In 2023, the TON network, which powers user-to-user transactions on Telegram, emerged as one of the biggest blockchain breakouts of the year.
As evidence that Telegram users have embraced the platform with gusto, on November 2, the TON network recorded a record 104,715 transactions per second (TPS), a figure that places it ahead of major payment networks like Visa and Mastercard.
Based on these numbers, it is tempting to jump to the conclusion that TON has emerged as a global payments giant to rival the world’s most popular card networks. But like most blockchains, TON supports much more than peer-to-peer payments.
If anything, TON’s recent surge in TPS is more likely to indicate a rise in trading activity across the 12 decentralized exchanges that support on-chain TON swaps.
And unlike Visa and Mastercard, the TON network also supports dozens of NFT collections and marketplaces, helping to further boost its transaction count. Telegram usernames and numbers, as well as .ton domains, are among other digital objects that you can transfer on TON.
Of course, payments remain a central component of the TON network. However, the platform is increasingly focusing on alternative types of data transfer that meet the needs of Telegram users.
Inspired by peer-to-peer file-sharing torrents, the TON Storage system allows users to host content, which other network participants can download.
After downloading a given file, users then share the responsibility for storage, which becomes less resource-intensive as more devices join the content-hosting network.
Unlike traditional torrent systems, TON employs smart contracts to guarantee storage. This ensures that hosted content remains accessible to users while providing a financial incentive for participants. Each contract guarantees that the original owner of a given file will pay a fixed amount of Toncoin to store files for a predetermined amount of time.