Telegram Messenger to Officially Launch TON Network in Late October

Encrypted messaging service Telegram will launch its long-awaited Telegram Open Network (TON) in late October.

In an Oct. 2 message in the official TON Board on Telegram, the firm states that original investors were informed that the blockchain network would launch later this month. 

Investors are provided with TON key generation software and will be required to provide Telegram with a public key to receive their Gram (GRM) tokens — the platform’s native token — by Oct. 16th. The entire source code for TON is now available on Github. 

The message states that the launch follows a successful testing stage. 

In early September, Telegram released the TON testnet explorer and node software, followed by an alpha version of a Gram token wallet for iOS. 

Ethereum compatibility and smart contracts on TON

The network will purportedly be compatible with the Ethereum network, allowing users to port their Ethereum smart contracts over to TON. Software startup TON Labs, which is managed by Telegram’s token offering investors, is reportedly developing a Solidity compiler for its blockchain. Solidity is a programming language is primarily used to develop smart contracts on Ethereum. 

Last week, Telegram announced a coding competition for building smart contracts on TON. Using the tools provided in the TON Blockchain distribution, contestants will vie for a prize fund worth between $200,000 and $400,000.

Telegram Open Network (TON) is on track for its planned launch, according to an email from the company sent to TON investors on Wednesday.

Mitja Goroshevsky, CTO of TON Labs, a startup building tools for TON developers, confirmed the authenticity of the email to CoinDesk, adding that TON Labs itself “will run and manage its own validation pool.”

“Original investors received emails from the Telegram core team,” a post in the Telegram channel dedicated to the project said, adding that investors need to provide Telegram with their public keys by Oct. 16 using the key generator in order to receive the tokens, or “grams,” they bought.

Notably, the message also mentions governance matters, saying Telegram itself will recuse itself from running the network:

“Investors have to select validators. Neither Telegram nor the TON Foundation will serve as validators post-launch.”

As CoinDesk reported, the code for TON was released in early September, allowing the broad community to try out full nodes, validator nodes and a block explorer.

The project is scheduled to launch no later than Oct. 31, according to existing agreements with TON investors. The blockchain, which raised $1.7 billion in early 2018, has been built in near-total secrecy. Telegram CEO Pavel Durov has never publicly announced TON’s existence.

The only official confirmation so far has been the registration with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the project’s SAFT (simple agreement for future tokens) – featuring the names of Telegram Group, Inc., Pavel Durov and Nikolai Durov, the CEO’s brother who is also TON’s chief architect.

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