The Open Network (previously Telegram Open Network) is a Proof-of-Stake blockchain originally developed in 2018 by the Telegram messenger team. Company CEO Pavel Durov had an ambitious plan to turn TON into one of the largest blockchains serving as a platform for dApps and a decentralized payment processing service. To fund TON and Telegram, the company held a private ICO of Gram, the blockchain’s native token, reportedly raising $1.7b.
However, the development of TON lacked transparency, and the mainnet launch was postponed several times. Then, Telegram got into a legal battle with SEC over the ICO, was unable to meet the launch deadline, and eventually abandoned the project. The Open Network was handed over to the TON Community, which has been supporting and developing it ever since.
According to the TON announcement, it has been engaging with all three countries independently for some time and has aided the development of cryptocurrency and blockchain solutions for each nation. TON also plans for blockchain applications to be uniquely integrated with the Telegram app.
The launch of CBDCs will allow both banked and unbanked individuals to better engage in the economy, the governments hope. The Democratic Republic of Congo even announced that it is considering a new national stablecoin built on the TON blockchain. “This marks the beginning of our journey to adopting cryptocurrency as a financial instrument within the DRC, and with the support of TON as a partner, we aim to increase our nation's exposure to modern financial tools,” Désiré Cashmir Eberande Kolongele, the DRC Minister for Digital Economy said. “The ability to integrate applications with the Telegram platform, and reach mobile users, makes TON the obvious choice as we step boldly into the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain,” the minister added.