Telegram Could Launch TON Blockchain Platform This Fall
Messaging application Telegram could launch its long-anticipated blockchain platform, Telegram Open Network (TON), in test mode as early as this fall.
Subscribe to the Bitsonline YouTube channel for great videos featuring industry insiders & experts
TON Getting Closer to Showtime
Most critical components of the blockchain have already been developed and will be ready for a test run “later this fall,” Russian business daily Vedomosti reported, quoting Telegram’s private letter to investors and sources familiar with the project.
Founded by Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov, who earlier made his name as the founder of the social network VKontakte (the Russian equivalent of Facebook), Telegram announced its ambitious plans for TON and its own cryptocurrency Gram in late 2017.
Back then, Telegram generated a lot of buzz, claiming that TON will offer higher transaction speeds than the Bitcoin and Ethereum networks and will be able to compete with Visa and Mastercard payment systems, while transaction fees for Gram will be lower than those for the existing cryptocurrencies.
Another major feature of TON was supposed to be a crypto wallet integrated with Telegram messaging app.
Telegram subsequently planned an ICO, but it was eventually cancelled amidst reports that the service had attracted $1.7 billion USD from private investors and no longer had the need to run a public token sale.
According to Vedomosti, development of Telegram’s blockchain is divided in three components, TON Virtual Machine (TVM), TON Network protocols and TON block creation and validation.
As of early September, the development of TVM was in the most advanced stage, with about 95 percent of all its work completed, while smart contract and block validation functionalities were lagging behind.
Telegram has provided no public update on TON.
Looking Back on Telegram’s Year
This July, Telegram introduced a personal identification service, Telegram Passport, for platforms that require real-life identification.
The service requests that users upload their identification documents, such as passports and ID cards, which are then redirected to a relevant platform. Telegram has stressed that it doesn’t have access to the data and can only handle them with users’ permission.
The encrypted messengers also had a major spat with the Russian government over its refusal to allow Russia’s secret service to decipher messages earlier this year. The government retaliated by unsuccessfully trying to ban the messaging application.
At the time, there were also reports Russia’s secret services were scared of TON as it could “compromise Russia’s national security.”
What’s your take? Are you keeping an eye out for TON’s release? Why or why not? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Images via IFTTT, NordVPN