must be very concerning for Telegram. This would explain why they are so emphatically remaining separated from their wallet app and token. Ideally, this is enough to protect them from legal troubles.