Telegram Open Network (TON) is a blockchain platform of Telegram instant messaging system from the team of Pavel Durov. The platform is protected by a built-in proxy and anonymizer. The list of services offered includes messaging, Gram cryptocurrency and many others.
History of TON
- Main article: ICO Telegram
The Telegram project was created by the brothers Durov in 2013. Nikolay Durov invented the MTProto encryption scheme, which formed the basis of the project. The main concept of the messenger was the anonymity and secure communication of users. The messenger existed on the personal funds of Pavel Durov until 2017. The project Telegram Open Network is mainly associated with the work of the Telegram messenger, in which it is planned to integrate the cryptocurrency Gram.
In early 2018, during the closed ICO Telegram, it raised $ 1.7 billion dollars to develop a blockchain platform. The entire amount was received from private investors who bought GRAM tokens. Among the investors appear quite famous personalities: Abramovich, Yakobashvili, Solonin. The platform itself was launched in the fall of 2018. Then the developers said that the network is ready for use by 70% and most of the components have already been finalized. The testnet launch was to take place in January 2019 but was postponed.
Closed cryptocurrency testing began in April 2019. The developers gave the opportunity to use their new project to several organizations around the world using the blockchain. The test passes by connecting its node to the TON network. Testing participants do not share detailed information about their impressions, but they highlight the high speed of transactions, without naming specific numbers. Further testing of the platform will help determine the scalability and performance of the network, as well as prepare TON for general use.
The White Paper of the project was written by Nikolai Durov, where he summarized all the positive aspects of blockchain technologies and proposed an innovative architecture for scalability and decentralization.
The management of Telegram to this day does not disclose the exact date of the release of TON, but if it does not take place before October 31, 2019, then investors will have the right to return the invested funds.
First of all, TON means user-friendliness. The transactions that will take place on this blockchain do not require waiting and a large fee and are executed as quickly as Visa and Mastercard. The blockchain works on the principle of the Proof-of-stake protocol, which makes transactions secure. The architecture consists of one blockchain and 292 additional networks. The blockchain will support sharding technology, which will speed up the generation of new blocks and increase the speed of transactions.
Blockchain TON consists of a set of blockchains, which are divided into:
- The main blockchain, which will store key information about the protocol, such as hash, information about validators and their “balances”.
- A lot of “working” blockchains that allow you to execute smart contracts. Such TON blockchains can be created according to different rules and use different Virtual Machines to execute smart contracts.
- The complete structure of the blockchain TON: masterchain workplace, shardchain, blocks, where blocks are also some kind of blockchain, which allows them to be rewritten and to abandon the hard forks of the network.
TON will use the ADNL protocol (256 bits of the channel identifier + packet contents) which allows any nodes to exchange information with each other. It can be said that thanks to ADNL all nodes form a global TON graph. But the possibility of creating overlay networks — subgraphs inside this graph, is additionally provided. Overlay networks can be public and private. It’s easy to become a member of a public network - you need to find a TL structure that describes it (it can be public - or it can be accessed with a certain key in the DHT). In the case of a private network, this structure must be known to the node in advance.
Telegram Open Network includes the following products:
- TON Storage. Storage system that is similar to Dropbox distributed analog
- TON Proxy. A decentralized blockchain based VPN service, which is a secure environment for using TON. It is an anonymizer similar to TOR.
- TON Services & DNS. Platform for the provision of third-party services, allowing the use of user interfaces and domain name services.
- TON Payments. A platform for micropayments and P2P transactions.
According to the Aton paper, the TON network is comprised of the following components:
TON Storage is described as “the file-storage technology available for storing arbitrary files with torrent-like access technology and smart contracts used to enforce availability.” The feature will reportedly be used by DApps that require large amounts of storage.
TON Proxy is the network’s anonymizer that will be used to hide the identity and create a decentralized virtual private network (VPN) to secure online privacy. The ultimate goal is “to guarantee to any service including Telegram immunity to censorship,” the paper mentions.
TON Services is presented as a platform for third-party DApps, smart contracts, and decentralized browsing experience.
TON DNS is a service that will reportedly “allow users to access decentralized services as easily as browsing the World Wide Web” by assigning accounts with human-readable names.
TON Payments will allegedly support instant off-chain payments inside the network. It also features built-in safeguards that aim to provide security when making transfers, making sure that these transfers are “as secure as any on-chain transaction.”
TON Virtual Machine is described as a component that processes smart contracts on the network.
- Main article: Gram
Gram ー internal cryptocurrency platform TON. Cryptocurrency developers see it as an analog of Visa and Mastercard: instant transactions will occur within the network. Gram is based on the Proof-of-Stake protocol and will be secured through the work of smart contracts. This will help to conduct up to 10 million transactions/sec.
TON Development Perspectives
The developers have scheduled the launch of all announced services in 2019. In the first quarter, a basic on TON economy should be created in Telegram, and in the second, all TON services, TON storage and TON proxy should be started.
- Nikolay Durov ー programmer. Fulfilled the entire technical part to run VK and Telegram. Co-founder of TON.
- Pavel Durov ー ex-director of development for VK. The main investor in the Telegram messenger. Co-founder of TON.
- Alexey Levin ー ex-engineer C/C++ on VK. C/C++ Engineer in TON.
- Vitalik Valtman ー ex-engineer C/C++ on VK. C/C++ Engineer in TON.
- Arseny Smirnov ー ex-engineer C/C++ in VK. C/C++ Engineer in TON.