Telegram will end its blockchain project, the company announced on its website on Tuesday. Founder and director of the popular chat app Pavel Durov calls it a "sad day" in connection with the decision.

Under the name Telegram Open Network (TON), the company wanted to release a platform based on blockchain. With that, virtual coins with the name gram could be traded. The project was similar to bitcoin.

However, the British Virgin Islands-registered company got it on the hook with the U.S. stock watchdog SEC. He called the sale of grams by Telegram illegal and went to court in his own country.

The judge's judgment has now forced Telegram to stop his project, Durov writes. He denounces the decisive say that the American legal system could exercise over the international project in this way.

In 2018, Telegram raised $ 1.7 billion ($ 1.57 billion) for the development of TON, hundreds of millions of which were spent on the project. In early May, Telegram promised that investors could get back at least 72 percent of their deposited money. It is unclear what the termination of the project means for the repayment.