Telegram piercing into crypto is an excellent example of second-mover advantage, and the outstanding performance of $TON, its cryptocurrency, illustrates it well.
While Bitcoin (and the overall crypto market) has lost -70% vs last year, $TON showed only a -40% decrease, marking one of the best performances among big coins (>$1 bn market cap).
How did it manage that ? By entering the market later than other competitors, Telegram could define and seize the opportunities that others could not: social network integration, focus on developing countries… and now it is eyeing the sector of wallets and decentralized exchanges.
⚖️ TON initially stood for Telegram Open Network, before Telegram had to officially disassociate itself from the project following a lost argument with the SEC. Called The Open Network today, the blockchain was built with the help of the TON Foundation based on Telegram’s open-source resources.
⚙️ Technically TON is a three-layer network, using PoS as consensus for the base chain, with secondary “workchains” that can use their own consensus rules, and finally the shardchains that provide additional scalability. This structure ensures fast and cheap transactions, but this is not what makes TON special.
? TON’s most valuable quality is its integration with Telegram. A messaging/social network app used by over 700 million people rolled out a crypto payment service this spring, allowing to purchase $TON and $BTC with a credit card and easily transfer crypto among its users with the help of a bot. This service was upgraded this week, adding a fully functional wallet.
?? TON is also considered by three Central African nations (Cameroon, Congo and DRC) to help introduce crypto as official means of payment. The region where people are 4 times more likely to own a mobile phone than a bank account could become a real catalyst for TON, and its founders must understand it well.
? Several weeks ago TON launched Fragment, an auction platform for buying and selling Telegram usersnames, operating like TON DNS, the blockchain’s domain name service. Fragment will link even more TON’s success to that of Telegram itself.
? The company’s ambitions are growing. This Monday, Telegram founder Pavel Durov announced his company’s intentions to build a crypto wallet and a decentralized exchange.
It looks like the success of Telegram’s first very simple crypto payment bot has inspired its developers to continue, and TON could become the star of the next crypto cycle.