The Open Network Review: Deep Dive into TON's Capabilities

Last updated: Jul 01, 2024
16 Min Read
AI Generated Summary

Blockchain interoperability is a key focus in the blockchain and Web3 space, aiming to bridge the gap between different blockchain networks and create a more unified digital ecosystem.

There's no shortage of projects dedicated to solving the interoperability challenge, recognizing that seamless communication between various networks is essential for maximizing the potential of decentralized technologies. Interoperability solutions strive to enable the free flow of information and assets across multiple networks, breaking down the silos that currently limit blockchain's efficiency and scalability. By connecting different blockchains, these solutions facilitate greater flexibility, enhanced functionality, and increased efficiency, driving the entire ecosystem towards a more interconnected and decentralized future.

The Open Network (TON) is among the many projects working on blockchain interoperability.

This Open Network review will explore its architecture, the role of its native Toncoin, and its approach to achieving cross-chain interoperability. We will also guide you through the process of becoming a validator and examine TON's ambitious roadmap for future developments. 

The Open Network Review Summary

The Open Network is a next-generation blockchain platform focused on cross-chain interoperability, scalability and user-friendly services, originally developed by Telegram. It utilizes technologies like sharding, Proof-of-Stake consensus, and dynamic smart contracts to enhance efficiency, security and flexibility.

What is Blockchain Interoperability?

Imagine the different blockchain networks as various islands, each with its own unique culture, language, and currency. For Ethereum Island to trade with Bitcoin Island, they’d need a translator and a way to exchange their currencies. Blockchain interoperability serves as this translator and currency exchange, enabling communication and transactions between different blockchains.

Blockchain interoperability refers to the ability of various blockchain networks to communicate, share data, and interact seamlessly.

Without interoperability, blockchains operate like isolated silos; imagine not being able to send a message from Gmail to Outlook. This scenario mirrors how blockchains currently interact — limited and inefficient. Interoperability overcomes these barriers, offering several key benefits:

  • Efficiency: Enables direct transactions and data sharing between blockchains without intermediaries.
  • Flexibility: Allows utilization of multiple blockchains’ strengths simultaneously.
  • User Experience: Facilitates smooth interactions across different blockchain platforms, simplifying processes for users and developers.

The Importance of Cross-Chain Interoperability

With hundreds of layer-1 blockchains and an increasing number of layer-2 solutions, interoperability is essential.

It creates a connected, efficient and versatile blockchain ecosystem. Developers can build cross-chain decentralized applications (DApps) that operate across multiple blockchains, much like a single app working seamlessly on both iOS and Android.

Cross-chain interoperability unlocks new levels of innovation and efficiency. It’s akin to the internet revolution, enabling different systems to collaborate and share information effortlessly.

What is The Open Network?

The Open Network is a blockchain network that seamlessly integrates with various other blockchains, making digital assets and information exchange as easy as swapping texts between iPhones and Androids. This is the vision behind The Open Network, a next-generation blockchain network originally developed by Telegram.

Open Network review
The Open Network is a Blockchain Network That Integrates With Other Blockchains. Image via TON

TON's story begins with Telegram, the popular messaging app founded by Pavel Durov. Telegram aimed to create a blockchain platform that could support its massive user base and enhance its functionalities. The initial project, known as the Telegram Open Network, was designed to facilitate fast and secure transactions within the Telegram ecosystem. However, due to regulatory hurdles, Telegram had to step back from the project, leaving the development of TON in the hands of the open-source community.

The Open Network is not just another blockchain; it’s designed to be a comprehensive ecosystem that supports various applications and services. Here are some of the primary goals and functionalities of TON:

  • Scalability: TON aims to address the scalability issues faced by many existing blockchains. Through sharding and a unique architecture, TON can handle millions of transactions per second.
  • Interoperability: One of TON's standout features is its ability to interact with other blockchains seamlessly. This cross-chain compatibility ensures that TON can be integrated with various blockchain networks, enhancing its utility and reach.
  • User-Friendly Services: TON aims to provide a range of decentralized services, including TON Storage, TON Proxy, and TON Services, which facilitate file sharing, privacy and DApps respectively.
  • Fast Transactions: With its unique consensus mechanism, TON can achieve faster transaction speeds compared to many traditional blockchains. This makes it suitable for applications requiring quick and secure transactions.

Why Do We Need Cross-Chain Interoperability?

Suppose you're a gamer with an extensive collection of digital assets, but each game you play requires you to start from scratch because your assets can’t be transferred between them. This would be incredibly frustrating and inefficient, right? Similarly, in the blockchain world, cross-chain interoperability allows assets, information, and functionalities to flow seamlessly across different blockchains.

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Cross-Chain Interoperability Allows Information and Functionalities to Flow Across Networks. Image via TON

The blockchain ecosystem is fragmented with numerous blockchains, each serving different purposes and communities. Popular networks like Ethereum and Bitcoin have unique features and strengths, but they operate in silos. This lack of interoperability hampers the full potential of blockchain technology.

  • Isolated Networks: Without interoperability, blockchain networks cannot communicate with each other, limiting the exchange of value and information. This isolation is akin to having different banks that don’t allow transactions between them.
  • Limited Use Cases: Developers are constrained to build applications within a single blockchain’s ecosystem. This limits innovation and the potential for more complex, cross-chain DApps.

Benefits of Cross-Chain Interoperability

Cross-chain interoperability addresses these issues by enabling different blockchain networks to work together, providing several key benefits:

  • Enhanced Efficiency: Transactions and data transfers can occur directly between blockchains without the need for intermediaries. This reduces transaction costs and speeds up processes.
  • Increased Flexibility: Users can leverage the unique features of multiple blockchains simultaneously. For example, a decentralized finance (DeFi) application could use Ethereum’s smart contracts and TON’s fast transaction speeds.
  • Broader Use Cases: Developers can create more complex and versatile DApps that operate across multiple blockchains, unlocking new possibilities and innovations.
  • Improved User Experience: Users can seamlessly move their assets and data across different blockchain networks, similar to how you can use a credit card internationally without any hassle.

Understanding TON Technology

Let's dive into the core components and functionalities that make TON unique and powerful.

Masterchain and Basechain Architecture

TON employs a sophisticated dual-chain system: the Masterchain and multiple Basechains. This architecture ensures efficient operations and robust security across the network.

  • Masterchain acts as the central ledger, storing block headers of all other chains and maintaining a unified state across the network. It includes critical information such as the network’s configuration, validators and their stakes.
  • Basechains handle specific tasks like processing transactions and executing smart contracts. They operate independently, enabling parallel processing and improved scalability.

Sharding Technology

Sharding significantly enhances TON's scalability by dividing the blockchain into smaller, manageable pieces called shards.

  • Horizontal Scalability: Sharding enables TON to scale horizontally, supporting an ever-growing number of users and applications without compromising performance. By adding more shards, TON can handle increased transaction volumes.
  • Dynamic Sharding: TON employs dynamic sharding, adjusting the number of shards based on network load. This ensures optimal performance and prevents bottlenecks.
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Scalability, Efficiency and Interoperability. Image via TON

Proof-of-Stake (PoS) Consensus

TON uses a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism, which is more energy-efficient and scalable compared to Proof-of-Work (PoW) systems.

  • Validator Selection: Validators are chosen based on the amount of cryptocurrency they hold and are willing to "stake" as collateral. This selection process ensures the network remains secure and efficient.
  • Staking Rewards: Validators earn rewards in Toncoin for their participation, incentivizing them to maintain network integrity and security.

Security Features

Security is paramount in the TON blockchain, with several features ensuring the network’s resilience against attacks and fraud.

  • Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT): TON’s consensus mechanism includes BFT properties, allowing the network to reach consensus even with some malicious actors present.
  • End-to-End Encryption: All communications within the TON network are encrypted, ensuring the privacy and security of user data.
  • Advanced Cryptographic Techniques: TON employs advanced cryptographic algorithms to protect the integrity and authenticity of transactions.

Smart Contract Capabilities

Smart contracts are central to the TON ecosystem, enabling the creation of DApps and services.

  • Flexible Programming Environment: TON supports multiple programming languages for smart contract development, including Fift and Solidity, providing developers with flexibility and ease of use.
  • TON Virtual Machine (TVM): The TVM executes smart contracts efficiently, ensuring high performance and reliability.
  • Interoperability with Other Blockchains: TON’s smart contracts can interact with contracts on other blockchains, enhancing the functionality and reach of dApps built on TON.

TON Storage

Traditional data storage solutions require multiple copies across different locations to ensure reliability. Services often use Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) to improve access speeds by storing copies of data in various geographical locations.

TON Storage offers reliable storage for files of any size. It caters to both individual users and large-scale services, enabling them to store their public and private files securely and efficiently.

Built on peer-to-peer principles similar to torrents, TON Storage operates within the secure and decentralized TON network using the TON Distributed Hash Table (DHT). This system allows any node to store data, enhancing reliability and global accessibility. It provides a way to store and retrieve files, ensuring data integrity and availability across the network.

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TON Storage Offers Reliable Storage For Files of Any Size. Image via TON

Here's how it works:

  • Users can upload files using a storage-daemon utility, which generates a unique "Bag ID" for retrieval
  • These files, once uploaded, become available for download by anyone on the network, promoting widespread data distribution

This decentralized approach ensures that files are stored reliably across multiple nodes, reducing the risk of data loss.

TON Storage integrates with various components of the TON ecosystem.

TON DNS: Simplifying Blockchain Interactions

TON DNS (Domain Name System) is a decentralized service that assigns human-readable names to accounts, smart contracts, services, and network nodes within The Open Network, simplifying interactions by replacing long cryptographic addresses with readable names.

TON DNS Hierarchy

TON DNS follows a structure similar to traditional DNS:

  • Top-level domains (TLDs): Managed by the TON Foundation, including .ton, .wallet, .surf, etc.
  • Second-level domains: Registered by users under the TLDs, e.g., example.ton.
  • Subdomains: Created under second-level domains, e.g., mysite.example.ton.

Resolving TON DNS Names

TON DNS names are resolved using a decentralized network of "Subresolver Managers" who maintain mappings between domain names and their corresponding blockchain addresses. The process involves:

  • Splitting the domain name into components.
  • Querying the Subresolver Manager for each component.
  • Recursively resolving each part until the final address is obtained.

Decentralized and Secure

TON DNS ensures decentralization and security, reducing censorship risks through:

  • Cryptographic proofs: Verifying domain name authenticity.
  • Decentralized storage: Ensuring data availability and integrity.

The TON Foundation plans to expand TON DNS capabilities by potentially introducing new top-level domains beyond .ton, pending community consensus and network configuration changes.

TON Payments

TON Payments is a robust micropayment platform on the TON blockchain, designed for fast and low-cost transactions within the TON ecosystem.

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TON Payments is Suitable for Various Use Cases. Image via TON

Key Features

  • Fast Transactions: With a block time of around 5 seconds, TON can process millions of transactions quickly, making it ideal for applications needing instant, high-volume transactions.
  • Low Fees: TON's low network fees make it a cost-effective solution for micropayments and small-value transactions.
  • Payment Channels: Using payment channel technology (similar to the Lightning Network), TON Payments allows for unlimited, fast, and fee-less transactions between channel participants.
  • Cryptographic Security: Advanced cryptography protects all transactions, ensuring they cannot be altered or hacked.
  • Tonguard Integration: Tonguard offers AI-driven tools for advanced monitoring and management of TON Payments transactions.
  • Toncoin Integration: Toncoin, TON’s native cryptocurrency, can be used for payments, exchanged with other cryptocurrencies or fiat currencies, and integrated into various apps and services within the TON ecosystem.

TON Payments is suitable for various applications, including:

  • Micropayments for internet data, streaming, and gaming
  • Decentralized finance (DeFi) applications
  • Secure and instant payments within the TON ecosystem

TON Sites

TON Sites function like regular websites but are accessed via the TON network. Their URLs resemble typical web addresses, ending in ".ton" (e.g., http://foundation.ton).

Advantages of TON Sites

  • Mandatory Encryption and Authenticity Verification: All data traffic to TON Sites is encrypted, and authenticity is automatically verified using built-in cryptography. This eliminates the need for certification authorities or HTTPS certificates.
  • Decentralized Domain Names: TON Sites use TON DNS, a fully decentralized domain name system. Domain names can be assigned without centralized registries, with owners only needing to make an annual micropayment to confirm ownership.
  • Sub-domains: Like regular websites, TON Sites support sub-domains through TON DNS. Site owners can assign pages to sub-domains using smart contracts, and services can allow users to register sub-domains independently by paying a small fee.
  • Wallet Integration: TON Site domain names can be directly linked to a crypto wallet, allowing users to send payments to a domain by entering it as the recipient's address in their wallet.
  • No Registration Required: Users can sign in to TON Sites using their TON wallet without creating accounts or revealing personal information like email addresses.

TON Sites offer a decentralized, secure, and user-friendly alternative to regular websites by leveraging the TON network and blockchain. They provide built-in encryption, wallet integration, and a decentralized domain system, making them a robust option for modern web usage.

TON Proxy provides a way to access TON's decentralized web through a proxy, either as a user accessing TON Sites or as a site owner running a reverse proxy. It allows interaction with TON without directly connecting to the network.


Toncoin is the native cryptocurrency of The Open Network, playing a central role in its ecosystem. Let’s delve into the details of Toncoin, including its functionality, tokenomics, use cases, and how to buy and store it.

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Toncoin is the Native Cryptocurrency of The Open Network. Image via TON

Toncoin serves multiple purposes:

  • Transaction Fees: Toncoin is used to pay for transaction fees within the network, ensuring efficient processing of transactions.
  • Staking and Validator Rewards: Validators, who help secure the network, receive rewards in Toncoin for their efforts.
  • Governance: Toncoin holders can participate in network governance, voting on important proposals and decisions.
  • Incentivizing Development: Developers are incentivized with Toncoin to build and maintain DApps on the TON network.

Toncoin has a total maximum supply of 5.1 billion tokens, with a circulating supply of 2.46 billion at the moment. It reached its all-time of $8.25 on June 15, 2024, and is currently down 7.1% from that number.

Where to Buy Toncoin

If you're looking to get your hands on Toncoin, you can buy it through Bybit, OKX and KuCoin, among other exchanges. Also, check out our top picks for the best crypto exchanges.

The coin can also be bought via decentralized exchanges such as PankcakeSwap and Uniswap. And, here are the best decentralized exchanges.

Where to Store Toncoin

We've written extensively about the pitfalls of holding your crypto in a centralized wallet such as those offered by crypto exchanges. Here are a few non-custodial options for your Toncoin:

TON Validator Requirements

Becoming a validator on The Open Network involves securing the network and validating transactions.

Validators are responsible for creating new blocks and verifying transactions on the TON blockchain. They play a crucial role in the PoS consensus mechanism, ensuring network security and efficiency. They're incentivized with staking rewards paid in Toncoin for their participation. For reference, the average income daily generated by the validator node with an average stake as of April 2023 is about 120 Toncoin per day, or $915.6 at the time of writing.

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TON Has a Diverse Validator Base. Image via TON

Becoming a validator isn't easy, however.

For one, you'll have to put up at least 300,000 TON ($2.3 million) as a stake. Validators stake Toncoin for a fixed specific term and the stake is refunded with interest after the completion of a validation round. Here are the hardware requirements:

  • 16 cores CPU
  • 128 GB RAM
  • 1TB NVME SSD OR Provisioned 64+k IOPS storage
  • 1 Gbit/s network connectivity
  • public IP address (fixed IP address)
  • 16 TB/month traffic on peak load

On top of this, you have to be mindful of the penalties as validators on the TON network can be penalized in two ways:

  • Idle Misbehavior: Validators who fail to participate in block creation and transaction signing for an extended period during a validation round can be fined. As of April 2023, the standard fine for such inactivity was 101 TON ($770.63 at the time of writing).
  • Malicious Misbehavior: Any network participant can file a complaint against a validator for misbehavior, provided they submit cryptographic proof of the misbehavior to the Elector. All network validators then review the complaint, and if 66% approve, a slashing penalty is imposed on the accused validator, which is deducted from their total stake.

TON Roadmap

The Open Network has a comprehensive roadmap focused on enhancing its platform. 

TON Blockchain

  • Stablecoin Toolkit: Tools for stablecoin integration.
  • Jetton Bridge: Cross-chain transfers of Jettons from TON Blockchain to Ethereum or BNB Smart Chain.
  • Collator and Validator Separation: Splitting the validator into two distinct nodes, the collator and the validator, allows TON Blockchain to manage a significantly large load
  • Sharding Guidelines and Tools: Guidelines and code samples for managing TON operations in exchanges, payment systems, and TON services under high load.
  • Slashing Optimization: Enhancement and improvement of detection and penalization for poorly performing validators.
  • Elector and Config Update: Update the Elector and Config system smart contracts to make it easier to develop staking smart contracts and allow participants in a staking pool to vote network-wide on-chain.
  • Extra Currencies: Built-in extra-currency technology for the most popular tokens.
  • ETH, BNB, BTC Bridge: Cross-chain transfers of Bitcoin, ETH, and BNB to TON Blockchain.
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TON Has a Comprehensive Roadmap Focused on Enhancing its Platform. Image via TON

Here are a few other items included in blockchain's roadmap:

  • Voting for Staking Pools
  • Voting UI for Wallets
  • Gasless Transactions
  • Wallet 5.0
  • Multisig 2.0
  • TON Teleport
  • TON Smart Contract Interfaces
  • User-friendly TL-B
  • TON Browser

TON Proxy

Version 1.0 will allow hosting a .ton site independent of a fixed IP, centralized domain, and certificate, making it highly resistant to censorship. Such a site cannot be blocked by its domain or certificate, and its IPs can be changed freely without downtime. Users can visit these sites through public entry nodes supporting HTTP Proxy, and hosting can be done on a private web server or TON Storage.

TON Payments

TON Payment Channels will enable two participants to create a payment channel for conducting unlimited instant micropayments without fees. Network fees only apply to the creation and closure of the channel.

Ton Storage

Version 1.0 will provide technology for storing and distributing files of any size on the decentralized TON network.

Open Network Review: Closing Thoughts

The Open Network (TON) is focused on cross-chain interoperability, aiming to connect diverse blockchain networks and create a more unified digital ecosystem. Its comprehensive architecture, leveraging advanced technologies like sharding, Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus, and dynamic smart contract capabilities, addresses the critical issues of scalability, security and efficiency.

Toncoin, the native cryptocurrency, plays a pivotal role within the ecosystem, facilitating transactions, staking rewards, and governance. Validators are crucial to the network's security and efficiency, though becoming one requires substantial technical and financial investment.

TON's roadmap is ambitious, with plans to enhance its platform through various innovations such as stablecoin toolkits, cross-chain bridges, and optimized validator operations. Upcoming features like TON Payments and TON Storage promise to revolutionize micropayments and decentralized file storage, respectively.

With continued development and community support, TON has the potential to drive substantial advancements in blockchain technology.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is The Open Network (TON)?

The Open Network (TON) is a next-generation blockchain platform focused on cross-chain interoperability, scalability, and user-friendly services. Originally developed by Telegram, TON utilizes advanced technologies like sharding, Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus, and dynamic smart contracts to enhance efficiency, security, and flexibility.

What is Toncoin, and what are its uses?

Toncoin is the native cryptocurrency of The Open Network. It is used for transaction fees, staking rewards, governance, and incentivizing development within the TON ecosystem. Validators earn Toncoin for securing the network and validating transactions.

What is TON Storage, and how does it work?

TON Storage is a decentralized solution for storing files of any size, ensuring data integrity and availability. It operates on peer-to-peer principles similar to torrents and uses the TON Distributed Hash Table (DHT). This decentralized approach ensures reliable storage across multiple nodes, reducing the risk of data loss.

What are TON Sites, and how are they different from regular websites?

TON Sites are decentralized websites accessed via the TON network with URLs ending in ".ton". They offer built-in encryption, wallet integration, and a decentralized domain system (TON DNS), making them a secure and user-friendly alternative to traditional websites.

How can I buy and store Toncoin?

You can buy Toncoin on exchanges like Bybit, OKX, and KuCoin. It can also be bought on decentralized exchanges such as PancakeSwap and Uniswap. For storage, non-custodial options include Trust Wallet, Ledger, Tonkeeper, Coin Wallet, and MyTonWallet.

WhatsApp Image 2024-06-05 at 16.56.36.jpeg

I have over 15 years of experience in writing for various organizations. I have a diverse portfolio of writing, vetting, and editing articles, blogs, website content, scripts, and slogans across a variety of industries. I write fiction in my spare time, and I'm looking forward to getting published with my first set of short stories.

Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.

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