Four years on, Telegram’s blockchain project gains ground in Africa


It was in 2018 that the privacy-focused messaging platform Telegram announced that it was in the process of building a blockchain-based decentralized computing network technology called The Open Network (TON).

However, after a lengthy court battle lasting until May 2020 with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission over its $1.7 billion initial coin offering (ICO), Telegram had to sever its ties with the project. , leading many to believe that TON was made for .

That said, far from everyone’s expectations, the TON project appears to have found a new lease on life and is thriving. To kick things off, the TON Foundation recently revealed that it was choosing TONcoin as its official ecosystem fund, securing an initial collective commitment of approximately $250 million from top companies in the industry, including Huobi Incubator, KuCoin Ventures, MEXC Pioneer Fund, 3Commas Capital , blockchain startup Orbs and TON miners.

As part of the development, reports suggest that TONcoin will work closely with the TON Foundation to deploy the aforementioned sum of money to explore a wide range of opportunities within the non-fungible token (NFT), Web3, and decentralized finance spaces ( DeFi), as well as for the incubation and development of various novel programs, grants, hackathons, and more. On the subject, TONcoin Fund Managing Partner Benjamin Rameau said:

“TON can become the first blockchain network accessible to millions of users thanks to Telegram integration efforts by the community through in-app bots. […] TON will not just be the blockchain that people use on Telegram, but will define people’s online identity and act as a bridge between all of their Web3 and Web2 activities.”

Developments around TON

Even after canceling his participation in TON a couple of years ago, Telegram founder Pavel Durov publicly expressed his support for the project, especially during the fourth quarter of 2021, when Telegram revealed that it was integrating TON’s payment solution into your existing user interface.

It is also worth mentioning that the TONcoin fundraiser comes on the same day that several African nations, namely Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and the Republic of the Congo, revealed their plans to adopt proof of currency. TON share. (PoS) blockchain to power your future economic progress. Up to this point, reports suggest that the Democratic Republic of the Congo is even considering launching a multipurpose national stablecoin using the TON blockchain.

To get a better sense of the situation, Cointelegraph reached out to the TON Foundation, with a representative from the organization noting that the company is currently in “advanced-level discussions” with several governments in Africa, in addition to the three countries mentioned above. He added:

“The goal of these collaborations is to facilitate their adoption of cryptocurrency and blockchain-based solutions on the TON blockchain. This is a core component of their plans to drive future economic progress.”
Pavel Durov, founder of Telegram and one of the authors of TON. Source: TechCrunch

The representative further stated that the DRC’s digital economy minister, Désiré Cashmir Eberande Kolongele, seeks to begin the launch of a national stablecoin on the TON blockchain, democratizing access to the nation’s financial system where they still remain. million citizens. low and unbanked. In this regard, Kolongele was quoted as saying:

“The ability to integrate apps with the Telegram platform and reach mobile users makes TON the obvious choice as we boldly move forward in the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain.”

TON’s long-term intention with these moves is to potentially integrate with Telegram, allowing users in Africa to facilitate payments at the touch of a button, while also giving people living in these regions access to the burgeoning DeFi system. .

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In recent months, the TON network has continued to reach new all-time highs and has reached many of the intended milestones that had been set out in its roadmap. For example, a TON spokesperson told Cointelegraph that the total number of wallet addresses on the TON blockchain has more than doubled since the start of the year, recently surpassing the 400,000 mark.

Last month, the project ended its non-fungible token standard known as “Jetton”, resulting in more and more investors, both retail and institutional, gravitating towards the project. At this point, Bit.com, a cryptocurrency exchange run by fintech firm Matrixport that has $10 billion in assets under management, announced a strategic partnership with TON to develop, upgrade, and expand the project’s existing infrastructure.

the future looks bright

In recent years, a growing list of prominent cryptocurrency projects has continued to make headway in Africa. For example, Cardano has been quite active within the region for the past few years, with company founder Charles Hoskinson stating in a recent interview that he sees over 100 million users from the continent entering the DeFi sector in the next few years. three years.

Similarly, projects like Ethereum, Stellar and Celo are also vying to shape Africa’s rapidly evolving Web3 economy. For example, the Ethereum Foundation recently committed significant financial resources to an insurance program related to 6 million farmers in Kenya.

Stellar Development Foundation has announced multiple initiatives, including a partnership with African unicorn Flutterwave to launch new remittance corridors between Europe and Africa, an investment in a Nigerian remittance platform, as well as a $30 million matching fund, which has invested on Afriex, a remittance app. which allows users to send/receive funds from Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Canada and the United States.

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In this context, TON’s continued forging of long-term strategic partnerships with prominent African nations will transform into a widely used blockchain project. In fact, Minette Libom Li Likeng, Minister of Posts and Telecommunications in Cameroon, one of the most well-endowed commodity economies in sub-Saharan Africa, believes that TON can radically revolutionize her country’s payments landscape while promoting financial inclusion. to levels they have not yet reached. be witnessed in the region before.

Similarly, the Congolese Minister of Post, Telecommunications and Digital Economy, Léon Juste Ibombo, believes that TON can serve as a “practical and invaluable instrument for growth and wealth creation” within his country, both in government and on the grass. – root level. Going forward, it will be interesting to see how TON’s use cases continue to evolve and whether or not the project can position itself as a market leader within the global blockchain ecosystem.