An investor in Telegram’s aborted Telegram Open Network (TON) blockchain platform says he believes the project’s mastermind is not yet ready to walk away from his failed initial coin offering (ICO) – and backed Telegram to return to the crypto fray with renewed vigor.
In a column for Forbes Russia, Pavel Cherkashin, a managing partner at Mindrock Capital and GVA Capital and one of the investors in the doomed USD 1.7 billion TON ICO, wrote about his adventure with TON.
He opined that a bitter feud involving Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg was the real reason for TON’s failure, confirmed earlier this week, but backed Telegram boss Pavel Durov to return to the project in some form.
“Consider me a hopeless optimist, but I still hope that Pavel Durov will come up with a clever move to put this situation right.”
The investor added that Telegram could still choose to launch in IPO in a bid to raise funds, pay off its debts to investors – or issue non-voting shares to the ICO investors, perhaps returning to the project in some form and “kick Zuckerberg’s ass.”
The investor added that Durov would not “want to go down in history as a man who mobilized hundreds of millions of people for his project, and then fled to his yacht as soon as it came under fire.”
However, Cherkashin admitted that a lengthy legal battle could be ahead for Durov and Telegram, writing,
“Most likely, there will be at least a few investors who want to sue, and as soon as they file the first lawsuits, the rest will catch up so as not to be left out. Blood-sucking lawyers are already blowing up investors’ phones in a bid to offer their services. In the event of a long and complicated suit, only the lawyers are set to win.”
Cherkashin also opined that Zuckerberg had essentially pirated his idea for Libra from Durov’s TON plan. He stated that the Facebook chief was furious that his own, American project was being derailed while Durov’s Russia-based TON project was being left to run unchecked – a fact that led him to berate American regulators on the matter.
This outburst, says Cherkashin, led the regulatory Securities and Exchanges Commission to begin the legal proceedings that eventually derailed TON.