Telegram has conducted the world’s largest initial coin offering back in early 2018, netting a whopping 1.7B from a batch of accredited investors. TON Blockchain is supposed to be launch by Oct. 31. Otherwise, it will have to refund its investors.

Telegram Open Network (TON) announced in its letter to investors that it is close to its planned launch.

Mitja Goroshevsky, CTO of TON Labs, a startup building tools for TON developers, said that TON Labs itself “will run and manage its own validation pool.”

He confirmed the authenticity of the letter saying that original investors received emails from the Telegram core team and that is expected from them to provide Telegram with their public keys by Oct. 16 using the key generator in order to receive the tokens, or “grams,” they bought.

The message also adds the company will recuse itself from running the network:

“Investors have to select validators. Neither Telegram nor the TON Foundation will serve as validators post-launch.”

last month Telegram delivered its Telegram Open Network (TON) testnet explorer and node software on its website. Also, in August this year, we reported of three anonymous investors in Telegram’s $1.7 billion private initial coin offering who said that Telegram confirmed they would issue the first Gram tokens by October.

Telegram then said that Gram’s digital wallet for its tokens will be accessible by all of its 300 million users around the world when the time comes. The giant hopes that Gram tokens will facilitate cross-border payments, making fund transfers a lot easier. This is similar to the goals indicated by Facebook in its Libra whitepaper.

The blockchain raised $1.7 billion last year and has been built in near-total secrecy. Telegram CEO Pavel Durov has never publicly announced TON’s existence.

The only official confirmation, for now, is the registration with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the project’s SAFT (simple agreement for future tokens) and this document actually has the names of Telegram Group, Inc., Pavel Durov, and Nikolai Durov, the CEO’s brother who is also TON’s chief architect.

However, there were some (probably illegitimate) tryings to adopt TON as its own by Japan-based cryptocurrency exchange Liquid, who said that they had conducted a sale of Telegram’s crypto tokens back in July and even revealed the wallet address where the sum will stay until releasing of the tokens.

The wallet, as announced, carries $4,123,116.76 worth of the USDC stablecoin.

And the reason why we are having serious doubts about the legitimacy of this project is the fact that this company already in June announced they were holding a public sale of Telegram Open Network’s digital token – GRAM. To list the token, the platform partnered with Gram Asia, apparently the largest holder of the native token of TON blockchain in Asia.

The token sale then started on July 10 by selling GRAM tokens at $4 each and was finished in just a few weeks. The wallet funds show that around 1 million tokens were sold.

According to the exchange, tokens will be provided by Gram Asia. The company is allegedly a very big investor in Telegram’s token sale that during the February and March of last year, raised $1.7 billion for the messaging app’s blockchain project, Telegram Open Network, or TON.

Be it as it may, from Telegram they said the network will be compatible with the Ethereum network, allowing users to port their Ethereum smart contracts over to TON. Also, last week, Telegram announced a coding competition for building smart contracts on TON. Using the tools provided in the TON Blockchain distribution, contestants will fight for a prize fund worth between $200,000 and $400,000.