TON Review: Could It Solve Blockchain’s Scalability Issue?

Scalability has been a hot topic within the blockchain community for several years. It’s been noted time and time again that this is currently the most significant problem holding blockchain back from achieving proper mainstream prominence. 

While Ethereum’s smart-contract system seemed like a turning point, its halting problem soon deconstructed the widespread hope. Smart contracts would occasionally create infinite loops, then scale themselves, running forever and completely barring the network from functioning. With the blockchain community seemingly at a dead-end, many believed that this problem would persist forever. 

While there’s been little progress on blockchain’s scalability problem over the past few years, one new company seems to have the answer we’ve been waiting for. The blockchain-based ecosystem TON delivers innovative new features that allow millions of transactions a second. 

To put that into perspective, Bitcoin offers between 3.3-7 transactions per second, with TON representing a revolutionary ecosystem for blockchain. 

Could TON solve blockchain’s scalability problem once and for all? 

What Exactly Is TON?

More commonly known as TON, the Open Network is a blockchain-based ecosystem that allows for unlimited, lightning-fast transitions at an affordable price. In addition, TON boasts decentralized storage, DNS, instant payment, and an anonymous network alongside record-speed transaction processing.

The advanced infrastructure of TON allows for merging all existing blockchains into one singular network, providing an accessible platform for all blockchain actions. It’s their mission to bring blockchain technology to the masses, allowing exchange value to be as easy as possible.

TON stands upon three main pillars, each representing a core aspect of their company’s mission. These attributes are:

  • Scalability – TON’s development allows for an unlimited number of users, all of which can process transactions simultaneously without slowing the platform or forming a queue.
  • User-friendly – With a user-centric focus, TON wants to make blockchain about people, allowing them to exchange, move or store assets as conveniently as possible.
  • Decentralized – Ensuring reliability and stability, TON gives power back to its users, representing a movement to a self-governed financial system.

The balance between scalability and flexibility of TON’s architecture makes it a prime candidate for mass adoption, helping to process millions of transactions in one single platform. 

History

TON was formed through a somewhat alternative pathway that began back in 2018. Brothers Pavel and Nikolai Durov, backed by a world-class team of developers, set out to create an ambitious blockchain ecosystem. In its founding year, TON held a private ICO for Gram coin, raising an impressive $1.7 billion.

After completing both the development and design stages of TON, its first test network was made open-source, named testnet2.

Late in 2019, the US SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) launched a restraining order against Telegram, the Durov brother’s company, based on Gram being unregistered. After a harrowing few months of legal cases, the Durov brothers threw in the towel, withdrawing their support from the project.

Instead of letting the success of TON completely disappear, TON was turned over to independent developers from around the world. This now wholly open-source community project further cultivated the TON ecosystem, with its community nature meaning that world-class software engineers from around the globe were able to collaborate on improving the product.

Now run by a not-for-profit community named TON Foundation, community and collaboration are the driving pillars that continue to push this exciting project forward.

What Makes Ton Different?

Besides the incredible story of how TON came to be, the TON ecosystem boasts a range of aspects that set it apart from its competitors. 

TON consists of a master chain that supports up to 2^92 individual accompanying blockchains. This allows TON to process millions of transactions simultaneously. 

The four main aspects that set TON apart are:

  • Automatic Infinite Blockchain Generation – The power of the TON ecosystem lies in its ability to scale seamlessly. TON’s infrastructure can automatically split and merge to accommodate increased system loads directly. While making these infrastructural changes and accommodating more strain, the block generation speed is entirely unaffected. Due to this, there are never any queues or additional costs on TON, regardless of its current load change.
  • Hypercube Routing – TON enables hyper-fast exchanges between blockchains, regardless of their purpose, scope, or size. Through their infrastructure, TON has constructed a logarithmic relationship between the number of blockchains supported in TON and data transfer time, allowing for mass scaling without impacting transaction processing speed. 
  • 2D Distributed Ledgers – While system forks would often lead to errors in otherwise valid transactions, TON’s ecosystem can develop new valid blocks on any that have become invalidated. This allows for new pathways to be created, self-healing any fractured processes and saving time and resources in the process.
  • Proof-of-Stake – Through the Byzantine Fault Tolerant protocol, TON allows for advanced proof-of-stake. This permits validators to deposit stakes which then guarantee the processes’ dependability. Not only does this save resources, but it always gives TON the computing power necessary to handle smart contracts and large-scale transactions with increasing speed.

While every other blockchain system runs into similar scalability problems, unable to keep up with transaction demand and shifting into a queue system, TON’s advanced infrastructure has wholly eradicated this problem.

Quite honestly, no other blockchain system is doing it like TON.

Key Features

Alongside an advanced and innovative infrastructure, TON also has the individual features to back it up, giving their users full utility of their system. 

As TON is still in development, some features are yet to be launched. Due to this, we’ll only be looking at the main features that are either launched or are 75% of the way to being ready.

The critical components of this system are:

  • TON Blockchain
  • Toncoin
  • TON Payments
  • TON DNS
  • TON Services
  • TON Proxy

Let’s break these down further.

TON Blockchain

TON’s blockchain system is the support system upon which all other features rest. Additionally, this is where TON’s unique selling point lies, with its ability to seamlessly process millions of transactions in only a few seconds, making it extremely powerful.

The TON blockchain can contain up to 2^92 accompanying blockchains by intertwining Proof-of-Stake into its system. 

Toncoin

Toncoin is designed as a foundational pillar for the economy of TON, providing a range of utilities that give it intrinsic value. Toncoin acts both as a method of loaning to validators and a way for validators to deposit stakes, helping to validate transactions and drive the generation of new blocks. 

As TON is very much a community-run project, Toncoin also represents voting power, with opinions being expressed with the spending of the currency in a voting round. 

Additionally, Toncoin allows users to pay directly for services implemented by TON’s other features, like TON proxy, TON storage, or TON DNS. Finally, by integrating Toncoin into the system itself, TON ensures that the currency is intertwined directly with TON’s success, the two acting symbiotically to streamline processes and further drive up the price of Toncoin.

These coins were distributed organically throughout the early days of the Bitcoin network, with Toncoin never launching an airdrop or an ICO. There are currently five bn coins in supply, representing 112M total validators’ stake over 70,000+ accounts. 

TON Payments 

As a micropayment channel, TON Payments allows users to make off-chain value transfers. These transactions can be directly between users, bots or even as a method of paying for services.

Whichever payment system is selected, TON ensures the security of these value movements, providing a safeguard system that is just as secure as on-chain transfers. 

TON DNS

As a community-run project, it makes sense that TON would create methods of embedding this aspect of community within its main features. For example, the TON DNS allows accounts, services, network nodes, and smart contracts to take on human-readable names. 

Over time, TON hopes this will build up mainstream access, breaking down a barrier to entry by making blockchain similar to browsing the internet. 

TON Proxy

Like I2P, TON Proxy is a network proxy layer that can apply to any TON node. These will then allow VPN services, TON becoming a TOR alternative that allows users to browse anonymously online if they so choose.

Not only does this protect their identity, but it further constructs a layer of online privacy. These proxy systems also ensure that any application or service constructed through the TON ecosystem is immune from direct censorship.

TON Services

Another one of TON’s already launched features, TON, provides third-party services with a structured platform through which they can create. Alongside smart contracts through TON, the easy-to-use interface is perfect for building decentralized apps.

Moving towards a decentralized browsing experience, this feature makes TON comparable to navigating the internet. In addition, TON provides a complete registry of the services currently offered through its ecosystem. 

Final Thoughts

Creating an accessible, decentralized, and utterly scalable blockchain ecosystem, the community-run TON project has made waves in the blockchain world in only a short amount of time.

Its ingenious blend of flexible infrastructure and innovative features has led TON to process millions of transactions every single second, firmly planting this ecosystem years ahead in blockchain development. 

With the final goal of uniting all existing blockchains into a singular network, TON is undoubtedly one to watch over the coming years.