The Open Network (TONCOIN)

The Open Network (TON), also known as TON Blockchain, is a decentralized layer-1 created by the encrypted messaging platform, Telegram in 2018. The multi-blockchain architecture of The Open Network provides a platform for (dApps) and . It consists of a master chain, multiple working , and sharding protocols. [1][2]

The Open Network (TON) is a community-driven with a flexible architecture and focus on serving a typical consumer. In September 2021, the network processed a then-world record of 55,000 TPS during a contest, although reports suggest that current TPS could reach up to the hundreds of thousands or even millions. This high TPS rate and validation is seen as a key factor in the project's rapid growth and is thought to help avoid performance losses, while also having a low environmental impact. [2]


Since 2017, the team at Telegram had been developing a new blockchain platform called the TON (Telegram Open Network) Blockchain and a native called Gram. [3]

TON is a blockchain project created by brothers and to build a platform that disrupts the space by leveraging Telegram’s wide user base. The platform promised the speed and scalability important for the mass adoption of . Through TON, Telegram users were supposed to be able to buy, transfer, and store value in ID-verifiable wallets facilitated by the GRAM coin. [3]

Telegram and its affiliates had not made any promises or commitments to develop any applications or features for the TON Blockchain or otherwise contribute in any way to the TON Blockchain platform after its launch. Rather, the Telegram team hoped that the decentralized community of third-party developers would contribute to the TON ecosystem through the development of applications and . In January 2018, the team released a white paper[4] and a detailed technical paper which gave an insight into the features and design of the project. TON was described as a platform for and services with the ability to scale and support millions of transactions per second. [3]


Gram was the native cryptocurrency Telegram planned to launch to establish a platform for  (dApps). In order to fund the development of Telegram and the TON blockchain project, Telegram attracted investments through a private Gram . A two-step legal scheme was employed: the Gram purchase agreement was structured as a future contract that allowed investors to receive tokens once TON launched. As futures were only sold to accredited investors, the was exempt from registration as securities under Regulation D of the Securities Act of 1933, on the basis that once TON was operational, the Grams would have utility and would not be considered securities. [27]

The ran in 2 rounds, each taking in $850 million. The first round offering was 2.25 billion tokens at $0.38 each, with a minimum purchase of $20 million, and the second offering was 640 million tokens at $1.33 each, with a minimum purchase of $1 million. As of April 2018, the firm had reported raising $1.7 billion through the ongoing . [29][28]

Development of TON

The development of TON took place in an isolated and opaque manner. The launch of the testnet was initially scheduled for Q2 2018 with the launch in Q4, but the milestones were postponed severally. The testnet was launched in January 2019 with a half a year deviation from the plan. [30]

In May 2019, the company released the lite version of the TON blockchain network client. In September 2019, the company released the complete source code for TON nodes on GitHub, making it possible to launch a full node and explore the testnet. The launch of the TON main network was scheduled for October 31, 2019. [31][32]

Telegram vs SEC

SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) had concerns about Gram's private sale and contacted Telegram about it, but after months of communication, both sides did not come to an understanding. On October 11, 2019, a few weeks before the planned TON launch, SEC obtained a temporary restriction order to prevent the distribution of Grams. SEC argued that the initial purchasers of Gram would be acting as underwriters, and the resale of Gram, once distributed, would be an unregistered distribution of securities. [5]

After a lengthy legal battle between Telegram and the SEC, Judge P. Kevin Castel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York agreed with SEC that the sale of Grams, the distribution to initial purchasers, and the highly likely future resale should be viewed as a single "scheme" to distribute Grams to the secondary market in an unregistered security offering. The "security" consisted of the whole set of contracts, expectations, and understandings around the sale and the distribution of tokens to the interested public, and not only the Grams. In this case, the initial purchasers acted as underwriters that planned to resell tokens not consume them. The restrictions on Gram distribution remained in force for purchasers based in and outside the U.S., as Telegram had no tools to prevent U.S. citizens from purchasing Grams on the secondary market. [5][33]

Following this development, The Telegram Open Network team announced that they would be unable to launch the project by the expected 30 April 2020 deadline. [3]

On May 12, 2020, announced the end of Telegram's active participation with the TON blockchain. [6][8]

On June 11, 2020, Telegram settled with SEC U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission and agreed to return $1.22 billion as "termination amounts" in Gram purchase agreements, and pay an $18.5 million penalty to SEC. Telegram also agreed to notify the SEC of any plans to issue digital assets over the next three years. The judge approved the settlement on June 26, 2020:

"New and innovative businesses are welcome to participate in our capital markets, but they cannot do so in violation of the registration requirements of the federal securities laws," Kristina Littman, chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Cyber Unit, in a statement. [9]

In 2020, Telegram repaid TON investors $770 million and converted $443 million into a one-year debt at 10% interest, raising its total liabilities to $625.7 million. On 10 March 2021, Telegram made the placement of 5-year bonds worth $1 billion to cover the debts it returned by 30 April 2021. [10]


Since TON (Telegram Open Network) was developed as an open-source software project and its code was publicly available on GitHub,  other projects started to develop the technology.

On May 7, 2020, the Free TON project was launched, which used the available TON technology developed. By January 2021, the community of the project reached 30,000 people. Free TON's token titled "TON Crystal" or just "TON" was distributed as a reward for contributions to the network. Of 5 billion tokens issued at the moment of launch, 85% were reserved for users, 5% for validators, and 10% for the developers (including 5% dedicated to TON Labs, the developer of TON OS middleware for TON blockchain, which is the essential part of Free TON). [5][34][35]

On June 29, 2021, the Telegram team said they would consider granting the use of the domain and GitHub repository to the TON Foundation, in response to an open letter. By August 4, 2021, the domain was transferred to the TON Foundation.

TON Foundation

After Telegram quit the project in May 2020, an open-source developer community led by Kirill EmelyanenkoK[23] and Anatoliy Makosov[24] initiated NewTON open-source community aimed at further development and support of TON on the open source principles. Developers who never worked for Telegram, members of the open developer community, validators, winners of public TON Blockchain Contests, and crypto enthusiasts from all over the world joined them. [12]

Upon researching TON source code, architecture, and documentation, NewTON resumed developing in compliance with the original whitepaper and ideas. [12]

In May 2021, the NewTON team was renamed as TON Foundation (The Open Network)— a not-for-profit community focused on the support and development of the network. [12]

Telegram CEO on December 23, 2021, published a post[25] on his official Telegram channel that gave backing to the TON Foundation project.

“When Telegram said goodbye to TON last year, I expressed the hope that future generations of developers would one day carry on with our vision of a mass-market blockchain platform, So I was inspired to see the champions of Telegram’s coding contests continue developing the open TON project, which they rebranded to Toncoin.” - he wrote. [26]


The Telegram native - Gram was rebranded into TON coin (The Open Network) after the abandoned project was taken over by the TON Foundation in 2020. [36]

TON coin is the principal  of The Open Network (TON) , and in particular of its masterchain and basic workchain. It is used for transaction fees, securing the through , deciding how the network develops, gas payments (i.e., smart-contract message processing fees), and settling payments. [11][4]


In November 2019, Telegram Open Network testnet2 launched and 5 billion coins were minted, with a small fraction (1.45%) distributed to developers and testers. In May 2020, after the SEC prohibited Telegram from issuing Grams to investors, Telegram ceased its work on the TON ecosystem and testnet2 tokens were placed into 20 Giver . Finally in May 2021, by a majority vote of network participants, testnet2 was promoted to . Coins continued to be distributed by Giver contracts. [11]


The total supply of TON coins was originally limited to 5 Gigatons (i.e., 5 billion TON coins). This supply will gradually increase, as rewards to validators for mining new masterchain and shardchain blocks accumulate. Expected inflation rate of 2% per year, will double the total supply of TON coins (to 10 Gigatons) in 35 years. This inflation represents a payment made by all members of the community to the validators for keeping the system up and running. [4]


The TON coin can be used as a processing fee for transactions, cross-chain transaction fees, lending capital to validators to earn interest, and payment for blockchain-based domain names (DNS). It can also act as validators’ stakes required to maintain the , and payments services provided by apps built on the platform, and it is integral to TON's on-chain governance program. [11]


The Open Network (TON) utilizes the (PoS) consensus mechanism to validate transactions. TON consists of a three-layer network; the first is the masterchain which is the main chain of the TON network and is currently in operation. Every time an operation is performed in TON, it is performed on the masterchain. [5]

In the second level is the workchains, which are secondary chains that connect to the masterchain and that can contain up to XNUMX^XNUMX different connected chains. Each of these secondary chains can have their own set of consensus rules, including different formats of account addresses and transactions, virtual machines for and basic , etc. All this while remaining compatible with the masterchain, being able to interact with it and with each other seamlessly. [5]

In the third level are the shardchains. Shardchains are part of the workchains and their role is to provide a scalability boost, splitting the work and parallelizing it. This way, TON’s scalability soars to high levels. This is possible due to a bottom-up approach that TON uses for its shardchains, giving rise to the Infinite Sharding Paradigm. [5]

TON Key Components

TON Blockchain

The backbone of The Open Network is a scalable multi-blockchain designed to process millions of transactions within seconds. It uses the consensus and can contain up to 2⁹² accompanying blockchains. [12]

TON Payments

It is a platform for micropayments and a micropayment channel network. It can be used for instant off-chain value transfers between users, bots, and other services. Safeguards built into the system ensure that these transfers are as secure as on-chain transactions. [12]

TON Proxy

This is a network proxy/anonymizer layer for TON nodes. Similar to I2P, it allows the building of decentralized VPN services and blockchain-based TOR alternatives to achieve anonymity and protect online privacy. Combined with the TON P2P Network and TON DNS, TON Proxy gives decentralized apps immunity to censorship. [12]

TON Proxy Launch

The TON Proxy compatible with HTTP Proxy launched on September 30, 2022. A host of TON wallets said they would implement TON Proxy directly in their wallet applications and extensions, meaning that the TON network would be accessed by all TON wallet owners without downloading additional applications. [22]


TON DNS makes mainstream by assigning human-readable names to accounts, , services, and network nodes. With TON DNS browsing blockchain becomes similar to surfing the World Wide Web. [12]

TON DNS Launch

The TON Foundation on June 30, 2022, announced the launch of TON DNS. Similar to other popular crypto-related domain names like “.eth” or “.crypto” the domain zone for TON DNS is “.ton” and it enables users to access in a simple way. With TON DNS, users will be able to use simple and short domain names instead of typing in a long string of letters and numbers. A domain name will also be able to unlock a wallet address. [19]

TON Storage

TON Storage is a distributed file-storage technology accessible through the TON P2P Network. This torrent-like technology relies on for availability and has strong potential with regard to storing and exchanging large amounts of data. [12]

TON Storage Launch

The TON Storage was launched on January 5, 2023, taking on similar projects like Filecoin and Storj. TON Storage works similarly to internet-based peer-to-peer file sharing that uses torrents. But instead, it relies on the TON blockchain network to transfer data files of any size, which are backed up and encrypted without needing centralized web servers. With the launch of TON Storage, TON-secured sites can be hosted on the network, a move that TON Foundation founding member Anatoliy Makosov said marks:

“the next step in realizing our vision of a decentralized, open internet.” [13][14]

TON Services

TON Services provides a versatile platform for third-party services. It enables smartphone-like friendly interfaces for and , as well as a World Wide Web-like decentralized browsing experience. [12]

TON Workchains

TON consists of the masterchain and up to 2³² workchains with different rulesets, i.e. different formats of account addresses and transactions, virtual machines for and basic , etc. Yet, workchains can still interact using consistent basic rules. [12]

TON Wallets

TON Wallet is a Web3 wallet that provides fast secure blockchain-based payments without intermediaries. TON Wallets give direct control to users without middlemen or bankers. [37][38]

TON's non-custodial wallets include; Tonkeeper, Tonhub, TON Wallet, and Coin98 wallet, while its custodial wallets include @wallet and @crypto bot. [38]

Telegram Wallet Bot

On April 26, 2022, TON blockchain announced on Twitter the development of payment options on Telegram using a Wallet Bot. [40]

"It’s a new way to send Toncoin without transaction fees to any Telegram user. With this service, you’ll no longer need to enter long wallet addresses and wait for confirmations" [39]

Ton Nominator Pools

TON nominator pools is a mechanism that allows holders to lend their profits to nominators in order to earn profit. It also allows validators to be rewarded based on how much stake they hold. Nominator Pools are assets of a validator and nominators managed by a smart contract. Smart contracts guarantee the correct use of borrowed coins. [42]


By design, network modifications within TON are only possible if approved by the majority of validators via the  consensus. It is not possible to change network software, configuration, or state by bypassing the vote. [12]

Telegram Marketplace

On October 26, 2022, Telegram announced the official launch of its new marketplace built on the Telegram Open Network (TON) blockchain. The marketplace will serve as an auction platform on which rare Telegram handles would be sold. Telegram gave users the ability to buy usernames for its app via a blockchain-based platform called Fragment[18]. The platform lets interested parties buy available usernames and secure ownership on TON. [17]

By November 30, 2022, Durov announced that Fragment[18] sales had surpassed $50 million. Some individual Telegram usernames have brought in large sums of money on Fragment. For example, the username @news was auctioned for 994,000 TON, about $1.7 million, per data from the official website. [15][16][17]

TON x Donate

TON on December 23, 2021, announced a partnership with Donate[41], saying that users would soon be able to make donations and pay for their subscriptions in Toncoin. At the same time, channel administrators will be able to collect their income in . [20][21]

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The Open Network (TONCOIN)

Commit Info

Edited By

Edited On

April 17, 2023


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