The TON blockchain created by Telegram co-founder and CEO Pavel Durov is promising big things will happen this year, setting itself a goal that no other blockchain has yet been able to achieve – it’s aiming for nothing less than mass adoption. TON was created by Durov and his brother Nikolai back in 2017. It’s one of the most ambitious blockchain projects of all and all the more so when we consider its tumultuous past. Designed to be vastly superior to Bitcoin and Ethereum in terms of speed and scalability, TON got off to a good start, raising almost $1.7 billion from investors through an initial coin offering. However, things quickly unraveled for Telegram when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission stepped in to halt the sale in October 2019, claiming that TON’s GRAM tokens were unregistered securities. That move ultimately led Telegram to drop the TON project, handing over the work it had done to the open-source community, which has since rebranded GRAM as Toncoin. With Telegram washing its hands off of the TON project, very little was heard about it during the intervening months. It had, in effect, become one of a growing number of forgotten blockchains that promised so much only to fade away into obscurity. That all changed last month though, when Durov suddenly announced on Telegram the TON project is not only still “alive” but moreover, “evolving” fast. TON quickly followed up, announcing a partnership with Donate, enabling users to send donations and pay for subscriptions in Toncoin. Then came this week’s promise from TON: “After four years of blood, sweat, tears, and active development from some of the most brilliant engineering talent on the globe, we’re finally at the cusp of something great,” the TON community announced. “Something that has eluded all others, even as they reach untold heights, successes, and trillion-dollar valuations. Mass adoption.” It’s a bold promise but it’s one TON has the means to live up to, as 2022 looks to be a breakout year for the project that aims to unite all other blockchains into a single, decentralized network with blazing fast transaction speeds and low costs. TON is building nothing less than the foundation of web3, with components including decentralized storage, an anonymous network, DNS, instant payments and support for various decentralized services. Much of that groundwork has already been done, with TON launching The Open Network, a stable and extremely scalable multi-blockchain that can handle millions of transactions per second early last year. TON has also completed work on its all-important TON-ETH bridge, making it possible for Toncoins to be transferred back and forth between it and the Ethereum blockchain with ease. As evidenced by the partnership with Donate, TON payments were also finally enabled in Q4 of last year, completing another key milestone. The roadmap for 2022 doesn’t let up, and by the time the year is out TON will have everything it needs to support web3.  Q1 will be especially frantic, with TON set to launch its DNS service that assigns human-readable names to accounts, smart contracts, services and network nodes on its blockchain, making it as easy to browse as the world wide web. Other milestones include the launch of the TON Proxy, TON DeFi and the TON Developers Program. With those developments out the way, TON’s final tasks will be to complete its distributed file-storage system Ton Storage, and launch its much-vaunted TON Workchains that promise to bridge all existing blockchains into one giant, unified decentralized network. Getting everything in place is one thing – achieving its goal of mass adoption will be quite another. But TON has all the necessary ingredients in place to make it happen, with true decentralization, fast but low-cost transactions and an intuitive user interface the perfect recipe for anyone to buy, sell and transfer assets quickly and conveniently. Through in the DeFi apps on top and financial freedom becomes a reality at last. Now, it’s no longer a question of whether or not TON can live up to its promise. The question now is whether or not the world is truly ready for a fair and unprejudiced financial system that’s free from censorship and accessible to all? Time will tell, but if the answer is affirmative, 2022 is going to be one hell of a year for TON.
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