Launch of TON, Telegram’s crypto project

Category: Blockchain Crypto
Posted by Lea Hogg

In 2018, Telegram’s CEO, Pavel Durov, announced the blueprint for the first layer blockchain of the Telegram Open Network (TON). The project’s ambition was to transition the widely-used Telegram messenger to TON, with the ultimate goal of creating the most secure and anonymous application, safeguarded by its own proxy.

TON was envisioned as a platform for decentralized applications and services, capable of serving as an alternative to traditional payment processing services like Visa and MasterCard. This was due to its scalability and capacity to support millions of transactions per second.

The TON blockchain network was engineered with specific objectives: flexibility, speed, and cost-effectiveness. These attributes are vital for attracting millions of users and ensuring seamless integration with messaging applications, which prioritize lightweight functionality. To realize these objectives, TON developers incorporated a lightweight consensus algorithm, scalability enhancements such as sharding, and a virtual machine (TVM).

The Telegram Open Network boasted unique features including shard chains, a self-healing mechanism, decentralized data storage, domain name service, a TON virtual machine, and built-in privacy tools. The project’s cryptocurrency, Gram (GRM), was used for settlements and payment of commissions.

To fund the development of the blockchain, Telegram conducted a private initial coin offering. The ICO, held in February-March 2018, was a resounding success. In two rounds, the company raised $1.7 billion from investors, selling 44% of the total token issue.

Regulatory hurdles for token registration

However, in 2020, Telegram, the messaging app giant, terminated its plans for the TON blockchain following a legal battle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC had filed a lawsuit against Telegram in 2019, alleging that the company violated securities laws by not registering its token, initially named “gram,” with the regulatory agency.

The Advent of the Crypto Wallet and New Ad Feature
In September 2023, Telegram introduced its long-awaited crypto wallet, built on The Open Network (TON) blockchain, to its 800 million global users. The integration of the TON wallet into Telegram led to a nearly 7 percent surge in the price of Toncoin upon the announcement.

The TON Foundation announced that projects operating on the TON blockchain would receive priority access to Telegram’s advertising platform, Telegram Ads. While the wallet feature is currently available in settings for existing users, a global rollout is scheduled to commence in November, excluding the United States and select other countries.

Last month, Telegram CEO Pavel Durov revealed plans to launch the company’s ad platform, enabling channel owners to earn financial rewards. Rewards will be distributed using Toncoin on the TON blockchain, with channel owners set to receive 50 percent of all revenue generated.

How is TON different from other crypto?

Toncoin distinguishes itself from older cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum by using a greener and more scalable system called Proof-of-Stake. This not only conserves energy but also facilitates the expansion of Toncoin. Since its launch, Toncoin has maintained relative price stability, trading between $0.40 and $0.60. This, coupled with its lower price compared to other altcoins, makes it an attractive investment opportunity for investors with a limited budget. In terms of performance, Toncoin has outperformed the global cryptocurrency market and similar Layer 1 cryptocurrencies with a price increase of 18.00 percent in the last 7 days. Currently, Toncoin holds the 12th rank on CoinGecko with a market capitalization of BTC264,247.2133. The trading volume of Toncoin has seen a 20 percent increase in the last 24 hours, signalling a recent rise in market activity.

The highest price paid for Toncoin was BTC0.0001683 on Mar 25, 2024, which is 6.60 percent higher than the current price. The lowest price paid for Toncoin was BTC0.00001015 on Sep 21, 2021, and the current price is 922.60 percent higher than this all-time low.