Telegram discontinues support for TON testnet

Telegram will be discontinuing its support for the TON blockchain testnet.

The testnet announced on its website, “We are discontinuing our support of the test network of the TON Blockchain. Our remaining validators will be switched off not later than 1.08.2020. Please save all relevant data and terminate your testing process. If you need to continue testing after this date, you can install your own testnet validators as explained here, here, and here.”

Although the Telegram team will be discontinuing their support by taking their testnet validators offline on August 1, the TON blockchain testnet will still be available. However, individuals who are interested in experimenting with the TON testnet will have to download their own validators rather than rely on Telegram.

The death of TON

Telegram discontinuing their support for their TON blockchain testnet is the latest development in the rise and fall of the TON blockchain. 

In January 2018, Telegram hosted an initial coin offering (ICO) for their TON blockchain and ‘Gram’ tokens; Telegram was able to raise $1.7 billion in their Gram token sale. In October 2019, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pressed charges against Telegram for “violating the registration provisions of Sections 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act.” In other words, conducting a securities sale in the United States without registering with the regulator.

At first, Telegram attempted to fight the SEC on their ruling and battled to continue the development and launch of the TON blockchain as well as the distribution of Gram tokens. However, after a few disputes in court that delayed the launch of the TON blockchain, the Telegram team began to accept the fact that a successful launch of TON and distribution of Gram was unlikely. 

“I am writing this post to officially announce that Telegram’s active involvement with TON is over,” said Telegram Founder Pavel Durov in a May 12 post on the official Telegram channel.

And just one week later, May 22, 2020, Telegram withdrew their appeal from the court and entered into settlement negotiations with the SEC. On June 25, the final judgment in the SEC vs. Telegram Group court case required Telegram to pay an $18.5 million settlement fee as well as give ‘Gram’ token investors a 70% refund ($1.2 billion total). 

The end of TON?

With the recent discontinuation of support, it looks like the end is near for Telegram’s TON blockchain. At this point, it looks like the only way the TON blockchain will persist is if dedicated software developers download their own testnet validators and actively develop on top of TON. But as of now, no data indicates how many software engineers are building on TON and what they are creating—if they are creating anything at all.

New to blockchain? Check out CoinGeek’s Blockchain for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about blockchain technology.