[DT Selected] Telegram’s Secret Weapon: How TON Became a Blockchain Game-Changer

Guys, welcome back to TON Discovery: Your Gateway to Web3!

In this article, we will delve into the fascinating history of The Open Network (TON). From its inception by Telegram to its current state under the community-driven TON Foundation. If this is your first time for read this series, don’t forget check previous one:

The Inception: TON Under Telegram

The story of TON begins with Telegram, the popular messaging app known for its focus on speed and security. In 2018, Telegram’s founders, Nikolai and Pavel Durov, envisioned a revolutionary blockchain network that could seamlessly integrate with their messaging platform. This network was named TON (Telegram Open Network), and its goal was to bring blockchain technology to the masses.

Telegram’s plan was ambitious. They aimed to create a platform that could handle millions of transactions per second, far surpassing the capabilities of existing blockchains. The integration with Telegram was set to provide features like fast, secure payments and decentralized applications (dApps) directly within the app, opening up a new world of possibilities for over 900 million Telegram users.

Early Momentum and Challenges

The launch of TON in 2018 was met with great enthusiasm. Telegram raised $1.7 billion through private sales, making it one of the largest initial coin offerings (IC0) at the time. The excitement was palpable, and the vision seemed within reach.

However, in 2019, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) intervened, citing regulatory concerns. The SEC argued that the sale of TON’s native tokens, Grams, constituted an unregistered securities offering. This led to a legal battle that forced Telegram to halt the project and refund investors.

In May 2020, Telegram announced they were stepping back from TON due to these regulatory pressures. It was a significant setback, and many wondered if TON could survive without Telegram’s direct involvement.

Community Revival: The Birth of TON Foundation

But TON’s story was far from over. The community saw the potential of the network and refused to let it fade away. In May 2020, a group of developers and enthusiasts took the reins and established the TON Foundation. This new team was committed to continuing the development of the network, now rebranded as The Open Network (TON).

This transition marked the beginning of TON’s community-driven era. The foundation worked tirelessly to bring TON’s vision to life, overcoming the initial challenges and setting the stage for future growth.

Key Milestones in TON’s Journey

2021 was a pivotal year for TON. The community-driven effort led to significant technical milestones:

  • January 2021: The TON Virtual Machine (TVM) was officially launched, enabling the execution of smart contracts on the network.
  • June 2021: TON released Testnet 2.0, a critical phase in its development that improved network stability and performance.
  • September 2021: TON launched its mainnet, marking its transition to a fully operational blockchain network.

Throughout 2022 and 2023, TON continued to evolve and expand:

  • January 2022: The TON Foundation gained significant financial backing, securing support from DWF Labs and other investors.
  • April 2022: TON integrated with Telegram, introducing features like in-app payments and secure transactions for creators and users.
  • March 2023: TONcoin was listed on major exchanges, boosting its accessibility and market presence.


source: TON roadmap

Meet the Team: Key Figures Behind TON

The TON Foundation is led by a group of dedicated professionals with diverse backgrounds and expertise:

  • Steve Yun: As the Chairman of the TON Foundation, Steve plays a pivotal role in steering the project. His experience spans several leading blockchain ventures, providing strategic oversight and direction.
  • Inal Kardan: Head of Gaming at TON Foundation, Inal brings a wealth of experience from his previous role as co-founder and CTO of Meta0. He is instrumental in driving TON’s gaming initiatives.
  • Lisa Ferdman: Responsible for events and productions, Lisa ensures that TON’s community engagement is dynamic and impactful. Her background in organizing large-scale events adds tremendous value.
  • Julian Tan: Leading the DeFi ecosystem, Julian’s past roles at Binance and SEI position him perfectly to foster growth and innovation within TON’s financial services.
  • Jordan Dunne: Head of TON Wallet’s DeFi operations, Jordan’s experience from FTX and Google helps streamline TON’s wallet services and enhance user experience.

In the End:

TON’s journey is far from over. With ongoing development and a growing community, the network is poised to play a significant role in the future of decentralized technologies. Future plans include further scalability improvements, new tools for developers, and expanding its ecosystem to attract more users and applications​​.

As we continue this series, we’ll delve deeper into the various aspects of the TON ecosystem, exploring its applications, opportunities, and the exciting future it promises. Stay tuned as we unravel more about TON’s incredible journey and its place in the Web3 world.

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