nLab Telegram Open Network

Telegram (see official FAQ and wikipedia) is developing Telegram Open Network (TON) (see and, centered around a new generation (and high performance) blockchain project. TON is envisioned to support for decentralised applications and smart contracts, distributed file-storage service (TON Storage), micropayments, a proxy service (TON proxy) and TON DNS. TON had large private ICO for large investors in early 2018 and is supposed to be fully operational in Q4 2019. According to press (,,, beincrypto, kryptonews, other), TON testnet has started, with access only to limited parties, on April 11, 2019. Due SEC suit in US the original project has been discontinued in mid 2020. Some partial replica of original vision, building on available early 2020 TON software are being developed as FreeTON project. The SEC court proceedings are studied case in the paper

  • Muisala et al., Telegram: deconstructing one of the biggest blockchain cases of 2020, doi

Official announcement of halt of the project is

TON blockchain’s native cryptocurrency for original net was called Gram. The underlying blockchain protocol supports a number of innovative ideas helping scaling, including notably infinite sharding paradigm and instant hypercube routing. It employs a new virtual machine (TON VM), supporting algebraic types. TON has upgradeable formal blockchain specifications and support for off-chain payment networks.

  • TON whitepaper, 23 page pdf, mirrors pdf pdf
  • Nikolai Durov‘s 132-page technical overview Telegram Open Network, Dec 2017 pdf, mirror pdf; Telegram Open Network Blockchain, Sep 2018, 121 pp. pdf; Telegram Open Network Virtual Machine, Sep. 2018, 148 pp. pdf; Catchain consensus: an outline, pdf

The whole thing will run on protocols used already by Telegram and use similar specs:

It will use Telegram Passport.

Telegram is introducing a new feature called Passport, a single sign-on option for services that need actual real-world IDs or documents. Passport will let users store their files and data in Telegram’s cloud and pass it directly on to services that need that information (via Neowin).

See also digital identity.

According to a press release pdf (accompanying event of partnership with Wirecard),

TON Labs is a core infrastructure and ecosystem developer for TON (Telegram Open Network). Its secure and accessible TON.Dev and TON.Space environments will deliver a TON full node implementation, a versatile toolchain and a cutting-edge SDK, as well as novel ways users interact with fintech services. It will enable the developer community to create, deploy, distribute and manage TON chains for consumer and enterprise applications.

According to other press, TON Labs developes their tools using technical documentation which Telegram distributed to their investors in Autumn 2019, but may also have other insider information making pre-release development effective.

Last revised on January 13, 2021 at 00:23:42. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.