The Open Network Foundation (TON) has officially announced a partnership with messaging platform, Telegram. As part of this move, TON is launching a self-custodial crypto wallet tailored for Telegram’s vast user base.
Telegram, the original organisation behind TON before it parted ways, has now chosen the foundation as their primary blockchain for Web3 infrastructure. Following the announcement, the blockchain’s native token, Toncoin ($TON), witnessed a 13% rise in value.
Telegram already has a standalone TON bot, which functions as a Web3 wallet. It is currently in use by 3 million Telegram members. But with the new integration, the wallet will be available to all of Telegram’s 800 million users via their app settings.
John Hyman, Telegram’s chief investment officer, said in a statement: “We are putting digital ownership rights in the hands of our entire user base. While also giving TON projects the tools to reach our audience in the largest Web3/Web2 partnership there has ever been.”
A self-custodial wallet titled TON Space will also be available to non-US Telegram users, with it being fully launched by November 2023.
TON price surge
TON’s native cryptocurrency has surged in the wake of this news. After closing at $1.81 on 12 September, it is now trading at $1.93 at the time of writing. The crypto is up 13% in the past 24 hours and 10% in the previous seven days.
Toncoin ranks as the 11th-largest cryptocurrency with its market cap hovering around $6billion, as per data from CoinMarketCap.
TON Foundation’s president, Steve Yun, highlighted the mutual benefits of the TON-Telegram partnership. “TON ecosystem strives to provide a simple and intuitive user experience akin to that of the popular social applications, like Telegram,” Yun said.
“Sharing the same DNA, we invite all builders to join our journey to mass adoption.”
Telegram and TON’s shared history
The association between Telegram and the TON foundation isn’t new. Telegram initially came up with TON as an internal project in 2018.
The goal was to streamline crypto transactions within a messaging and media app, a vision similar to Elon Musk’s plans for Twitter.
However, in August 2020, development of the network came to a halt due to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accusing Telegram of selling unregistered securities.
The charges were based on the $1.7bn accumulated from TON’s initial coin offering (ICO). This offering was conducted through a token named Grams. Telegram eventually agreed to refund the unspent investments and also pay an $18.5m fine.
Community members didn’t let TON fade away. In the subsequent year, they established the TON Foundation to revive the project. Emphasising the company’s ethos, Hyman stated that empowering users to have control over their identity and assets resonated with Telegram’s dedication to free speech.
TON establishes itself in Switzerland
Recently, the TON Foundation announced that they have established their base in Switzerland, registering there as a nonprofit organization.
This Swiss organisation will now be responsible for driving ecosystem development and will periodically release reports detailing TON token’s distribution and forthcoming emissions.
“This marks a new chapter for the TON community,” Yun said. “At the service of our community, TON Foundation will pursue strong governance and transparency under the guidance of Swiss regulations.”
Along with this new organisation, it was announced that a roadmap for the TON blockchain will be published by the end of this year.
TON plans to host an annual event, under the name Gateway, to listen to and engage with the cryptocurrency’s community.