Why Telegram Open Network is on hiatus, and how the injunction has affected the growth of the project.
Bitcoin was born 12 years ago, but cryptocurrency has not yet become a convenient tool for a wide range of users. That is, the main task of the digital currency remains unresolved, but access to exchanges and trading has become easier. In general, we buy goods and services for ordinary money, and the technologies at the heart of blockchain projects are of interest to a strictly limited number of experts and enthusiasts.
Telegram was already one of the most popular messengers in the world before the Telegram Open Network was announced. The space for new functions was limitless, and this also applied to the crypto niche. The active audience, in general, knows digital currencies well. The messenger was actively used for communication and distribution of news on crypto, and a high level of anonymity and security gave additional trust and interest. The Telegram token could well become the new flagship of the crypto world. All the investors in the Durovs project knew this.
Two stages of fundraising in 2018 gave a colossal result. The project was able to attract $ 1.7 billion. Only EOS is in a higher position at the moment with $ 4 billion. TON’s investments consisted of shares by 170 investors of various sizes. There were many skeptics among the enthusiasts. There were reasons for that. Facebook promoted an analog called Libra, but many third-party factors shattered hopes for a full-fledged implementation.
Gram is the name given to the TON token. It is conceived as a semblance of bitcoin with no control center. This is a model that prohibits anyone from controlling the state of things in the system. The start of the project was scheduled for the fall of 2019, and as planned by the developers, the era of crypto payment for goods and services was to begin.
The project team’s plans got messed up on October 11, 2019. On this day, the SEC made an open statement to stop the distribution of tokens among investors. The basis for this was the Securities Act of 1933. This was enough to slow down the original plan. The ban was announced ahead of a hearing, which was set for February 2020. The release of the TON project was postponed to April 2020, respectively.
Attempts to solve the problem continued from mid-fall 2019 to late spring 2020. Telegram has developed a lot of options. They even offered to distribute tokens to non-US residents only. The SEC responded with disagreement, but could not ban everything completely. An obstacle for the TON team was the risks for Telegrams, which they could not take.
The TON test network was running all this time, and the process of modernizing the technological environment continued. The concept was based on smart contracts with parallel execution due to multi-threading. Here’s an example from real life. What is the old blockchain? These are several merchants who have one cash desk. The number of shoppers at stores is growing, but the service time is consistently increasing. The new blockchain considers the current load and offers several “cash desks” to execute smart contracts simultaneously as needed. This is how the TON works. It is called the “hypermarket of the future”.
TON’s technological base is also of great interest to independent developers who are seizing the potential and prospects for success. Ethereum solution developer TON Labs is one of them. The accumulated experience said that it was necessary to develop an operating system to cope with the blockchain easily and effectively develop its ecosystem.
SEC had its own opinion on things and Durov stopped the project after a period of hard pressure. They left the project, but open source allowed other developers to continue down the road in any direction. Many have followed in this direction.
Immediately after the Durovs left in May 2020, a group of companies and crypto enthusiasts, consisting of the largest staking providers, representatives of exchanges, and independent developers, decides to launch the blockchain. They decided to do without ICO, without pre-sale of tokens and external investments. Free TON was conceived as a demonstration of an exemplary decentralized network. The high technical and organizational level corresponded to that. The token emission called TON Crystal had a cumulative 5 billion units on three addresses. These funds should be distributed among validators, developers, and community members contributing to the development of the blockchain.
The distribution of coins is based on contests and collaborations. Any member of the community can offer their ideas on the project forum, receive comments and wishes from other users, and start voting. More than 50% of positive responses start the process of implementing the idea.
In the beginning, companies and individual enthusiasts who stood at the origins were voting. Then Free TON was scaled up and the number of participants grew. The project mechanism began to experience heavy loads. Thus, the concept of sub-management was implemented. Community members with expertise in different topics are grouped to work and discuss the applications in their specific topic: design, development, and so on.
The horizontal structure allowed the ecosystem to be highly scalable. The number of competitions is constantly growing, as is the number of project participants. At the moment, 100+ contests have been implemented with a spent fund of more than 140 million TON Crystal in total.
The concept of sub-management has received positive feedback, but this is not the last stage of development. The main goal of decentralization is the ability to vote for decisions with tokens. Everyone should have this right. The presentation of the update is scheduled for the summer of 2021.
The broad masses are not yet involved in the project. The main goal of Free TON today is to develop a technological basis for creating scalable solutions of almost any complexity. The mechanisms for the implementation of FT and NFT tokens are already ready. The alpha version of the decentralized exchange is close to the presentation. Also, work is being completed on the bridge to the Ethereum network. In May 2021, a competition for a new Rust node will be launched. Free TON is very attractive in theory. In practice, there is already an extensive technological base, a robust community around the project. Will the project in a new incarnation be able to bring to the realization the ideas that were laid by the Durov brothers? It will be seen further.