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TON: Exciting Times Ahead For Its Partnership With Telegram

TON: Exciting Times Ahead For Its Partnership With Telegram

The Open Network (TON), a blockchain initially launched by Telegram but later abandoned and supported by a community of developers, is gaining momentum.

TON's partnership with Telegram is unprecedented for a blockchain. No messenger, not even undisputable market leader WhatsApp, has introduced blockchain-based solutions and decentralized features within their apps. And no blockchain has such a powerful partner, one that can deliver the technology, literally, into 900 million users' pockets.

At the Token2049 conference in Dubai at the end of April, Telegram founder Pavel Durov announced plans to develop new features on TON and put all the processes within the app on blockchain rails. "We believe in sharing," Durov said, pointing to the recently launched ad-revenue sharing, which allows channels to receive up to 50% of ad income. Durov also divulged details on other upcoming features, including tokenized stickers and the possibility for merchants and app developers to sell digital goods and services. Anyone, even sellers with no coding skills will be able to set up a store on Telegram and receive payments via blockchain.

TON considers Telegram Mini Apps, which can attract and retain users, as the main element of its development strategy. The network will support those who contribute to the ecosystem by providing them with grants to develop TMAs and DApps for mass adoption, especially social B2C applications and those focused on Developer's Education, GameFi, and DeFi. The migration of a successful existing protocol or DApp to TON is also subject to financial support. Those projects that have the potential "to activate and onboard the mass audience of Telegram into TON and Web3" will be a priority.

All of this news is exciting investors. On May 2, Pantera Capital, an institutional asset manager that makes investments in crypto assets and blockchain-related companies, announced its investment in TON. The company, with $4.7 billion of assets under management and an impressive portfolio of investments, including Coinbase, Arbitrum, Maverick, and many others, is betting on effective crypto adoption from Telegram users. Their statement says, "By leveraging Telegram’s vast user base and seamless UX with the vibrancy of TON’s emerging ecosystem, we believe TON has the potential to become one of the largest crypto networks."

As if the future wasn't optimistic enough, Ton announced another major partnership with Tether. USDT and Tether’s gold-backed XAUT tokens went live on The Open Network in April. The Tether Transparency Report shows that the net circulation of USDT on TON has doubled over the last week and has reached $114.5 million so far. This means Ton is now is the 8th largest out of a total of 16 blockchains supporting the stablecoin. We expect it will soon outnumber #7 Tezos and #6 Cosmos, taking the position after Omni with $888 million issued tokens.

We are making history!
TON + Telegram + Tether 🔥

— andrew.ton (@rogozov) April 19, 2024

The Wallet, a TON-based app within Telegram, now supports BTC, TON, and now USDT (TRC-20 and TON) and allows users to buy crypto via bank card, P2P market, or ‘express purchase’—an easy purchase in three simple steps. The last option allows users in sanctioned Russia, where Telegram is popular, to buy crypto with local cards. Our Observer appreciated the simple and seamless process of buying and sending crypto; it's significantly more straightforward than usual and requires absolutely no special knowledge.

As well as this handy interface, TON offers potential USDT-TON users low fees fixed at 0.0145 TON (~$ $0.10) per transaction, which is significantly lower than one of the most widespread TRC-20, which charges 1 USDT. And, transactions between Telegram contacts worldwide via Wallet are completely free.

TON also promised 11 million TON (over $62 million) in user incentives, which will subsidize withdrawals on TON and provide early adopters with a yield return.

Another Telegram-associated project, Notcoin, was expected to list its ‘no-coin’ around April 20, the day of Bitcoin’s halving, but eventually postponed the release.

Telegram’s TON recently became the ninth-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. By the first part of April, the coin saw its value nearly triple compared to February. After all these announcements at Token2049, the TON price peaked on April 19, reaching $7.2, but then started to fall, reaching as low as $4.6 before starting to slowly grow. TON is fluctuating around $5.4 at the time of writing. 

At Token2049, Durov specifically outlined that Telegram is all about freedom: "freedom to communicate privately, freedom to express yourselves publically, freedom to promote your crypto scams..." While this freedom is positioned as Telegram's main advantage, it also has a dark side. Telegram chats are often used to sell drugs and other illegal goods and services. And crypto scamming is already rife. Violent and restricted content often becomes available to minors as there is no content moderation. Anonymous blockchain numbers introduced in 2022 leave almost no chance to trace malicious users.

If the messenger is going to completely switch to blockchain standards, the app could eventually become a sort of darknet with an enormous user base. However, we prefer to believe in the bright future promised by Durov. And for now, the future of TON and Telegram certainly seems very bright indeed.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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