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TON (The Open Network)

TON (The Open Network)

TON (The Open Network) is a third-generation proof-of-stake blockchain founded by Pavel Durov.


The Open Network (abb. TON) is a third-generation blockchain-based decentralized computer network, as well as a platform protected by a built-in proxy and anonymizer darknet platform built on the principle of an overlay P2P network that offers messaging services, payment transactions in the Toncoin cryptocurrency (formerly Gram), data storage, and an operating system for distributed applications. The TON concept was developed by Pavel Durov and Nikolai Durov in 2018, the founders of Telegram Messenger and Russian social network

According to the network's developers, TON was designed to provide prompt cryptocurrency transactions at a low cost and in a user-friendly way. Its creators defined TON as a blockchain-based ecosystem Web3.0 Internet with decentralized storage, an anonymous network, DNS (domain name system), instant payment processing, and various other decentralized services.


TON was founded as Telegram Open Network with the native coin Gram, originally developed by the Telegram team. In May 2020, Telegram withdrew from the project after litigation with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

SEC's legal action against Telegram

In October 2019, the U.S. SEC sued Telegram, claiming the tokens that have raised more than $1.7 billion of investor funds, known as grams, were unregistered securities, and demanded Telegram halt the launch of the TON blockchain. Telegram raised $1.7 billion from 171 initial purchasers using a Simple Agreement for Future Tokens (SAFT). The company used those funds, according to Telegram, to "capitalize its business and finance the creation of its blockchain."

As part of the lawsuit, the SEC also filed for an emergency temporary restraining order against the company that stipulated it would be unable to deliver or sell the gram token to anyone. As further justification for the emergency relief, the SEC declared that Telegram has "committed to flood the U.S. capital markets with billions of Grams by October 31."

TON's key components
TON blockchain

The backbone of The Open Network is a scalable multi-blockchain platform designed to process millions of transactions in seconds. It uses the proof-of-stake consensus and can contain up to 292 accompanying blockchains. The following are key components of The Open Network:

  • Infinite sharding paradigm: The TON concept involves achieving scalability through sharding, as blockchains in it can automatically split and merge to accommodate load changes. Thus, block generation speed remains unaffected by the transaction volume, traffic congestion is prevented, and costs remain low regardless of demand.
Simplified diagram of a hypercube: Points represent users (nodes) and lines represent data transmission channels.
  • Hypercube routing: Hypercube routing mechanisms ensure exchange between any two blockchains regardless of the network size. Given the logarithmic relation between data transfer time and number of blockchains in TON, scaling to even millions of chains is possible without impairing the processing speed.
  • Proof-of-stake consensus: TON relies on the advanced Proof-of-Stake consensus where validator nodes use deposit stakes to guarantee their dependability and reach consensus through a variant of the Byzantine fault tolerance protocol. This resource-saving mechanism enables TON to focus nodes' computing power on handling transactions and smart contracts.
  • 2D distributed ledgers: To avoid unnecessary forks, TON can create new valid blocks on top of any invalidated blocks. This self-repair mechanism conserves resources and ensures that valid transactions are not discarded due to unrelated errors.

Other planned TON platforms include:

  • TON Payments : 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.
  • TON Proxy —A network proxy/anonymizer layer for TON nodes. Similar to I2P (Invisible Internet Project), it allows building 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.
  • TON DNS —Assigns human-readable names to accounts, smart contracts, services, and network nodes. With TON DNS browsing, the blockchain can be integrated with information searching capabilities similar to the World Wide Web.
  • TON Storage—A distributed file-storage technology accessible through the TON P2P Network. It is a torrent-like technology that relies on smart contracts for availability and can be utilized to store and exchange large amounts of data.
  • TON Services —A platform for third-party services that provides smartphone-like interfaces for decentralized apps and smart contracts, as well as a World Wide Web-like decentralized browsing experience. TON's plan entails a searchable registry of decentralized services and applications.
  • TON Workchains —TON consists of the masterchain and up to 232 workchains with different rulesets (i.e. different formats of account addresses and transactions and virtual machines for smart contracts and basic cryptocurrencies). TON's design aims to allow all existing blockchains to pool into a unified network in order to enable interaction between blockchains with stable performance while preserving decentralization.
TON Commandments

TON's development team declared that exchanging value should be as easy as exchanging information and that blockchain technology can function this way. The network's design is guided by the following commandments:

  • sufficient speed and scalability capacity to process millions transactions per second, accommodating an unlimited number of active users and sustaining the operation of numerous apps
  • implementation of user-friendly UIs (user interfaces) to create a blockchain that does not require specialized knowledge to be used to help every kind of user buy, store, and transfer assets
  • decentralization to ensure reliability, stability, safety, and self-governance of the network

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

The TON Foundation

The TON Foundation is a decentralized community set up by Anatoliy Makosov and Kirill Emelyanenko after Telegram abandoned the project. It is a community of open-source developers that has supported the development of TON since the transfer of rights. TON Foundation's goal is to stay true to the network's design as detailed in the original whitepaper.


March 7, 2022
TON announces strategic partnership with Matrixport, a digital asset financial services platform.
November 12, 2021
Toncoin is listed on the FTX cryptocurrency exchange.
August 2021
Telegram agrees to transfer ownership of the domain and the TON GitHub repository to the open-source community.
May 26, 2021
The Testnet2 community votes for renaming the blockchain Mainnet. The Newton team, in turn, is renamed TON Foundation.
April 2020
Telegram settles agreement with SEC and agrees to notify SEC of any plans to issue digital assets over the next three years. The Telegram Open Network project is closed.
November 15, 2019
The code of Telegam Open Network is open-sourced and testnet2 is started.
October 11, 2019
US SEC announces emergency action against Gram and obtains temporary restraining order against Telegram.
April 2019
The Telegram team launches the first TON test network.
April 2018
The Telegram team raises $1.7bn in a private ICO to launch Gram.
March 2018
Pavel and Nikolai Durov assemble a development team to create the Telegram Open Network, a blockchain based on cryptocurrency called Gram. 


Further Resources


Completion of the fungible tokens standard Jettons


March 11, 2022 | Telegram to Return $1.2 Billion to Investors and Pay $18.5 Million Penalty to Settle SEC Charges


June 26, 2020

Telegram Open Network (TON): What Happened To Telegram's Gram Cryptocurrency? | Blockchain Central


January 7, 2020

Telegram vs. the SEC: Telegram's Response - Telefuel


October 30, 2019


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