Telegram, the instant messaging client used the world over, has released a test client for its Telegram Open Network (TON).
Telegram Meets Blockchain
With a token dubbed ‘Gram’, the Telegram Open Network was due to launch in 2018 on top of a multi-blockchain Proof-of-Stake system. The ICO began on 14th March and ended 15 days later. Network features were said to include infinite sharding, instant hypercube routing, 2-D distributed ledgers and Proof-of-Stake consensus.
After raising an incredible $1.7 billion from private sale investors, the company cancelled its public sale ICO. Reasons for the public cancellation of the British Virgin Islands-based token fundraiser are still disputed, but likely due to increased international law enforcement crackdowns.
Despite the projects’ delays, the global messaging ecosystem has captured the imagination of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, promising huge technological benefits including; micropayments and channels, network proxy anonymizer layers, human-readable account names, smart contracts and network nodes.
The (Test) Release of TON Lite Client
News of a GitHub user uploading a version of the TON client, on May 25th, suggested that it is now possible to connect to a full node on the TON blockchain testnet and transmit queries. Moreover, installation of a smart contract development configuration file, bridged via the lite client and special server, is now possible.
The deployment of TON’s lite testnet client is accompanied by the release of Fift – a new programming language for the blockchain network. Fift will be used to develop and manage chain smart contracts, as well as interacting with the TON Virtual Machine. Telegram has reportedly begun testing its blockchain, inviting a limited number of private beta developers in April. Whilst uncorroborated, two anonymous testers reported that the blockchain demonstrated ‘extremely high transaction speed[s]’.
Global Messaging Ecosystem Economies
Telegram are not the first global messaging ecosystem to explore the development of their own proprietary blockchain and cryptocurrency. Kin, created by the owners of Kik, are looking to achieve a similar intra-economy social media ecosystem. Even Facebook is reportedly developing its own cryptocurrency – dubbed GlobalCoin. Promises of corporate controlled and issued fiscal policy is too tempting for social networks struggling to break through market saturation.
Whether a social-message/network platform can achieve the necessary network adoption effect of its private cryptocurrency remains to be seen. What is clear, however, is that the company that does will reap unimaginable rewards.