In early 2018, sensational ICO from Pavel Durov raised 1.7 billion dollars. The distinctive feature of this mega – project is a skillful PR – no official statements from Pavel Durov and chronicle “leaks” of information on the project.
Of course, Pavel Durov is a unique personality, the creator of Vkontakte (top Russian social network) and much more famous Telegram messenger. Ordinary people admire him and are envious of his success. Investors believe in his entrepreneurial talent and bring Durov their money.
But if we put themselves above and beyond the hype and the personality of Durov and look at the TON and, in particular, Gram cryptocurrency impartially we will see the following picture.
TON – AN ECLECTIC SET OF THE BEST THINGS. BUT NO UNIQUE FEATURES
According to the statements of its creators (still unofficial), TON blockchain platform will be an advanced product in the blockchain and crypto industry.
The platform will combine the following elements:
Multi-blockchain and sharding. The idea is very cool. Conventional blockchain becomes more and more cumbersome and unwieldy after each next transaction – all nodes must store all transactions. In the TON blockchain, all user operational information will be stored in shards so as not to overload the main “maternity” blockchain. The number of subchains in the shards may increase depending on the load of the network. It is due to this that the creators of TON promise to process several million transactions per second. However, they forget to mention that the idea of sharding has already been implemented in other blockchain projects such as Zilliqa, Quarkchain, Pchain, IOStoken. And sharding in combination with multi-blockchain is already being implemented in DapCash.
TON virtual machine (VM TON) that implements smart contracts and so-called “virtual law.” Virtual machine and smart contracts are the invention of Ethereum. More perfect and advanced VM are already implemented in other projects – Cardano, TRON, EOS, NEO, DapCash
Gram cryptocurrency is something like Chinese WeChat. The messenger will be linked to a light wallet with Gram coins. In fact, Gram cannot be called a cryptocurrency as it is much more like Ripple than like Bitcoin. Cryptocurrency is usually associated with anonymity and decentralization. There will be no mining of Gram, coins are already issued and distributed among investors. 50% of the coins remained in TON Reserve – a non-profit organization that will regulate the rate of Gram in relation to the dollar, something like Federal Reserve System. This concentration of coins gives plenty of room for manipulation of Gram rate. In addition, a kind of PoS will be used as a consensus in the TON network and this inevitably leads to centralization, especially with an almost constant set of validators. Gram can be exchanged for fiat and back through banking services using Telegram Passport. In fact, Gram is not a cryptocurrency but a payment system.
TON Messages transport protocol is a mechanism for interchanging messages between nodes. The network of nodes will be built on the principle of I2P. The question is how the data exchange between nodes will be encrypted. Apparently, TON will apply the same encryption algorithms as most of the other cryptocurrencies. However, despite the sophisticated architecture of the network, it will be vulnerable to quantum computing which will appear in the coming years. Currently, much more advanced blockchain projects are being developed and they take into account technological shifts in cybersecurity. These are such projects as DapCash which will implement a variety of quantum-proof encryption algorithms. Quantum Resistant Ledger is also developing quantum resistant blockchain but this project proposes only one type of post-quantum digital signature in which HMSS hash tree based on the SHA-256 algorithm is applied. It is worth noting that in the SHA-256 algorithm, collisions which dramatically reduce the time required for a classical computer to iterate all variants of keys and the number of qubits required for a quantum computer to break this type of signature have already been found.
As we can see, the strong point of TON is the business reputation of its creator Pavel Durov and the investors’ money raised through the closed ICO. If you delve into the technical essence of the project and the set of services offered it is obvious the project doesn’t have its own zest. This is a set of good ideas that have already been implemented or are being implemented in other projects. Gram called “cryptocurrency” is just a marketing hook.
Especially noteworthy is the fact of pseudo-mystery surrounding the project. There aren’t any specific details about what and how is already working in the project. Deadlines are chronically broken. The latest information which “leaked” to the press is the information about TON network test which whether has already begun or should begin in late January. An ordinary, not so “star” startup would not be forgiven for the same. But at some point, even the belief in the genius of Durov may be shaken if the project won’t unveil what is already done in fact.