As blockchain technology develops, there is more and more news that this or that Internet community has plans to launch its native cryptocurrency. Let’s look at what, in our opinion, are the most large-scale and ambitious projects.
Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency
According to the ambitious plans of the Facebook developers, Libra cryptocurrency was supposed to become the world’s largest project based on blockchain technology. Its creators hoped that 2.7 billion users of Mark Zuckerberg’s social network would be willing to make purchases of goods and services, instant money transfers from their smartphones without resorting to banks. Libra received support and investment from well-known corporations — Uber, Visa, Mastercard.
Unfortunately, the project was criticized and rejected by state regulators. The reason for this was a complaint against Facebook itself:
- lack of work transparency;
- scandals related to the sale of user data;
- presence of security breach episodes.
Representatives of central banks in some countries have concluded that the goals of the Libra project may pose a threat to traditional financial systems. Facebook specialists had to make some significant changes to their project.
For example, to distance itself from the negative context associated with Libra, it was rebranded: Zuckerberg’s cryptocurrency received a new symbolic name, Diem, which means “day” in Latin.
Facebook is currently awaiting approval from European and U.S. authorities and intends to comply with Western sanctions and reporting requirements from regulators.
Gram And TON — Revolutionary Telegram Projects
Back in early 2018, Pavel Durov publicly announced his intention to launch the Gram cryptocurrency, powered by the innovative blockchain platform TON (Telegram Open Network). The TON blockchain was announced by the founder of the social network VKontakte and the Telegram messenger as a scalable and high-speed project, which, thanks to its flexible structure, provides a speed of several million transactions per second. Gram, a cryptocurrency integrated into the Telegram ecosystem with an audience of 200 million, was expected to gain instant popularity and become a leader in the cryptocurrency market.
The plans were prevented from coming true by an injunction against the issuance and distribution of the Gram cryptocurrency at the suit of the US Exchange and Securities Commission (SEC). The SEC found Gram as a security, the issue of which is carried out according to certain regulations, which Telegram violated. After months of a long and unsuccessful struggle with the U.S. judicial system, Pavel Durov announced on Telegram that his team had stopped working on the TON blockchain platform and the Gram cryptocurrency.
TON Without Durov And Investments: Double Success
In May 2020, an alternative version of the main Telegram Open Network, Free TON, was launched. The Free TON platform is a blockchain system built on the TON protocol, with the native TON Crystal token. The platform was launched by a developer and crypto enthusiasts community led by TON Labs. TON Labs has been working with the Telegram team since 2018 on the TON OS development, so the Free TON project has adopted all the technical advantages of the TON blockchain while also receiving significant innovations.
The first steps of the project did not inspire confidence in its viability. In the cryptocurrency community, there was an opinion that blockchain without a Telegram audience was of little interest. But thanks to a strong technological base, the project has continued to develop.
At the time of the launch of the Free TON blockchain, 5 billion TON Crystal tokens were issued. The coins were distributed:
- 10% went to developers;
- 5% — by validators;
- 85% were distributed as a reward for contributions to the development of the Free TON blockchain.
This way of TON Crystal distribution served the autonomous development of the Free TON project with no third-party investments.
The technical architecture of Free TON makes it one of the fastest and most productive blockchains in the world. The decentralized governance system and the meritocratic way of distributing TON Crystal among the community members have borne fruit.
In May 2020, in parallel with Free TON, another project based on the open-source code of the Telegram team — the NewTON Blockchain network with the TON Coin native currency — was launched. In fact, the project continued the work of the TON test network, launched by Telegram. The project is supported by a team of seven talented developers — winners of the TON Blockchain Contests.
The authors of New TON went beyond supporting the test network and began work on developing wallets for the native token of their blockchain, tools for validators. But the NewTON Blockchain network did not receive rapid development. A number of coins were issued, of which 98% remained in the hands of one group of developers. This distribution of TON Coin casts some doubt on the core principle of blockchain technology — decentralization. Currently, the project has been ambitiously renamed The Open Network.
The almost parallel start was mentioned by us for a reason — Free TON is clearly superior to the “competitor”:
- a high-speed node written in Rust has been developed;
- a unique and effective partnership program has been implemented;
- a large and vibrant community has been formed around Free TON.