Pavel Durov is a Russian entrepreneur and founder of the Telegram messaging service.
Durov and his team are currently developing the Telegram Open Network (TON), a blockchain platform powered by Telegram and fuelled by the Gram cryptocurrency.
Let’s take a closer look at who Pavel Durov is and his contribution to the blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Who is Pavel Durov?
Pavel Durov is a Russian businessman, programmer, and billionaire. He is the founder of the social network VKontakte (VK) and the cross-platform messenger Telegram, as well as other projects.
In 2014, after his acrimonious split with VK, he left Russia saying he had “no plans to go back” and that “the country is incompatible with Internet business at the moment”.
Durov moved to Saint Kitts and Nevis and began work on his new business venture – Telegram. Telegram is an encrypted, cloud-based messaging service that has built an extensive user base on the promise of complete privacy.
More recently, Durov and his team have been looking to expand Telegram with the development of the Telegram Open Network (TON).
TON is currently being tested to find out how fast it can process payments and to study the properties and readiness of the network. Preliminary results have reportedly shown that TON provides “extremely high speed” transactions.
Telegram Open Network (TON)
TON is a platform based on a distributed registry (blockchain) that, according to its creators, is capable of processing transactions faster than Bitcoin or Ethereum – almost at the level of Visa or Mastercard.
TON’s native token is called Gram and will be used to conduct transactions on the platform.
The total amount of investment in the project so far is rumoured to be around $1.7 billion.
The full project is rumoured to be released later this year, but so far, any proposed launch dates have been repeatedly postponed.
The test network was initially planned to be launched in March 2018. In January of this year, Durov told investors that the full-scale launch of TON was scheduled for the beginning of 2019, but that a delay of two to three months was possible due to the “innovative nature of development”.
On May 30, 2019, Telegram instead introduced a simplified version of the platform to appease investors ahead of the full launch.
According to observers, TON will allow users in countries with strong internet censorship to access whatever information resources they want, bypassing state blocking and tracking systems.
The TON test client
Telegram released a test client for TON in May this year. The TON client is a “preliminary version” of the product. Telegram is not releasing the full product or its most recent version of the code until development is complete.
You can use the test client to create simple smart contracts and run them through a special server. It is also possible to audit existing smart contracts and transfer messages to them.
More about TON
TON will provide a lot of services, but the TON payments system and the associated cryptographic network will be the key service for most users.
The platform will also feature the TON DNS (a system that helps convert addresses of a blockchain platform to a readable form) and file storage facilities. All of the services provided by TON will be integrated into Telegram.
The TON architecture allows for unprecedented transaction speeds of millions of transactions per second. This gives the platform an edge over other crypto projects like Bitcoin and Ethereum which simply cannot match these speeds at the moment. When cryptocurrency finally attracts mass adoption, the platform will be ready to handle hundreds of millions of transactions right away.
All data will be encrypted using modern elliptical cryptography schemes. Encryption is also provided by the Fift programming language specially created for TON.
In general, this is one of the most anticipated IT projects of 2019. Those who have invested millions of dollars into the project believe the probability that the blockchain will replace the existing macroeconomic model is very high. Despite the fact that many people initially thought that this was a PR move by Durov to raise the profile of Telegram, this is unlikely to be the case. TON intends to provide an encrypted service and super-fast transaction speeds and will therefore appeal to many in the space.
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