Guest Post – Anujith
Telegram, the well-known encrypted messaging company, has plans of launching their own blockchain named Telegram Open Network (TON) and their own cryptocurrency Gram. With a cryptocurrency available with Telegram network, the users of the network can send funds across borders without having to worry about the remittance fees, move money privately, and carry out micropayment transactions without worrying about high credit card fees.
Telegram has 180 million users globally, their popularity is due to many reasons:
- Telegram is cloud based with seamless synchronization, hence you can access your messages from multiple devices simultaneously;
- It’s fast and secure due to advanced encryption, users can send unlimited number of large files, and can also store their data on the cloud;
- There are no ads and subscription fees;
- With open APIs, developers can create their own apps to work with Telegram.
It’s also a very popular choice of communication between cryptocurrency enthusiasts globally.
Key features of Telegrams planned system:
Telegram will develop a blockchain, with certain characteristics distinguishing it from other blockchain implementations. Blockchain is a technology where a network of computers maintain a shared, verifiable, and permanent record of data. It is a distributed database comprised of two or more block records (referred to as “blocks”), which are linked together while adhering to a predetermined standard or protocol. Each node in a blockchain can be considered as a ledger, hence blockchain is also referred to as “Distributed Ledger Technology” (DLT). There is no centralized authority, rather, every node in the blockchain is a point of authority, and every node has the same version of information. By providing proof of work (POW), which is essentially evidence that a very significant amount of number-crunching work has taken place, and by getting consensus from the majority of the nodes in the network, a node can add a new block. This rigorous process reduces economic viability of hacking blockchain, hence, every information in blockchain is mathematically proven.
Since every node verifies every transaction in blockchain, presently blockchain is not sufficiently scalable. Telegram plans to use a ‘proof of stake’ consensus protocol instead of POW, where transactions will be validated by designated nodes that deposit tokens as their ‘stakes’.
Telegram plans to utilize several other advanced technological solutions to make their blockchain scalable, one of which is “Infinite Sharding Paradigm”. Sharding is currently used in databases to make them more efficient. In this technique, a shard is a horizontal portion of the data in the database, and each shard is stored on a separate database server instance. It helps spread the load. In case of blockchain, the overall state of the blockchain is separated into different shards with each part stored by different nodes.
With such advanced technological solutions, Telegram plans to make their blockchain significantly faster than what Bitcoin (7 transactions per second) and Ethereum (15 transactions per second) are able to offer. Telegram plans to make their system capable of handling 1 million transactions per second.
The outline of Telegrams business plan:
There are four stages in their business plan, as following:
- Launching “TON Services”, a platform for third-party services that will allow smart interfaces such as mobile.
- In the second stage, “TON DNS” will be launched, which is a service to assign human-readable names to accounts, smart-contract services and network nodes.
- Then “TON payments”, the platform a channel network for micropayments will be rolled out.
- The fourth stage, i.e. “TON blockchain”, will consist of a master chain and 2-to-the-power-of-92 accompanying blockchains.
The plan is to allow users to hold both Gram and common currencies like US $.
The Initial Coin Offering (ICO) could be in March 2018, and both the pre-sales and public ICO could see big money being raised, because of the high potential of Gram as well as Telegram’s brand value. 4% of the Grams will be reserved for Telegram’s development team, and 44% will be sold in both private and public sale. Telegram will retain the balance 52% to retain flexibility and protect against speculative trading.
Launch of the Telegram External Secure ID is expected in Q1-2018, along with ‘Minimum Viable Product’ of TON. Wallet is expected to be launched in Q4-2018, followed by creation of TON-based economy in Q1-2019. Remaining TON services will be launched in the subsequent quarter.
Telegram was founded in 2013, by the Durov brothers, Pavel and Nikolai, and operates from Dubai. Pavel focuses on the business side of the company, whereas Nikolai, a mathematical genius, contributes to the technical side of the venture. Pavel, the CEO, had founded the Russian social network VK, however, it was taken over by investors with powerful political connections, making him wary of accepting cash from top-tier investors.