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At Last: Telegram Launches a TON Test Client

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Mobile messaging platform Telegram has continued its forward march in its blockchain efforts, as the company has officially launched a test client for the Telegram Open Network (TON). Earlier this week, the company posted a file on the TON’s test page. A read-only version of the file revealed that it is a distribution of a preliminary version of the TON blockchain Network Lite Client, while also containing relevant portions of the TON Blockchain Library.  

Last week, a version of the client was uploaded to GitHub. According to a file published by a GitHub user, the client was able to connect to a full node on the TON blockchain, and it even sent it some queries as well.

However, apart from the single file, it is also possible for users to install configuration settings for developing smart contracts on the blockchain as well. The configuration file in question connects to the Lite Client, and it performs functions such as smart contract creation, auditing, and sending messages to external smart contracts as well.

According to the file, there is also a feature that allows users to deploy Fift, a programing language for the TON blockchain, to locally compile, execute, and debug smart contracts.

Fift was launched by Telegram earlier this month. According to a document posted on an unofficial Telegram channel, Nikolai Durov, the co-founder of the messaging platform, claimed that the language would help with developing and maintaining smart contracts on the TON blockchain, while also “interacting with the TON Virtual Machine.”

In turn, the Virtual Machine would execute smart contract code on the blockchain, sporting operations to parse incoming messages, create new messages, and modify data. Telegram’s blockchain progress has been tracked closely by insiders within the crypto industry after the company was able to successfully raise about $1.7 billion across two Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in 2018.

While it remains unclear if the company would be moving on to explore trading or collaborating with cryptocurrency exchanges or wallet providers, the company’s venture into the blockchain is welcome news for the industry nonetheless. Last month, Russian media outlet Vedomosti reported that Telegram opened a live version of the TON blockchain to a few developers.

Citing anonymous people who were a part of the test, the news agency claimed that the live testing enabled developers to set up their TON blockchain nodes, and while the testing didn’t provide any specific outcomes, the testers alluded that the TON blockchain showed “extremely high transaction speed.”

News medium The Block also reported that the platform is set to launch TON fully in the third quarter of this year.

According to the news agency, Telegram sent out an internal memo to its investors, claiming that the network would be launched later in the year. The company was reported to have referenced April’s live testing event, claiming that it “reaffirms our belief that the TON virtual machine and the TON … Byzantine consensus algorithm are capable of meeting the goals stated in the original white paper.”

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