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What does the future hold for TON?

In 2018, the Durov brothers published the technical document of the Telegram Open Network (TON) blockchain. The project's goal was to move the Telegram messenger to TON with the subsequent creation of a maximally anonymous and secure application provided with its proxy.

TON was described as a platform for decentralized applications and services, capable of competing with Visa and MasterCard due to its scalability and ability to process millions of transactions per second.

Telegram Open Network offered several unique features, including:

  • sharding,
  • self-healing mechanism,
  • decentralized data storage,
  • a domain name service,
  • TON virtual machine,
  • privacy tools.

The project's internal cryptocurrency was called Gram (GRM) and was used for settlements and payment of commissions.

To finance the development of the Telegram blockchain, a successful private initial coin offering (ICO) was held from February to March 2018. Over two rounds, the company raised $1.7 billion from investors, which accounted for 44% of the total token issuance.

First problems

In October 2019, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against Telegram, accusing the company of distributing unregistered securities through the sale of Gram tokens. A federal court order banned Telegram from issuing tokens on June 11, 2020.

In response, Pavel Durov announced that Telegram would cease cooperation with the TON project. Subsequently, Telegram agreed with the SEC to return $1.22 billion to investors and pay an $18.5 million fine.

After losing in court, Telegram stopped developing the TON project and posted its source code on GitHub, urging the community to take over its management.

Reincarnation of TON

After Telegram announced its withdrawal from the project, development began to be handled by the community. Initially, two rival development teams, Newton and Free TON, competed for the right to become the heirs to the original Telegram Open Network.

In June 2021, the Newton team asked Pavel Durov to give them the source repository on GitHub and the domain. Immediately after that, the project was renamed The Open Network, and the native token Toncoin appeared in the network instead of Gram.

To this day, the project is developing under a new name with a team that took over the development of the ecosystem after Telegram's problems with the SEC.

What's under the hood?

We have dealt with the project's history; now, let's tell you why TON is on everyone's lips today and what solutions the development team offers.

The main advantage of the project is access to the Telegram audience, which can be immersed in the cryptocurrency world relatively quickly, as we have already seen in the success of the notcoin project, which teaches people the basics of cryptocurrency devices in the format of games and quests.

In addition to the primary product of the ecosystem — the blockchain itself, there are several other exciting solutions:

  • TON DNS,
  • TON Proxy,
  • TON Payments,
  • TonMobile,
  • TON Storage.

Each of them represents some kind of additional service. For example, TON DNS assigns readable names to accounts and smart contracts to make the infrastructure more accessible and understandable. TON Proxy allows users to share information anonymously on the network. TON Payments is a separate payment processing engine that speeds up and cheapens transfers between TON users. TonMobile will enable you to buy eSIMs that work in more than 70 countries. TON Storage is a distributed storage network that tries to be characterized by simplicity and reliability, hoping to compete with existing similar projects.

Returning to the blockchain, its inner workings are worth noting. The developers of the TON network have considered most of the existing problems of Bitcoin and Ethereum, so the basic idea of their network is based on dynamic sharding.

In other words, the TON blockchain can be divided into an "infinite" number of individual chains that can easily interact but are processed by individual network nodes in parallel and independently of each other. Thanks to this concept, TON has the potential to rival the performance of even the notional Visa and Mastercard.

In addition to dynamic scalability, the blockchain architecture supports the creation of payment channels. This tool is responsible for TON Payments. It is implemented as individual smart contracts that allow instant and commission-free transfer of funds between two wallets. Still, it is planned to organize a network of such channels in the future, which will turn into a kind of analog Lightning Network from the Bitcoin network.

At the end of last year, the developers added support for zk-protocols, which also opened up great opportunities for the future development of the ecosystem.

A few more words about unusual projects

Probably, no people left in the world have not heard anything about notcoin. This is a game project developed by the TON team with the full support of the ecosystem. It is interesting because it teaches users how to work with cryptocurrency in the simplest possible game form. So far, there is a tremendous amount of speculation around the future trading of the new coin, but in reality, it doesn't even exist. So far, it's just simple numbers in the game developer's database; no decentralized storage is out of the question yet.

In addition, the Fragment platform in the ecosystem allows trading the already mentioned domain names from TON DNS and previously unnamed anonymous virtual numbers in the form of NFT. This project has nothing in common with virtual eSIMs, which allow you to use the Internet in most countries, and the numbers traded on Fragment will enable you to register Telegram accounts on them only.

Also of interest is that TON has developed a standard of "compressed NFTs" that simplifies the work for web3 games. This may seem like a controversial solution because it again takes decentralization back to local databases. Still, in cases where centralized metadata storage is used for tokens (which is what most web3 games do), you won't see any difference; while saving on fees is obvious, processing speed increases many times over.

Publicly, this protocol was used in another game by the developers of TON, which was announced at the same time as notcoin. This is Egg Fight Club, a game offering endless rock-paper-scissors battles with visualization of the losing side breaking eggs. A total of 8.4 million NFTs have been released, but only the base token has been published online with a link to a centralized database. In practice, this means that instead of paying about $170 thousand in commission, developers paid only 2 cents. At the same time, marketplaces support all the same functions for buying and selling such tokens as fully decentralized NFTs.

A few weeks ago, one of the TON team developers used the original smart contracts, which were used to distribute token issuance to the project's early investors, and created the GRAM token. Yes, this was the name Toncoin was supposed to have before Telegram conflicted with the SEC, so users quickly noticed it and began to study it with interest. The project itself is a token that can be mined similarly to Bitcoin; instead of the basic PoS model that TON uses, the developer programmed a PoW algorithm to distribute the issuance of this token.

Instead of a conclusion

According to public data, TON is increasingly integrated with Telegram, which has about 800 million active users per month. Thanks to this, even investors far from the crypto world can hear about TON, which noticeably expands the project's potential market.

Thanks to advanced technologies, the TON Coin network can process thousands of transactions per second, which guarantees almost instantaneous operations. In addition to the already-used technical solutions, TON developers plan to introduce quite a few exciting updates over the next few years.

The project continues to gain popularity despite various problems, and the development team's persistence may positively impact the project's future. We will continue to follow their fate with interest, but the readers themselves should decide to buy or sell TON based on their investment strategies.

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© – , updated 03/01/2024
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