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Billy Bambrough: The U.S. just destroyed a potential dollar rival -- Is bitcoin next?

Section: Daily Dispatches

By Billy Bambrough, Jersey City, New Jersey
Sunday, May 17, 2020

The U.S. Federal Reserve and President Donald Trump are fearful of challengers to the almighty dollar.

Bitcoin, a new form of digital money called cryptocurrency that is scarce and exists independently of government, heralded a wave of technological rivals to the dollar -- with Facebook creating libra and China digitalizing its yuan.

This week the U.S. financial regulator shut down messaging app Telegram's decentralized crypto project -- igniting fears that the U.S. could again try to destroy bitcoin if it becomes a threat to the dollar's shakey supremacy.

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Following a long-running battle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Telegram walked away from its blockchain-based Telegram Open Network (TON) and its native cryptocurrency, gram.

"Unfortunately, a U.S. court stopped TON from happening," Telegram's founder and chief executive Pavel Durov revealed this week, drawing a line under the embattled two-and-a-half year project.

Back in 2018, Telegram, now based in Dubai and boasting 400 million monthly active users, raised a staggering $1.7 billion from almost 200 private investors to fund development of the TON network and gram token.

The SEC blocked Telegram's much-hyped public fundraiser just two months later. In October last year, the SEC ordered Telegram to halt the sale of gram tokens, finding it in violation of the Securities Act.

This week the SEC hammered home the final nail in the TON coffin.

"The U.S. court declared that grams couldn't be distributed not only in the United States, but globally," Durov wrote. ...

... For the remainder of the commentary:

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