Since the announcement of the metaverse in late 2021, the phrase ‘Web 3.0’ has begun to sweep across the internet. Web 3.0 primarily means the next stage of internet communication, including more accessible databases that comprise smarter search engines, more autonomous processes, faster browsing, and completely open access to all.
Defined in a 2001 paper by Berners-Lee, this new iteration of the internet is founded on two central concepts: decentralization and bottom-up design. At the core, if web 3.0 were to develop, it would be by a range of experts that develop in full view of everyone to create a decentralized network free of a central authority.
While Web 3.0 has mostly been a theory for the past 20 years, recent technological developments have caused the materialization of businesses pushing into Web 3.0 territory. Yet, companies developing in the right direction nearly always focus on singular products, creating innovative features but failing to create a complete network.
That’s where TON comes in, with this recent tech-startup representing a community-run, blockchain-based ecosystem that extends across an impressive range of user-orientated features.
From creating a decentralized storage system and an accessible DNS to providing support for payments and including proxy networks that ensure online privacy, the TON ecosystem is by far the closest development to a platform that resembles Web 3.0.
Introduction to TON
Originally founded by Pavel and Nikolai Durov, most prominently known as the founders of Telegram messenger, TON is a decentralized network that allows users to perform various functions. Early in their development, Ton, also known as The Open Network, facilitated two main problems they aim to solve: overcoming the scalability problem that blockchain networks run into and overcoming barriers that have stopped Web 3.0 from coming to fruition.
Due to an innovative selection of features, TON has delivered on these initial goals, developing into a fully operational ecosystem that allows for millions of instant blockchain transactions, alongside decentralized internet systems that afford power to its users.
After a run-in with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission early in 2019, the founders of Telegram took a step back from this project, allowing it to become fully open-source. Two developers, ‘ EmelyanenkoK’ and ‘Anatoliy Makosov’, took the reins of this project, forming Newton as a central hub for the community of developers now working on TON.
Over time, as TON’s plan was achieved, with infrastructure, individual features, and documentation is carried out, the team behind Newton renamed themselves as TON Foundation.
As of 2021, the TON Foundation is a completely not-for-profit community project; its open-sourced documentation and code allow anyone worldwide to get involved with this decentralized project.
With an incredible amount of progress in a short space of time and an ambitious set of Web 3.0 features currently in the final stages of development, TON’s innovative blockchain-based ecosystem is ushering in a new stage of decentralized internet use.
The Two Sides of TON
As suggested by their two concurrent missions, TON is actively working on developing a blockchain network while also building DNS, Storage, Proxy, and Payment Services that will allow future users to surf the internet and perform a range of functions.
Although seemingly pointing in different directions, these two missions are actually symbiotic, with the development of the blockchain network is becoming the foundations upon which TON’s Web 3.0 functions.
Let’s break down these two halves of TON.
Blockchain Innovation and TON’s Master Chain
The very heart of TON is its unique blockchain platform, this central ecosystem aiming to merge every existing blockchain under one single decentralized network. While those versed in the many transaction issues that Bitcoin and Etherium have faced may raise an eyebrow at this statement, TON’s revolutionary features allow it to contain up to 2^92 accompanying blockchains.
Through four principles, TON Blockchain is able to process millions of transactions per second, making this the most innovative blockchain ecosystem to date. It works by overcoming the scalability issues that face other blockchains, with self-healing mechanisms, a logarithmic relation between transfer time and the number of blockchains, and sharding, allowing this platform to infinitely manage increased loads.
Instead of queueing transactions, TON can split and merge blocks, alongside building new valid blocks on those that have become invalidated to allow millions of chains to function without slowing the processing speed simultaneously.
Relying on a proof-of-stake consensus, where validator nodes deposit stakes, this consensus allows TON to focus computing power on handling both transactions and smart contracts. This system allows for both speed and efficiency, allowing the above three principles to streamline the blockchain system further.
This process culminates in a system in which an unlimited number of users can continually, around the clock, access and use all of the functions that TON provides. This decentralized system radically redefines what was once possible with blockchain with infinite scalability.
TON and The Movement Towards Web 3.0
Supported by the blockchain network, TON has used its ecosystem as a playground for advanced innovative features. These features are user-orientated, with their eventual goal of giving rise to “A genuine Web3.0 Internet“.
There are four main elements that TON is focusing on building. Some are further in development than others, but the entire system will aim to provide users with:-
- TON Storage
- TON DNS
- TON Proxy
- TON Payments
Let’s break down these further.
Pushing user-interface simplicity as a core concept that TON storage thrives on, this system allows TON users to store and exchange data with ease. TON Storage relies on smart contracts to continually keep this service available as a more extensive, straightforward version of Dropbox.
It’s accessible through the TON P2P Network, democratizing digital storage as every user has access to a potentially boundless digital storage solution.
To achieve Web 3.0, blockchain must become mainstream and accessible to everyone. TON DNS is a huge step towards this dream, with the ability to assign human-readable names to assets, services, network nodes, accounts making the system highly accessible.
Considering that 96% of Americans don’t understand decentralized network systems, TON has emphasized making their systems as user-friendly as possible. TON recovers an element of familiarity by assigning human-readable names, their service becoming comparable to using the internet to browse.
With everything being assigned a human-readable name, everyone can access the system and quickly gain a level of familiarity.
A central feature of decentralized networks is online privacy and anonymity. The TON Proxy is the solution to this, with the network proxy providing a layer of anonymity to browsing. By accessing these features, users will be able to route through VPN services and blockchain-based TOR alternatives.
Not only does this grant personal anonymity when browsing online, but it also allows decentralized applications that are created on the TON ecosystem to remain free of censorship.
TON also offers a payment system as an all-in-one platform, allowing users to make off-chain and on-chain transfers. These transfers can be between any two desired parties, including services, humans, and bots.
TON Payment has safeguards in place that allow even off-chain transfers to become secure, ensuring the complete safety of its users when within the ecosystem.
As a platform that places innovation and community first, TON has also released TON Services, which allows anyone to use the TON ecosystem to develop decentralized apps.
These services allow users to create smartphone-like interfaces for other community members, further extending the ecosystem’s possibilities as new applications and features are developed daily.
There is an ever-expanding registry of all of TON Services’ decentralized apps.
How Does TON Incorporate Payment Into Its Ecosystem?
Considering the vast applicability of the ecosystem itself and the features, apps, and services it continually produces, it’s no surprise that TON has an integrated cryptocurrency as the base of its systems.
Toncoin works directly in the TON economy, driving progress and acting as a primary payment method. Although there are ways of earning TON, either through commission for processing transactions or through becoming a validator, the coin is primarily a support system for the user-oriented functions of the ecosystem.
For example, with Toncoin, you’ll be able to:-
- Pay for TON proxy
- Pay for data storage on TON Storage
- Vote in community-driven forums in which new parameters around the ecosystem are proposed
- Pay for domains on TON DNS and hosting sites on TON WWW
- Pay for services within any app launched on the TON ecosystem
As you can see, Toncoin is deeply entrenched in the ecosystem, acting as a primary means of payment that then drives up prices and further creates a need for the coin. Most of all, Toncoin means the longevity of the platform, the intrinsic link between currency and services creating an ongoing relationship that emphasizes community participation.
Potentially representing the beginning of Web 3.0, TON’s immense ecosystem has essential every single feature that a user would need when one thinks of what Web 3.0 would entail.
From payment systems and data storage to WWW sites and DNS registries, TON’s symbiotic approach between revolutionary blockchain-driven technology and innovative human-led community features demonstrates the power of modern blockchain.
Far surpassing what any other company has currently achieved in the decentralized ecosystem space, TON is an incredibly exciting company to follow.