Deep dive: Telegram Open Network and Gram token analysis

In Guides

When the Telegram Open Network (TON) launches later this year, it will expose Telegram's vast global userbase to instant transactions on a highly scalable blockchain network. Telegram's 200 million+ users will be able to use the network for fast payments, convenient storage, VPN and a range of other services. 

At the heart of the Telegram ecosystem is the Gram token, until now available only to accredited investors through two highly successful private sale rounds completed in 2018. Given the vast reach of Telegram and the potential use cases of the Gram token, this new cryptocurrency is already highly sought after. 

The first public offering of Gram tokens will be held on Liquid on July 10.  In this article, we provide deep dive into the structure of TON, the use cases of Gram and the potential impact on the blockchain sector.

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Key Information

  • Ticker: $Gram
  • Token price in Gram Token Sale on Liquid: 4 USD, 3.50 USD with full rebate (read more about pricing).
  • Funding currencies in Gram Token Sale on Liquid: USDC, USD, Quick Exchange currencies
  • Initial supply: 5 billion Gram tokens
  • Initial circulating supply: 640 million (rising to 3 billion 18 months after mainnet launch) 
  • Consensus mechanism: Proof-of-Stake


  • Built-in sharding support for ultimate scalability.
  • Network integrity will be maintained by the secure and cost efficient byzantine fault tolerant mechanism Proof-of-Stake.
  • Telegram has a large, highly targetable existing user base that could spark adoption.
  • Instant Hypercube Routing ensures transactions are processed quickly regardless of size.
  • The TON wallet has the potential to become one of the world’s most adopted cryptocurrency wallets.
  • Entirely decentralized.
  • Focussed on data privacy and security.

Telegram Open Network and Gram token overview

Gram is the native utility token of Telegram’s upcoming Telegram Open Network (TON). Gram will serve as the principal cryptocurrency for the in-app economy on Telegram and will also be available for external use.

Telegram will leverage its large existing user base (more than 200 million monthly users) to jumpstart Gram, making it potentially the world’s most adopted cryptocurrency.

The TON blockchain is designed to be:

  • fast;
  • secure;
  • scalable; and
  • capable of handling millions of transactions per second.

TON is anticipated to be a highly scalable competitor to Ethereum’s smart contracts and decentralized applications.

The inability of existing blockchain platforms to push for mainstream cryptocurrency adoption fueled the creation of TON. 

Exceptional scalability will be achieved with an infinite sharding paradigm, allowing TON blockchains to split and merge to sufficiently control the amount of load on the network.

Transactions will remain fast and cheap even in times of high network load and the network will be capable of supporting millions of transactions per second.

Privacy and data security

Privacy and security define Telegram. The messaging app was founded by libertarians in 2013 to support freedom through encrypted messaging.

Since the beginning, Telegram has been a self-funded, non-profit organization with a strong belief in decentralization. Your private data is sacred, it’s never used for targeted ads, never disclosed to third parties.

The only data stored is what’s absolutely required for Telegram to function. All Telegram users can control their data and messaging privacy with end-to-end encryption.

Telegram’s focus on security and privacy distinguishes the messaging application from its competitors. For example, Telegram utilizes a three-layer encryption system while Whatsapp, a messaging application touted as private and secure, only uses a two-layer encryption system.

Telegram servers process information end-to-end encrypted, meaning there is no way of discerning the information unless you are the sending or receiving party.

Telegram is already a decentralized entity, controlled by a distributed server infrastructure across multiple countries.

Despite pushback from multiple governments, Telegram has refused to compromise on the privacy of their messaging service.

Naturally, launching a decentralized blockchain network is the perfect progression, creating an entire ecosystem that is self-sustaining and completely private and secure.

Network progression

By 2021 the initial TON vision and architecture will have been implemented and deployed. TON will then drop Telegram from its name and become The Open Network. From then on, the continuous evolution of the TON Blockchain will be maintained by the TON Foundation, a non-profit organization.

Gram token utility

The Gram token has a number of core uses within the Telegram ecosystem, including:

  • Commission ("gas") paid to TON nodes ("validators") for processing transactions and smart contracts.
  • Stakes deposited by validators to be eligible to validate transactions and generate new blocks and coins.
  • Capital lent out to validators in exchange for a share of their reward.
  • Voting power required to support or oppose changes in the parameters of the protocol.
  • Payment for services provided by apps built on the platform (TON Services) Payment for storing data securely in a decentralized way (TON Storage).
  • Payment for registering blockchain-based domain names (TON DNS) and hosting TON-sites (TON WWW).
  • Payment for hiding identity and IP addresses (TON Proxy).
  • Payment for bypassing censorship imposed by local ISPs (TON Proxy).
  • Gram will also be available for use outside of TON like any other cryptocurrency currently in the market.

TON platform protocols

TON will have a number of services powering the ecosystem, as outlined below. These can all be integrated with any third-party social networking or messaging applications providing a way to connect decentralized and centralized entities.

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TON Storage

A distributed file-storage technology that will enable distributed storage services similar to Dropbox, but also promote the creation of more complex systems that store huge amounts of data in a decentralized manner - such as Telegram.

TON Proxy

A network proxy/anonymizer layer used to hide the identity and IP addresses of TON nodes. TON Proxy can make any service, including Telegram, effectively immune to censorship.

TON Services

A platform for third-party services with straightforward UI for the often complicated decentralized apps and smart contracts.


A service that reduces the friction of interacting within a crypto ecosystem by assigning human-readable names to accounts, smart contracts, services, and network nodes.

TON Payments

A platform for micropayments, allowing instant off-chain value transfers that are as secure as on-chain transactions.

Path of adoption

"Telegram-TON integration will provide a clear path to cryptocurrencies for millions of people. Telegram Messenger will not only serve as an example of the possibilities offered by integrating with TON, but will also add unique features to the TON platform, leveraging Telegram’s massive user base and developed ecosystem." - Telegram Primer

The Telegram Light Wallet will be built into Telegram applications. There are no hoops to jump through – if you're a Telegram user, you'll have a Gram wallet. If you like the services offered on Telegram, it will make sense to quickly and easily buy some Gram to take advantage.

Token distribution

200 million Gram tokens (4% of total supply) is reserved for the development team with a four year vesting period.

At least 52% of the total supply is controlled by the TON Reserve to maintain flexibility and reduce speculation during the initial growth stages of the platform. The remaining 2.2 billion tokens are sold to investors to raise capital.

Based on the delivery schedule of locked tokens after TON mainnet launch, TON’s circulating supply will increase in a phased manner during the first 18 months.

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Supply inflation mechanics

Once the TON blockchain is complete, contributors to the network will receive Grams as payment which will cause inflation at an expected rate of 2% per year. At this rate of inflation, over the next 35 years the total supply of Gram will double to 10 billion.

This inflatory system effectively means the community are paying the validators of the network to reward them for keeping it running. While their own holding doesn’t directly decrease, the overall supply increases.


The Telegram team is composed of 15 world class developers, chosen from thousands of candidates over the last ten years. Team members have been required to either win in the world’s top programming contests or to win in one of the nationwide multi-level coding competitions held by the founder of Telegram.

The core members have 10 years of experience in building scalable projects for tens of millions of users. Before building Telegram, they created VK, the largest Europe-based social network with more than 100 million active users, which still owns a dominant market share in its local markets.

Telegram founders

Pavel Durov

Education: First class degree from the Philology Department of the Saint Petersburg State University


  • 2013-present: Co-founder, CEO, Product Manager at Telegram
  • 2006-2013: Co-founder, CEO, Product Manager, Lead Developer at VK.


  • The most promising Northern European leader under 30 (2014)
  • Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (2017)

Dr. Nikolai Durov

tg 1

Education: Phd (Bonn University), Phd (Saint-Petersburg State University)


  • 2013-present: Co-founder, CTO, Architect, Lead C/C++ Engineer at Telegram. Built MTProto and Telegram’s distributed data storage engines
  • 2006-2013: Co-founder, CTO, Architect, Lead C/C++ Engineer at VK. Built data storage and networking software.


    • Absolute World Champion in Programming (2000, 2001) — one of ten people in history to win the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest twice
    • Gold Medals in International Mathematical Olympiads (1996, 1997, 1998)
    • Gold and Silver Medals in International Olympiads in Informatics (1995, 1996, 1997, 1998).

Use of funds

More than 80 percent of collected funds will be spent on equipment, bandwidth, colocation and user verification costs. The rest will be allocated for wages, offices, and legal and consulting services.



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Images from the "Telegram Primer" and "TON Board Telegram Open NetworkGram Price Valuation".


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