Gram dApp Devs Reveal Details of Telegram’s Secretive Blockchain

May 27, 2019 16:30 UTC

By CCN: Button Wallet is slated to be one of the first decentralized applications to launch on Telegram’s new blockchain, Telegram Open Network (TON). The secretive project recently opened to beta development, and Button published a blog post detailing how it works currently.

Telegram Developers Are “Really Good”

The blog post, in part, compliments the TON development team:

“Right now [the] developing experience is a bit challenging and unfriendly. Lite client is written on C++ and looks like it’s perfectly written. TON team is really good at writing code.”

The rest of the post is a bit more complicated, detailing the intricacies of attempting to deploy a smart contract on TON and comparing the experience with Polkadot and Cosmos, two other blockchain projects.

Telegram intends to use sharding for its more than 300 million users to have a reasonably fast experience.

Developers Shed Light on Opaque TON Design

According to Button Wallet:

“TON is planning to use sharding to scale transactions between users. […] TON will have a masterchain and shardchains. Every shard is a blockchain that allows communicating with another shard. Shardchains can communicate with each other using Hypercube routing. TON have a virtual machine that can manipulate data between shards. All TON data is represented as cells linked to each other.”

There are four roles in the Telegram Open Network. Validators, collators, nominators, and fisherman.

The fisherman role is an interesting one. Its job is to “catch” invalid transactions contained in blocks previously published by validators. If a quorum of validators agree that the transactions are invalid, the validator gets punished and the fisherman is rewarded. Most networks to date don’t have such a functional role. The design is intended to encourage validators to act in the interest of the network and only publish valid transactions.

As the Button team pointed out, it’s very difficult to develop for TON at present due to a general lack of documentation. Some efforts are directed toward alleviating this problem, such as this Github repository which even includes information on installing the software.

Telegram was one of the most substantial ICOs in history, with nearly $2 billion raised. If its tokens retain anywhere near their initial value, Gram will debut near the top of the market capitalization rankings.

Facebook is also developing a project called “Globalcoin.” Combined, the efforts mean that over 2 billion people will be exposed to cryptocurrency. Zcash CEO Zooko Wilcox recently called Facebook’s project “awesome.” Will we see a massive increase in crypto interest as a result of these two networks, both of which will be operational in the coming months? Will people stick with the platforms offered by Facebook and Telegram, or will they look into the vibrant world of cryptocurrency to discover things like Bitcoin?

This article was edited by Gerelyn Terzo.

Last modified: May 27, 2019 16:16 UTC

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