Nikolai Durov

Nikolai Durov is a Russian programmer, mathematician, and Founder of (TON). He is the elder brother of , together with whom he founded the social networking site VK[2] and later Telegram Messenger[1], an encrypted messaging application.

Early Life & Education

Nikolai Durov is the brother of and the son of Valery Durov, a Doctor of Philological Sciences and a professor of philology during Nikolai's time at Saint Petersburg State University. As a youth, he reportedly could read at an adult level by age three and solve cubic equations by age eight. [3]

He won gold at the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) in the 3 years he participated; 1996, 1997, and 1998. He accrued 3 silver medals and 1 gold medal in the International Olympiad in Informatics from 1995 through 1998. He also was a member of the Saint Petersburg State University ACM team, which won the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest in 2000 and 2001. [4][5][6][7]

He received his first Ph.D. from Saint Petersburg State University in 2005 with his thesis "New Approach to Arakelov Geometry". Continuing at the University of Bonn, he obtained a second Ph.D. under the supervision of Gerd Faltings with his thesis on singular Arakelov geometry in 2007. [8][3][9]


Nikolai Durov is a bi-lingual mathematician and programming specialist with a passion for connecting intelligent technology with opportunity. His companies have products that have a combined reach of 300 Million (100M Vkontakte & 200M Telegram). He is responsible for programming the infrastructure for those products, representing over $2 billion in assets.[3]

He has worked with world-class programmers to create products for the masses and is a senior researcher in the Saint Petersburg Department of V.A. Steklov Institute of Mathematics. He is experienced in independently creating large infrastructures for managing products for the masses, and he has won international gold medals in Olympiads in mathematics. [3]

Intimately working with top programming teams and family offices for more than 15 years, he understands trust is established by two-way communication, transparency, education, and client empowerment. He believes we can create a better-interconnected world together by empowering information. [3]


Nikolai Durov introduced commutative algebraic monads as a generalization of local objects in a generalized algebraic geometry. Versions of tropical geometry, absolute geometry over a field with one element, and an algebraic analog of Arakelov geometry were realized in this setup. [9]

He holds the position of senior research fellow at the Laboratory of Algebra and Number Theory at the St Petersburg Department of Steklov Institute of Mathematics of the Russian Academy of Sciences. [10]


  • Nikolai Durov was the lead developer of the VK team until 2013. [3]
  • Together with his brother , Nikolai founded Telegram and developed the MTProto protocol for Telegram in 2013. [1]
  • Durov is the co-founder of (TON) and the author of the original whitepaper. [11]

Personal Life

Nikolai Durov was born on November 21, 1980, in St. Petersburg, Russia. He is not a media person, so he doesn't entertain many interviews. [12]

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Nikolai Durov

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February 1, 2023

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