The elephant in the room: exploring the development and future potential of the TON ecosystem

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Since 2024, the TON chain ecosystem has shown an explosive trend. From May 25 to June 17, Toncoin rose by 79.7%, Notcoin rose by 700%, and Fishcoin rose by 400%. The TON ecosystem has demonstrated a strong wealth-making effect and attracted countless hot money. So how can we participate in this grand feast? This article reviews the past and present of TON, its core logic and ecological development.

1. Project Background

Basic Information

Name: TON (The Open Network)

Founders: Pavel Durov, Nikolai Durov

Operation team: TON Foundation

Official website: TON: The Open Network for Everyone

Social Media: TON-Twitter

TON (The Open Network) is a decentralized first-layer public chain designed for billions of users. It has scalability and sharding performance, and aims to solve the problems of high transaction fees, slow transaction speed, inter-chain communication and scalability in blockchain. Currently, the main operating team of TON is TON Foundation, which is a non-profit organization. Its goal is to allow 500 million users to own their digital identity, data and assets in 2028, and TON chain backed by Telegram is an important means to achieve its goal. Although TON is developing in full swing, its development history has been full of twists and turns.

The elephant in the room: exploring the development and future potential of the TON ecosystem

Figure 1 TON definition

A tortuous development process

● In 2017, the project was launched: Telegram founders Pavel Durov and Nikolai Durov began developing a blockchain project called Telegram Open Network (TON) and planned to launch its native cryptocurrency Gram.

● 2018, Initial Coin Offering (ICO): Telegram raised approximately $1.7 billion through ICO, becoming one of the largest token offerings at the time. Investors included several large venture capital institutions and individual investors. ICO also attracted the attention of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

● Development progress in 2019: TON blockchain introduced sharding technology to improve scalability and processing speed, and at the same time released a test network for developers to test.

● In 2020, regulatory issues and project turning points: Telegram announced its withdrawal from the TON project, and the development work was handed over to an independent open source developer community. The project was renamed The Open Network and the token name was changed to Toncoin. The funds raised by the ICO were refunded.

● 2021, community takeover and development: The TON Foundation, founded by Anatoliy Makosov and Kirill Emelianenko, took over the project and continued to advance the development and promotion of TON.

● In 2023, return to Telegram: Telegram officially announced that it will use the TON blockchain as its first choice for Web3 infrastructure, and plans to integrate it into the user interface of the Telegram application; Telegram released an IPO plan.

● 2024, ecosystem expansion: The application ecosystem of the TON blockchain continues to expand, covering multiple fields such as finance, storage, payment, domain names, etc. At the same time, projects such as PunkCity, PUNK, HyperGPT in the TON ecosystem have begun to attract widespread market attention. In February of the same year, Telegram announced that it would exclusively use the TON blockchain and Toncoin for all transactions and payment activities with channel owners.

The elephant in the room: exploring the development and future potential of the TON ecosystem

Figure 2 TON Icon

TON has gone through a huge circle from its founding to its current popularity, but it has improved step by step, from the initial narrative to the actual project landing, demonstrating the projects strong vitality.

Core narrative for users

In the development history of TON, the shadow of Telegram has never been far away. When most public chains are promoting their own innovative technologies, TON chain is backed by Telegram, which has 900 million monthly active users, and plays the card of user demand and convenience.

At the same time, Telegram is no longer satisfied with being just a social communication platform. By continuously enriching its product lines, connecting payment with life, and providing Bots with great potential, Telegram is trying to transform into a comprehensive platform. This strategic shift not only demonstrates Telegrams ambitions, but also heralds the infinite possibilities of the TON public chain in the future.

The elephant in the room: exploring the development and future potential of the TON ecosystem

Figure 3 Telegram user growth

Telegram currently has more than 1.3 billion registered users and 900 million monthly active users. Freedom of speech and privacy protection were Telegrams missions when it was first created, and all of this has made Telegram a gathering place for cryptocurrencies – almost all Web 3.0 projects have Telegram communities for project promotion, news releases, and community interaction. Telegrams Web3 soil has given great support to the TON chain ecosystem, providing a community foundation for projects in its ecosystem from incubation to ICO.

Growing market acceptance

As of the time of writing, the market value of TON Chain has reached 18.759 billion USD, making it the ninth largest cryptocurrency. At the same time, the TVL of TON Chain has grown rapidly since April, currently reaching 605.72 m USDT, ranking 15th among public chains. Obviously, although the TVL of TON Chain has grown rapidly, it has not yet kept up with its market value, and there is still much room for improvement.

The elephant in the room: exploring the development and future potential of the TON ecosystem

Figure 4 TON Chain TVL

The elephant in the room: exploring the development and future potential of the TON ecosystem

Figure 5 Public chain TVL ranking

2. Financing Information

● In 2018, the first ICO raised $1.7 billion, and some of the funds were returned due to SEC legal action.

● In April 2022, Huobi Incubator, KuCoin Ventures, and MEXC Pioneer Fund jointly invested US$250 million to establish the TON Foundation, focusing on supporting DEX and NFT projects on the TON chain.

● In October 2023, MEXC Ventures provided tens of millions of dollars in investment to promote the popularization of the Web3 ecosystem in Telegram.

● In November 2023, Animoca Brands invested funds, research and analysis platforms to support third-party mini-programs and game projects within the TON ecosystem, and Animoca Brands became the largest validator.

In the early days, Telegram focused on protecting user privacy and had no obvious revenue channels. It raised hundreds of millions of dollars through bond issuance to maintain daily operations. Since 2022, Telegram has begun to explore revenue models and recently announced that it is close to profitability. In 2023, Telegram founder Pavel Durov proposed plans to conduct an initial public offering (IPO) within the next two years. The companys current valuation has exceeded US$30 billion and may choose to go public in the United States.

The elephant in the room: exploring the development and future potential of the TON ecosystem

Figure 6 Telegram cartoon icon

Both TON and Telegram are currently in a stage of vigorous development. Investing in the TON ecosystem is equivalent to being optimistic about the huge potential of Telegram, a Web2 social platform, to transform into a comprehensive Web3 platform.

3. Technical Features

Development language

TON chain smart contract development does not use popular smart contract languages such as Solidity, Rust, and Vyper, but there are three programming languages: Fift, FunC, and Tact. Among them, Fift is biased towards low-level development, focusing on operating efficiency, and is difficult to develop; Tact is a new high-level language launched by TON, with syntax similar to Typescript, designed to reduce the difficulty of development; FunC is similar to C language and is currently the first choice for development. Given the high efficiency of Tact development, mainstream developers may turn to Tact in the future.

The elephant in the room: exploring the development and future potential of the TON ecosystem

Figure 7 TON chain development language

advanced technology

● Smart contract asynchronous call: Unlike public chains such as Ethereum, TONs smart contract calls adopt an asynchronous mode. This design enhances the scalability of the system. When a smart contract calls a function of another contract, the call is not executed immediately, and all transaction processing does not have to be completed within one block. However, this asynchronous call mechanism also increases the complexity of developing and maintaining applications, making developers face higher technical barriers when working on the TON chain.

● Unlimited sharding: The TON blockchain is designed to be divided into three types of chains: Masterchain, Workingchains and Shardchains.

The elephant in the room: exploring the development and future potential of the TON ecosystem

Figure 8 Sharding Technology

The main chain is the core of the entire network, responsible for storing the metadata and consensus mechanism of the entire network. It records the status of all work chains and shard chains, and ensures the consistency and security of the entire network; the work chain is an independent blockchain responsible for processing specific types of transactions and smart contracts. Each work chain can have its own rules and characteristics to meet different application requirements; the shard chain is a subchain of the work chain, which is used to further divide the load of the work chain and improve processing power and scalability. Each work chain can contain multiple shard chains, and the shard chains independently process some transactions, thereby achieving efficient parallel processing.

● Privacy protection: TON chain uses TON Proxy to hide the IP address of TON nodes, builds a decentralized VPN service, and combines TON DNS and TON P2P network to protect user privacy.

The elephant in the room: exploring the development and future potential of the TON ecosystem

Figure 9 TON privacy protection

relative advantage

Although smart contract asynchronous calls and sharding technologies have been used in projects such as Ethereum 2.0, Polkadot, and NEAR Protocol, TON integrates multiple technologies and surpasses Ethereum and Solana in many indicators such as transaction confirmation time (Time-to-finality).

The elephant in the room: exploring the development and future potential of the TON ecosystem

Figure 10 Horizontal comparison of TON chains

For more specific technical features, please visit TON official website .

4. Market Analysis

Token Economics

● Token function: $Toncoin is positioned similarly to the native token on Telegram, and can be used on Telegram to pay for Telegram Premium membership fees and purchase other virtual products at a more favorable discount. On the TON chain, $Toncoin can be used for transaction fee payment, staking, cross-chain transactions, decentralized data storage, proxy services, etc.

The elephant in the room: exploring the development and future potential of the TON ecosystem

Figure 11 TON token functions

● Token supply: The maximum supply of $Toncoin is 5 billion. As of June 28, 2022, all $Toncoins have been mined, marking TONs complete transition from the Proof of Work (PoW) model to the Proof of Stake (PoS) model. The annual 0.6% (about 3 million) of $Toncoin token inflation will be used to reward validators who maintain network security.

● Token distribution: The initial 5 billion $Toncoin tokens were allocated to the team with 1.45%, and miners received 98.55% through mining. In February 2023, TON initiated a community proposal to freeze 171 inactive early wallets for 48 months, totaling 1.08 B $Toncoin (about 21% of the total). This move reflects the TON communitys unanimous optimism about the development of the TON chain.

Secondary market analysis

● Market value: As of June 3, 2024, $Toncoin has a market value of $18.759 billion, ranking No. 9, a fully diluted market value of $39.382 billion, a circulating supply of 2.432 billion pieces, and a total supply of 5.107 billion pieces.

● Chip distribution: As of June 3, 2024, according to Coinmarketcup data, 85.45% of holders hold 0-$1k $Toncoin, 14.16% of holders hold 1k-100k $Toncoin, and 0.38% of holders hold more than 100k $Toncoin.

The elephant in the room: exploring the development and future potential of the TON ecosystem

Figure 12 TON holding address sorting

According to the analysis by whale holdings, whales hold 68.68% of $TON and retail investors hold 31.32% of $TON.

The elephant in the room: exploring the development and future potential of the TON ecosystem

Figure 13 Whale holdings

According to the holding time analysis, 29.20% of Holders hold $Toncoin for more than one year, and 16.7% of Traders hold $Toncoin for no more than one month. The proportion of diamond hands is relatively high, and the public is very optimistic about the prospects of TON.

The elephant in the room: exploring the development and future potential of the TON ecosystem

Figure 14 TON holding time address sorting

According to Etherscan data, the TOP 10 addresses hold 29.99% of $Toncoin tokens, the chip distribution is relatively loose, and the market is in good condition.

The elephant in the room: exploring the development and future potential of the TON ecosystem

Figure 15 : Number of coins held by the top 10 addresses

● Trend: In the past year, the price of $Toncoin has risen from 12.4071 ¥ to 56.54 ¥, an increase of more than 400%, reflecting the strong market expectations and wealth-creating effect of the TON chain.

The elephant in the room: exploring the development and future potential of the TON ecosystem

Figure 16 TON token one-year trend

V. Ecological Construction

The TON ecosystem currently has more than 500 Dapps and a large number of Telegram Bots, covering almost all popular areas such as infrastructure, development tools, DeFi, GameFi, NFT, SocialFi, inscriptions, etc. Vertical subdivisions include Launchpad, wallets, cross-chain bridges, pledge lending, DEX, various blockchain games, collectibles, etc.

Ecosystem Assistant Telegram Bot

Telegram Bot is an automated robot running on Telegram, which can achieve twice the result with half the effort in many aspects such as community building, asset management, information aggregation, and project promotion.

● For ordinary users, Telegram Bot provided by Telegram officials and other personnel can provide users with the latest encryption information and market news in the first time.

● For ordinary Web3 communities, Telegram Bot can provide automatic QA, FAQs, manage community activities, competitions, airdrops and other activities, and promote interaction among community members.

● For DAO organizations, Telegram Bot can provide the latest governance proposals and discussion notifications, allowing DAO members to vote and participate in governance decisions through robots, greatly simplifying the DAO governance process.

● For general project parties, the existence of Telegram Bot undoubtedly improves the efficiency of information transmission within the project community. At the same time, an interesting robot can attract users to participate in project construction.

● For TON ecological project parties, Telegram APP and Telegram Bot are indispensable. They allow 900 million users to participate in project airdrop activities without any barriers and help promote the project.

Telegram Bot is not only widely used, but also easy to develop. Telegram provides mature documentation and API technical support for the development of Telegram Bot. After clarifying the functional requirements of the robot, you can easily build your own robot by implementing the functions through programming languages such as Python and Node.js, combined with cloud server support. At the same time, a large number of Telegram Bots are now open source on Github, providing opportunities for using robots with zero code foundation.

DeFi leader STON.fi

STON.fi is currently the largest DEX on the TON chain. As of now, it supports more than 280 currency pairs. Through the three technologies of automatic market maker model (AMM), quotation request model (RFQ) and hash time lock contract (HTLC), it not only inherits the low slippage characteristics of Uniswap, but also enhances the reliability and security of transactions.

The elephant in the room: exploring the development and future potential of the TON ecosystem

Figure 17 STON.fi Icon

The token of STON.fi is $STON, with a total supply of 100,000,000 $STON. The token distribution strategy is as follows:

The elephant in the room: exploring the development and future potential of the TON ecosystem

Figure 18 STON.fi token distribution

With the explosion of the TON chain ecosystem, STON.fi TVL has experienced explosive growth since February, currently reaching 262.2 m USDT, ranking third in the TON ecosystem.

The elephant in the room: exploring the development and future potential of the TON ecosystem

Figure 19 STON.fi TVL growth

The elephant in the room: exploring the development and future potential of the TON ecosystem

Figure 20 TON Ecosystem TVL Ranking

From a comprehensive perspective, STON.fi is undoubtedly the top DEX in the TON chain ecosystem, and even one of the top TON chain ecosystems at present, and it deserves continued attention.

Launchpad leading TonUP

TonUP is a star asset issuance platform based on the TON blockchain, aiming to help project parties achieve successful asset issuance and financing.

The elephant in the room: exploring the development and future potential of the TON ecosystem

Figure 21 TonUP Icon

● In August 2023, TonUP was established and completed its platform’s first IDO project token issuance at the end of the same month, helping Tap Fantasy raise 80,000 $Toncoin in 32 minutes.

● In October 2023, TonUP launched the TONversation column to deliver high-quality content. In the same month, the TonUP team officially announced the completion of the seed round of financing led by TONCoin Fund, with Foresight X, Waterdrip Capital, BitFund DAO and several angel investors following suit.

● On December 12, 2023, TonUP 2.0 was launched, and the IDO activity of the platform token $UP was launched on the 20th of the same month, and IEO was conducted through Bitget Launchpad on the 22nd. TonUp entered a new stage of development.

As a phenomenal Launchpad platform of the TON chain, TonUP has received investments from well-known funds such as TONCoin Fund, Foresight X, Waterdrip Capital, and BitFund.DAO, which are the leading funds in the TON ecosystem. At the same time, unlike other Launchpad platforms, TonUP has strong crisis handling capabilities. During the issuance of $MC tokens through the TonUP platform Launchpad and subsequent publicity activities, Tap Fantasy had to postpone the launch of the game due to technical problems, but at the same time, the token price suffered a heavy blow. Then TonUP used all the commissions obtained from the IDO at that time for repurchase and burned them, gaining the trust of the community. The most important point is that TonUP is far from ushering in the outbreak period. 99.66% of the tokens are concentrated in the project partys address, indicating that the project party has a good cash reserve to maintain development and operation work, and does not need to collect retail funds for maintenance. In the future, the coin price is very likely to rise with the further development of the TON chain, which belongs to the strong Ton chain ecosystem.

Telegram Wallet and Tonkeeper

Compared with any other platform, Telegram Wallet has the best chance to become the interface for the flow of funds between Web2 and Web3 in the future. Wallet itself runs on the Telegram platform and is very convenient for the public to use. Wallet provides users in more than 100 countries with the service of purchasing cryptocurrencies using Visa and Mastercard through built-in Neocrypto, and cooperates with MoonPay, Onramp.money, AlchemyPay and other platforms to build efficient P2P Market deposit and withdrawal channels. At the same time, Telegram cooperates with Tether to build USDT-TON exchange terms, and brings higher liquidity to $TON by introducing USDT. Before the integration of USDT-TON exchange, the TVL of the TON network exceeded 100 million US dollars, and this number doubled in just two weeks after the release of the terms.

The elephant in the room: exploring the development and future potential of the TON ecosystem

Figure 22 TVL growth in 2024

In addition, Telegrams transfers, withdrawals, merchant fees, and virtual transactions all have zero fees, which has attracted users with large funds.

The elephant in the room: exploring the development and future potential of the TON ecosystem

Figure 23 Comparison of transaction fees of various platforms

Tonkeeper is the easiest way to store, send and receive Toncoin on the open network, a powerful new blockchain that provides unprecedented transaction speed and throughput while providing a powerful programming environment for smart contract applications. Compared with other wallets, Tonkeeper has the following advantages:

● End-to-end security. Unlike Wallet, which runs on the Telegram platform, Tonkeeper stores encryption keys on local devices without the need for files, personal information, contact information, or KYC, greatly protecting personal privacy.

● Built-in exchange function. Users buy Toncoin directly within the Tonkeeper application and exchange it on the decentralized market.

If you need to keep a large amount of crypto assets on the TON chain, Tonkeeper is a very good choice.

Notcoin and Catizen

Notcoin is a free and easy-to-use Telegram game that has surged in popularity since its launch on January 1, 2024, with over 30 million participants and an average daily active user base of 5 million.

Notcoin has a simple and fun game format:

● By clicking on the interface, users can easily earn tokens. At the same time, the project sets appropriate time energy to maintain the active participation of users.

● Launch NFT vouchers, allowing users to trade the Notcoin they earn in pre-market trading, further stimulating user Fomo sentiment.

● Adopt a game alliance system to stimulate players’ independent promotional activities and form a positive cycle.

The elephant in the room: exploring the development and future potential of the TON ecosystem

Figure 24 Notcoin became popular

Relying on the viral spread of the game, the Notcoin community has accumulated a large number of user groups, laying the foundation for its ICO on mainstream exchanges such as Binance, OKX, and Bybit. After entering the exchange market, Notcoins trend is still very strong. Following the current environment of the explosion of meme coins, it has increased by more than 400% in seven days.

Catizen is a cat game built on the TON ecosystem, combining the metaverse, GameFi, and AI. The game launched a revolutionary paly-to-airdrop model, where players can earn future airdrops while playing. At the same time, Catizen is backed by TON officials and has become a ShowCase project for TON ecosystem Token 2049. As of May 30, 2024, Catizens $wCATI token mining has ended, but Catizen still has extremely high community popularity and its development plan is far from over.

● Catizen’s seed round received investments from TON, Web3 Ventures, Mask Network, Y 2 Z, SecondLive, EMURGO Ventures, Moon Capital, and Initiate Capital.

● The Catizen team has signed contracts with 18 popular WeChat mini-games, which will be gradually launched on the Catizen game platform. The launch of each Catizen game may rekindle the pursuit of the Catizen community, which will also become a major driving force for the future development of the community.

● Catizen will become the first application in the TON ecosystem that supports recharge using NOT. In the future, Catizen and Notcoin will surely join forces to achieve deep ecological binding.

Hamster Kombat

Hamster Kombat is a mini game based on Telegram. In the game, the player plays the role of an exchange CEO and can earn gold coins by clicking on the hamster in the image. In addition, the game also provides a card mining mechanism, and players can develop reasonable strategies to increase fixed point income.

The elephant in the room: exploring the development and future potential of the TON ecosystem

Figure 25 Hamster Kombat game

However, such a simple game has occupied the Telegram game field at a faster speed than Notcoin. Since Hamster Kombat was launched in the first quarter, its Twitter followers have soared to 5.1 million in just three months, and its Telegram group followers have reached 25 million. Its YouTube channel has exceeded the 10 million follower mark in just 7 days. In June, according to the official announcement of Hamster Kombat, its number of users exceeded 100 million, with 32 million daily active users and an average of 6.5 million concurrent users. This shows that Hamster Kombat has become the first meme coin of the new generation of TON chain. At the same time, Hamster Kombat will not only stay at simple games, but also strive to build hamsters into a well-known brand image in the Web3 field.

The elephant in the room: exploring the development and future potential of the TON ecosystem

Figure 26 Image of hamster

Whether it is Notcoin, Catizen or the most popular Hamster Kombat, they are inseparable from the three important factors of novel and simple game mechanism, the concept of fair mining and the support of super institutions. These three factors broke the daily problems of ETH chain insider trading and project owners running away, attracted a large user group and created a viral development of the community. At the same time, meme seems to have become an important strategy for TON ecology to enter the public eye. The huge wealth-making effect brought by Notcoin is very likely to be extended to other projects in the TON ecology in the later stage, creating FOMO emotions and paving the way for the development of projects such as EVAA, STON.fi, Tonstakers, etc.

VI. Conclusion

● TON relies on Telegram, which has 900 million users, and has user demand and resources that are difficult to achieve by any other public chain project.

● The combination of TON and Telegram will provide an opportunity to create an interface from Web2 to Web3 and reshape the Web3 world.

● TON combines the advantages of asynchronous contracts and unlimited sharding, and currently surpasses Ethereum and Solana in many aspects of performance. However, since its total circulation and TVL are still relatively low, it is not certain whether it has strong generalization capabilities.

● TON has a unique ecological development architecture, which can better bind a group of excellent developers and establish a complete development ecosystem.

● The TON project adopts a fair and effective token distribution mechanism, and its community governance strategy is excellent, laying the foundation for subsequent development.

● Both TON itself and the recently launched Notcoin, Hamster Kombat, etc. have demonstrated a powerful wealth-creating effect, bringing great support to the future development of the TON ecosystem.

The elephant in the room: exploring the development and future potential of the TON ecosystem

Figure 27 TON Ecosystem Architecture

Although TON is currently the ninth largest token in the crypto market with a market value of $18.759 billion, its TVL and ecosystem construction still have a lot of room for improvement compared to Ethereum, BSC, Solana, etc. With the continuous release of good news, there are still opportunities for appreciation in the future. TONs road will definitely not stop at the present, but whether it can eventually become a public chain that can rival Ethereum remains unknown.

VII. References

Data Sources

Coinmarketcup

Etherscan

Bitget

defillama

Article reference

TON’s road to rebirth: renewing its relationship with Telegram, 800 million users may realize large-scale application of Web3

From a technical perspective, study how TON, a public chain backed by Telegram, rose to prominence?

With 900 million monthly active users and close to profitability, Telegram founder says he is considering listing in the US

Telegram Co-Founder Durov Says Company Close to Being Profitable, IPO on the Horizon

900 million users, valuation of $30 billion, Telegram decides to go public

Learn about the hot traffic game jointly created by Telegram x TON in one article PANews

TON: Telegram becomes the necessary link for WeChat in the Web3 field

Ton official website

Toncoin mining

OKX VENTURE: In-depth research report on TON

TON USDT debuts, ushering in a new era of crypto payments?

Catizen launches Launchpool mode: a new step in leading the TON ecosystem gaming sector

Notcoin: Backed by Telegram and TON, it has attracted 30 million users. Can it lead the TON ecosystem to break the circle?

This article is sourced from the internet: The elephant in the room: exploring the development and future potential of the TON ecosystem

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