Telegram Open Network (TON)
Released in 2013, the Telegram messenger quickly gained popularity worldwide. Today, the number of Telegram active users has reached 200 million per month, and they exchange 70 billion messages per day. People choose this messenger because of its speed, security, and end to end encryption both for text messages and voice calls. Specifically, cryptocurrency enthusiasts actively use Telegram to create groups and channels for ICOs.
In 2015, the Global Web Index conducted research into interest on money transfer features among instant messenger users. According to those results, Telegram ranked first by the percentage of active users – 89% – who were interested in money transfer features within the app. It seems that the company has taken this interest seriously. Now Telegram is about to launch their own cryptocurrency – the Telegram Open Network – with a token called “GRAM.”
What Is The Telegram Open Network?
The Telegram Open Network (TON) is a blockchain based cryptocurrency platform built by the founders of Telegram messenger. The founders claim that TON can become a VISA / Mastercard alternative for the decentralized economy.
The development of the platform started in 2017. In February 2018, the first round of the pre-sale ICO took place, with 2.25 billion tokens sold at a price of about $0.5 per token. After the second round, the total number of sold tokens reached 2.89 billion, at a price of about $1.8 per token. A public ICO had been planned for March 2018 but was eventually canceled.
As of April 2018, the company raised $1.7 billion through the ICO. By the end of 2018, a stable version of TON was deployed. For 2019, the company is planning to build the TON based economy in Telegram so the Telegram users can make payments in Gram via the messenger.
Telegram Open Network Features
TON claims to be a fast, scalable, and user-friendly platform thanks to the following features:
- It has a unique, multi blockchain architecture, with the ability to form new chains instead of blocks. The TON blockchain consists of two parts: a master chain with the key information regarding the active chains, hash values, etc., and accompanying chains that facilitate the smart contract transactions.
- When the TON blockchain gets too big in size, it automatically splits in two, thus increasing the capacity and becoming able to handle millions of transactions per second (Bitcoin and Ethereum currently allow only 7 and 15 transactions per second, respectively). The blockchains use a smart routing system to quickly exchange data.
- It allows the construction of new valid blocks on top of incorrect blocks that are no longer needed, thus providing a self-healing mechanism to save resources and transactions.
- Its network is highly scalable due to sharding, i.e. partitioning of data in the database. Each individual partition is called a shard. To distribute the network load, each shard is kept on an individual instance of a database server.
- Unlike in first generation blockchains, TON processing nodes do only useful work, thus maximizing efficiency.
- Its speed and scalability will easily accommodate billions of users and thousands of decentralized applications.
- It's familiar, intuitive UI will allow an average user to easily purchase, store, and transfer the value directly in the Telegram chat as well as use decentralized apps in an intuitive way. As a result, even beginners with a little knowledge about cryptocurrencies will be able to use the platform.
- Its security is guaranteed by Telegram, one of the world’s most secure instant messaging apps. The creators of TON will use their own expertise in the storage of encrypted distributed data and rely on their existing pool of developers, payment providers, communities, etc.
- To identify themselves, the users will have to provide their personal info only once. The info will then be stored securely on Telegram’s servers.
- It is aimed at expanding the market of products and services that can be acquired with cryptocurrencies, thus making cryptocurrency accessible to a wider audience. Gram aims to become the first mass-market cryptocurrency.
- It uses a Proof of Stake (PoS) approach, according to which the processing nodes (“validators”) deposit stakes to guarantee their dependability. This allows TON to focus the computing power of its nodes on handling transactions and smart contracts, thus increasing the speed and efficiency.
Telegram Open Network Components
The following components are scheduled for release after the TON Blockchain core:
- TON Services – a platform for any third party services that provide user-friendly interfaces and browsing experience for smart contracts and decentralized apps.
- TON Payments – a platform for micropayments that can be used for instant off chain transfers between the users, bots, and services.
- TON Storage – a distributed file storage technology where arbitrary files can be stored, something like a decentralized Dropbox.
- TON DNS - a service for assigning human readable names to accounts, network nodes, services, and smart contracts.
- TON Proxy - a network proxy that is used to anonymize the network nodes by hiding their IP addresses and identity.
Usage of TON Tokens – Grams
In addition to payments for assets sold by individual merchants within the platform, Grams can be used in the following ways:
- To pay for TON components, such as TON Storage or TON Proxy.
- As voting power required to react to changes in the protocol parameters.
- As a capital lent out to validators.
- As a commission for the transactions and smart contracts processing.
- As stakes that the validators can use to generate new blocks and coins as well as validate the transactions.
The Telegram Open Network (TON) seems poised to revolutionize and disrupt the world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Its unique, multi blockchain architecture allows the processing of millions of transactions per second as opposed to other platforms that can currently handle no more than 15 transactions per second. The platform is scheduled to be launched in 2019.