Telegram recently announced it would launch an ICO for its blockchain platform.
The blockchain- Telegram Open Network (TON) – will feature a cryptocurrency called Grams.
TON aims to deliver a fast, scalable blockchain with support for decentralised applications, distributed file storage, and micropayments.
Telegram aims to raise $1.2 billion from its ICO, where it will distribute Grams to investors following the launch of its wallet.
TON is an ambitious project which is more than a cryptocurrency integrating within the Telegram app.
In its whitepaper for TON, Telegram outlined the focusses of the blockchain’s development and showed that it plans for TON to be a powerful and versatile platform.
The blockchain will focus on decentralised applications, micropayments, and anonymity – taking on cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Bitcoin, and Monero – and will deliver the following:
- Storage – Distributed file-storage (similar to IPFS) will allow for torrent-like peer-to-peer file transfers.
- Proxy – TON Proxy hides the identity and IP addresses of TON nodes and will be used to create decentralised VPN services.
- Third-party apps – TON will include support for third-party decentralised applications built on smart contracts, as well as a web browsing experience.
- DNS – TON’s DNS will allow users to assign human-readable names to addresses, similar to Ethereum’s ENS project.
- Payments – Telegram will implement micropayment channels and off-chain scaling solutions.
To support these features, TON uses a dynamic sharding scaling model, consisting of a master chain with primary consensus and up to 292 side-chains.
These side-chains can split and merge dynamically to spread the transaction load evenly over the network.
The blockchain will eventually be fully decentralised, with validator nodes maintaining consensus through a proof-of-stake mechanism and earning Grams for their contribution to the network.
A major advantage for the adoption of TON is the integration of the blockchain into Telegram’s Messenger app.
TON light wallets will be built into Telegram mobile applications, allowing users to store their funds on the blockchain with minimal hassle.
The platform will also allow Telegram users to transfer and spend cryptocurrency.
The Gram cryptocurrency will be the central medium of exchange on the TON blockchain.
Grams will be used for the following transfers on TON:
- Commission paid to TON validator nodes.
- Stakes deposited by validators to be eligible to validate transactions.
- Capital lent to validators in exchange for a share of their reward.
- Voting power required to support or oppose changes in the parameters of the TON protocol.
- Payment for services provided by apps built on the platform.
- Payment for storing data securely in a decentralized way.
- Payment for registering blockchain-based domain names.
- Payment for using the TON-based proxy.
- Payment for bypassing censorship imposed by local ISPs.
If application owners opt to adopt a freemium or advertisement-based model, these services could be made free to users.
Telegram will distribute Grams following the launch of its TON main network in Q4 2018, and the implementation of its light wallet client.
The development roadmap for the TON blockchain is outlined below.
Telegram’s ICO will take place in Q1 2018, and the company aims to raise $1.2 billion from the endeavour.
If it succeeds, the ICO will be the biggest ever by a factor of five.
During the first stage of the platform’s development, Telegram will hold the majority of the Gram tokens to prevent speculative trading and manipulation.
Telegram will the release Grams to network participants at a later stage.
The ICO will see 2.2 billion tokens distributed among investors, with the price of a token starting at $0.1.
The funds raised by the token sale will be used for the development of TON, said the company.
By 2021, Telegram aims to make the project truly decentralised and lose the Telegram element in its name, eventually becoming “The Open Network”.