A local Russian news outlet has released news regarding Telegrams TON network. Telegram has reportedly given access to only a few teams, two of which are anonymous sources for the publication that broke the news. Developers have currently been successful in setting up nodes on the TON blockchain and have managed to test transactions as well.
The beta testing period was slated to begin around the tail end of last year, but this latest news shows that at least progress is being made. Telegram made headlines last year in April when it announced its ICO. Unlike many ICOs, it was not a public affair but wholly private. It was also special because it was an ICO by an established company that had a wide and varied, unlike the various ICO schemes that were more like scams than businesses.
A massive user base that lives privacy the key to growth
Telegram is looking to leverage its user base to grow cryptocurrency adoption. This is especially good for Telegram as they are a privacy-related service and were made enemies of the state in Iran after they had announced their ICO. They were banned in Russia as well, following their refusal to help the government decrypt users chats.
The entire company has been fighting for users’ rights to privacy and encryption in one of the most difficult business environments in the world so when it thinks it can push cryptocurrency adoption, then the market sits up and listens. Which is why the ICO raised a massive 1.7 billion US dollars. However, a large amount of money like that comes with its own strings.
Sources close to the ICO have stated that the Telegram Open Network will need to launch by October for the token purchase agreements to remain valid. That gives the company only 6 months to iron out any hiccups in its network. There are many people who do not believe this will be long enough.
However, the positives that TON does have it the userbase of 200 million people. The company recorded a massive increase in users when Facebook suffered an outage and with each breach of user data in the major social networking sites, it will grow. Particularly now that it is releasing a blockchain network to back the core mission of user privacy that the company champions.
Future imperfect for Telegram
Analysts expect the TON token to see heavy crypto trading when it is finally released on the open market due to the number of people that are backing it. However, there will be a lot of competition in the space.
Facebook is creating their own blockchain, their own token, their own crypto wallet and plan to use it for remittances in India. Whatsapp is the most used messaging service in India and should Facebook gain a stronghold there, it would be very easy for them to expand services offered through their products. This could lead to Facebook gaining a massive advantage that no one can ever catch up with.
However, Telegram can start earlier and push the usage of crypto only transactions within its network. If the developers that it has brought on board bring with it a killer app, then it could upset Facebook’s strategy and we could see the growth of the first truly giant Web 3.0 company.