Telegram, the privacy centric encrypted chat protocol that supports both mobile and desktop clients for video, text chat, and file sharing, has become the ultimate resource for many cryptocurrency projects.
Just take a look at any number of cryptocurrency projects and you will see that they are quite likely using Telegram to communicate with their customers and investors.
Clearly, the cryptocurrency community has adopted Telegram with a gusto. It’s for this reason that the company behind Telegram is going to offer its own blockchain and token called TON. The ICO and presale to investors could bring in as much as $1 billion.
What is Telegram?
Not to be confused with the 19th century telecommunication method that changed the world, Telegram is an encrypted communications platform. The Telegram app can be run on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
It’s very easy to set up and use. It is also highly secure, and everything sent on it is automatically encrypted. The program also supports file transfers, voice calls, and video chat.
Starting mostly in the last two years, a large number of cryptocurrency projects adopted Telegram as their communication method of choice. Prior to this, Slack was the platform of choice.
However, large swarms of malicious bots attacked Slack groups and spread false information in a manner that made it appear to be coming from a legitimate source. They did this by triggering the ‘Slackbot’ to send an official looking reminder message that seemed to come from admins.
Typically, these attacks were intended to target unsuspecting users into signing up or giving out their private keys to a phishing website. For instance, following news of widespread Ethereum token airdrops, these bots would claim that in order to get an airdrop, you would need to give your private key to a well-made phishing site.
These attacks encouraged a number of groups to move away from Slack and instead onto Telegram or other competitors like Rocket Chat or Discord.
Telegram announces new cryptocurrency in leaked document
According to a white paper which was released by thenextweb.com, the aim of the Telegram ICO will be incredibly ambitious and broad.
The plan outlines details for a payment network that can support millions of transactions per second, an “infinite sharding” paradigm, a master chain and up to 2^92 sub blockchains.
Further, the network will operate in a hybridized centralized and decentralized approach. Decentralized participants can be rewarded through a proof-of-stake economic model.
The TON platform, which the Telegram cryptocurrency would operate on, lists several use cases for the network. This includes a decentralized file storage program (much like Siacoin), a VPN/proxy service that would allow for anonymity and bypassing censorship, a DNS service, and a platform for “third-party services of any kind that enables smartphone-like friendly interfaces for decentralized apps and smart contracts”.
Last but not least is the TON payments application which will allow for a micro payment channel network which can provide for “instant off-chain value transfers between users, bots, and other services“. The white paper specifically says this is Lightning Network style off-chain transactions.
All of these features will eventually be linked directly (or indirectly) into the Telegram app. The end result would be that anyone running Telegram would also be able to transact in Telegram’s cryptocurrency. Much like the Kin token, this could result in millions of users having a cryptocurrency wallet that may not have had one otherwise. Presumably, this would also allow for in-chat tipping to occur.
A Telegram cryptocurrency future?
Because the scope and goals of this project are so vast, it’s difficult to say exactly how the community will react to and/or make use of this blockchain technology. Additionally, large number of the features detailed in the white paper suggest that TON could effectively replace a number of other competing blockchain projects.
This could include other payment type tokens, tipping tokens, VPN providers, proof of stake tokens, and any blockchain that processes smart contracts such as Ethereum or Lisk.
While it is unlikely that any single blockchain project would come to absolutely dominate the entire blockchain economy, it is conceivable that there could be one major winner in the end. Such a winner would, in a sense, become the Google of blockchain. If the Telegram cryptocurrency really aims to cover so many things, we may be looking at a project that wants to be the Google of cryptocurrency.
According to the white paper, the first stable deployment of TON and it’s a wallet in Telegram will be sometime at the end of this year. The TON services such as file storage and proxy are estimated to come out in the second half of 2019.
While we don’t have any information yet on a public ICO, the leaked white paper does state that a large scale fiat for token sale could occur. As this project is following a libertarian philosophy, it would seem likely that a large scale market driven token sale would occur at some point.
Prices for the token are not entirely clear yet but the white paper suggests around $0.10 to $2.00 each.
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