Update: On May 12, 2020, Pavel Durov announced that Telegram had stopped working on the Telegram Open Network blockchain platform. He stressed that the base of developers in his team.
In 2015, the founder of Telegram messenger and ex-CEO of Vkontakte (VK) social network, Pavel Durov, shared an idea of a peer-to-peer (P2P) solution that would be unblockable, so that none governmental structure could censor it. Four years later, a Telegram Open Network (TON) was introduced.
Telegram Open Network
Telegram Open Network (TON) is a decentralized platform based on a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm and aimed at bringing a transparent and uncensored environment to both developers and regular users. Once launched, TON will become the biggest launchpad for mass adoption as Telegram’s user base is currently over 300 million users. GRAM is a native token within the TON blockchain that powers the whole ecosystem.
TON exceeds current blockchains in terms of speed, scalability, user interface, and the number of users. The platform has a scalable and flexible blockchain architecture consisting of the main blockchain (masterchain) and up to 292 accompanying blockchains (shardchains).
It seems that TON resolves the scalability issue with the help of the following features and can be considered as a genuine alternative to VISA and Mastercard by right.
- Infinite Sharding paradigm. The TON Blockchain can automatically split and reconnect to accommodate changes. New blocks can be quickly mined at any time, which will not trap any transactions so that popular services on the blockchain do not clog the network.
- Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm. The Telegram Blockchain uses PoS as a consensus algorithm. Just like Ethereum 2.0, TON has validators that guarantee transparency and decentralization. The computing power of the nodes is to be optimized by the Telegram code so that transactions and Smart Contracts can be carried out with increased efficiency and speed.
- Instant Hypercube Routing. The TON Blockchain uses smart routing mechanisms so that transactions between several blockchains always harmonize with each other optimally. The time, which requires routing between blockchains, scales logarithmically; thus, it allows users to speed up the transactions.
- 2-D Distributed Ledger. TON can place new blocks on already existing incorrect blocks. As a result, there will be no forks. This self-healing mechanism saves effort and guarantees that transactions made are not ineffective due to errors.
Telegram Open Network consists of the following elements:
- TON Storage is a distributed storage of large volumes of files and data. The storage supports Torrent technology and smart contracts;
- TON Proxy is a proxy platform aimed to anonymize the identity of users and the IP addresses of TON nodes;
- TON Services is a service for dApps integration and web browsers;
- TON DNS is a platform for naming accounts, nodes, services, and smart contracts;
- TON Payments is a platform on which it will be possible to conduct micropayments from user accounts to addresses of other services.
TON Block Explorers
There are already a variety of block explorers allowing for a fast search of blocks, accounts, and transactions.
An official TON testnet block explorer was released in September 2019. However, the block explorer doesn’t look intuitive as there is a lack of design. Suitable for developers and tech-savvies.
GramScan is a TON block explorer released by TON Labs. GramScan has a native UX/UI and allows users to monitor the blockchain in real-time.
Blockchair is a platform that provides block searching and analytics for several cryptocurrencies including BTC, ETH, Zcash, GRAM, and many others.
TENGRAM is a TON block explorer that provides a fast search for blockchain’s essentials along with an open-source API. Hence dApp developers can reach all the necessary blockchain data in real time. Day/Night modes are available.
GRAM Coin Review
According to TON whitepaper, 4% of GRAM tokens (approximately 200 million GRAMS) will be allocated between the development team members; 52% of tokens will be retained by the TON Reserved (to protect the networks from speculative trading). The rest of 44% the GRAM supply will be sold according to the formula:
p(n) ≈ 0.1 · (1 + 10−9 )n USD
TON Reserve buys out tokens once the exchange rate decreases below the level set by the formula, and respectively sells them once the rate increases.
The initial supply of Grams is 5 billion or 5 Gigagrams. One Gram is subdivided in 1,000,000,000 of nanograms or nanos.
Gram token units are:
- Nano (nGram) equals 0,000000001 of 1 Gram
- Microgram (mGram) – 0.000001 of Gram
- Milli – 0.001 of Gram
- Gram (GRM) is a 1 Gram
- Kilogram (kGram) – 1,000 Grams
- Megagram (mGram) – 1,000,000 Grams
- Gigagram (gGram) – 1,000,000,000 Grams
GRAM Use Cases
The TON white paper specifies quite concretely the planned use cases:
- Fees (gas) are sent to the TON Nodes (Network Validators) for processing transactions and executing Smart Contracts.
- GRAM Tokens deposited on TON nodes are necessary to run a TON node in general.
- Users can pay with GRAM for apps on the platform (TON Services).
- Users will be able to pay with GRAM for the safe and decentralized storage of data (TON Storage).
- Purchase of Blockchain-based Domains (TON DNS) and Hosting Services.
- GRAM can be used to hide the identity or IP address.
In November 2019, TON introduced a digital wallet to manage and store GRAM tokens. It was stressed that the wallet wouldn’t be integrated into Telegram messenger. Button Wallet is a cross-platform cryptocurrency wallet that allows you to buy and trade crypto in Telegram. In 2019, the wallet announced its support for TON blockchain and GRAM cryptocurrency.
Telegram Open Network Latest News
In mid-October, 2019, TON encountered some problems with the SEC which insisted GRAM was a security. The official launch of the platform was delayed until April 2020. Investors decided to wait and refused a 77% refund of their investments.
On March 24, 2020, SEC proved GRAM to be unregistered security and issued a preliminary injunction against TON. Two days later, TON filed an appeal.
At this stage, at least ten investors desire to return their funds back. In this case, they will get a 72% refund of the initial investments.
The crypto industry is waiting for the Telegram Open Network to be finally released. The launch of the TON blockchain can finally bring true transparency and censorship-resistance to millions of users across the globe. We do hope that all the issues regarding TON will be resolved and we can witness a massive transition to the core principles of decentralization.
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