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Telegram Open Network (TON) is a blockchain platform developed by Telegram. It was launched in 2018 with the goal of creating a fast, secure and accessible platform for exchanging digital assets and developing decentralized applications.

TON is based on blockchain technology and uses its own cryptocurrency, Gram. Gram is the centralized element of TON, which allows for high speed and security of transactions.

One of the main advantages of TON is its high transaction confirmation rate. Thanks to the unique architecture of TON, transaction confirmation time is just a few seconds.


History of the TON project

TON is based on several internal projects that power the platform. The main ones are:

Telegram Passport is a service for fast user verification. A user in TON is the sole owner of an encrypted private key and is free to decide what data they are willing to provide.

TON Services is a special infrastructure that allows to create programs inside TON, similar to websites, and protected from censorship.

TON Payments is a key TON service that has its own cryptocurrency. Its goal is to provide instant money transfers within TON without commissions.

TON Virtual Machine is a service that automates the process of negotiating contracts between users within the platform. The Virtual Machine is also responsible for contract management.

TON Proxy is an internal service that allows you to bypass blockchains in the network and access the TON blockchain without any restrictions.

TON DNS is a directory of unique domain names, through which you can register and find the services you need.

TON planned to automatically collect blocks, which will increase the speed of block creation and reduce the cost of transactions. Members of the platform can create nodes in the blockchain network according to instructions published on the project's official website. There is a monetized operation system for TON Proxy, where users who receive external network traffic are paid in Gram for bringing other users into the network via VPN. But it is also possible to pay for external TON Proxy traffic to use it. This can be used to visit websites anonymously. TON was planned as a mobile application and within the Telegram messenger with the ability to release updates within the system.

It can also be noted here that the ability to integrate third-party applications (such as messengers and social networks) into the architecture of TON is done without too much difficulty.


Advantages of TON over other blockchains

The developers of TON, Pavel and Nikolai Durov, had serious intentions in using blockchain and the Gram cryptocurrency. Their work included the following advantages:

1. The ability to exchange messages within the blockchain;

2. fast payment processing;

3. The ability to select applications via Proxy to bypass blockchains;

4. Ability to participate in file storage, where as a reward you will receive Gram;

5. Due to the fact that TON is based on Telegram, the product already has a large audience;

6. A limited number of validators (nodes), which will be strictly limited - in the initial period it was planned to have 100, with a subsequent increase to 1000.


In the process of its development, the TON project encountered many obstacles that doubted its existence. Some critics saw no prospects in TON, but this did not prevent the project from attracting the attention of cryptocurrency investors.



In 2017, a former Telegram employee, Anton Rosenberg, spoke about Pavel Durov's plans to create his own cryptocurrency. After Durov's confirmation, it became known that a large amount of investment funds had been raised. As a result of the first stage of the ICO, the company attracted 850 million dollars, which allowed to begin serious development of the platform. In the second phase, the company raised even more funds - $1.7 billion. Before the third stage, Durov rejected a large number of investor applications, as the necessary funds had already been raised, and the project was estimated to cost only $400 million. Some experts opposed the TON blockchain launch. Charles Noyes of Pantera Capital and Spencer Bogart of Blockchain Capital called TON "the biggest bubble in the history of the venture capital business" and warned against investing in the project. In March 2018, TON investors received a document outlining the risks associated with buying, selling and using Gram. One of those risks was Gram's uncertain legal position, due to ambiguities in U.S. law.




On October 11, 2019, the U.S. Securities and Markets Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against the creators of Telegram. The lawsuit alleged that they illegally distributed digital tokens that were not registered. Pavel Durov, one of the creators of Telegram, said that Gram tokens were being developed solely as digital currency and that a large amount of investment was required to issue them and make the network work. However, the SEC said that the creators and developers of TON were aware of possible speculation and expected to make money from reselling the tokens.

On March 24, 2020, a New York court ruled that Gram tokens were securities and barred their transfer to buyers and investors. It based its decision on the fact that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proved that Telegram planned to distribute Gram as an offering of securities based on the Howey test, which determines whether something is a security. The court banned the issuance of tokens not only in the U.S., but also around the world, so that Americans could not bypass the blocking and purchase the currency.


News of the project's shutdown

On May 12, Pavel Durov in his Telegram channel confirmed the final termination of the development of the blockchain project. He also said a few words about the reason for the court decision and Telegram's withdrawal from the sphere. Finally, Pavel warned against investing in projects that use "TON" in their name:

"I am writing this post to officially announce that Telegram's active participation in TON is over. You may see, or may have already seen, sites using my name, the Telegram brand, or the abbreviation "TON" to promote their projects. Do not trust them with your money or data. None of the present or former members of our team are involved in any of these projects. While networks based on the technology we created for TON may appear, we will have nothing to do with them and are unlikely to ever support them. So be careful, and don't let anyone mislead you."


Free TON Story: What to Expect?

On May 12, the launch of the new blockchain platform Free TON was announced. It is based on TON technology and uses TON Crystal as its internal currency. Free TON developers and participants (including TON Labs,, ForkLog founder Anatoly Kaplan and many others) sign a declaration committing them to support maximum decentralization. However, U.S. residents cannot sign this declaration. Free TON is planned to be launched in three phases.


The first phase: Developers have the ability to make changes to the configuration of the network, but after a certain period of time, this ability will be canceled. During the same period, contracts will be created that will allow users to manage the network.

Stage Two: Control of the network configuration is fully transferred to the validators.

Stage Three: The goal is to have enough validators and pools so that the blockchain becomes fully decentralized.


In conclusion.

Unfortunately, the creators of the TON blockchain have failed to refute the SEC and court arguments. After TON is discontinued, we can only speculate whether they would have been able to successfully implement their vision. In any case, TON's story has caught the attention of many, and the outstanding prospects of this blockchain platform being available to all. Right now, attention is being drawn to Free TON, but its success depends on support.