Alexander Filatov and Mitya Goroshevsky — co-founders of TON Labs
Interviewer — Dustin Plantholt
Source — bitcoin.com
- Dustin Plantholt welcomes Alexander Filatov and Mitya Goroshevsky. And asks Alexander to speak about TON Labs.
Alexander Filatov talks about how TON Labs was created with the mission to drive adoption of decentralized or distributed back end technologies.
The story begins with how 3 years ago, when the Telegram team developed what was previously called the Telegram Open Network Blockchain Project, later renamed as Open Network, but lost to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. In parallel, a completely independent company TON Labs was created, which has nothing to do with Telegram, except for technical collaboration.
Alexander then denotes that blockchain has several adoption issues and they are related to performance. For example, lack of access to the user base, lack of developer tools, etc. TON Labs was created to write what is called the TON operating system. If you think of blockchain as a decentralized microprocessor, then TON OS would come on top of that, essentially catering to the developers and users bringing for users the level of UI\UX, which is comparable or even superior to the current centralized systems. The idea is to create a comprehensive operating system that will make blockchain development and use easier.
This is the mission of TON Labs and this is how it was created.
- Dustin Plantholt asks Mitya Goroshevsky what it was like doing business with other co-founders and how it was decided who has which responsibility?
Mitya Goroshevsky replies that his mission was to create a technical vision for this project and lead the technical part. And the rest of the guys did what they do best. From the very beginning, everything was clearly distributed.
- Dustin Plantholt asks for clarification on goal setting. What are the technical goals and how to make your partners accountable for achieving these goals?
When asked, Mitya Goroshevsky explains that at first they seemed to have laid out a technical plan in front of them and said what they wanted to do on top of Telegram. At that time, they did not think that they would become the main developers of the network and protocol, because they thought that Telegram would do it. But nevertheless, they had to make a second implementation of the node, this is important for network security. However, the main focus has been on building tools like compilers, developer tools, SDKs to be able to build applications on top of this huge network. And after the situation with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which Alexander Filatov spoke about, they turned out to be the first support for the core protocol development of the network.
Alexander Filatov added that they do not need motivation. The four co-founders of TON Labs work 24/7 with short sleep breaks, as they believe they have a big mission here. They believe that for the first time in the history of decentralized technologies, a technology has emerged that can compete with centralized systems and take full advantage of the blockchain protocols. The mission is to gradually introduce decentralized technologies and their adaptation.
- Dustin Plantholt is interested in how they navigate in a world in which there are many regulations that are being created almost every day.
First of all, Free TON is the first blockchain that was launched in a decentralized manner, Alexander Filatov answers. At launch, there were 17 initial validators, now there are 160 of them, and by mid-December there will be more than 400, which in their opinion is the most decentralized network of proof of stake. There are no exchanges behind them and there were no ICO or token sales. Tokens were issued and locked in three givers for validators, for developers and for partners. So there is no legal entity, it is a community driven project, owned by the community. TON Labs, as the core developer, took five percent of the network tokens at launch, which was a good inspiration.
- Dustin Plantholt asks for more information about tokens.
Alexander Filatov says that they look at tokens differently versus how the other networks look at it. Token is the way to reward for free. It’s the way to drive adoption in order to reward developers who develop infrastructure and use cases, to reward independent validators, to reward community builders around the world. 85% of the tokens would be used for partnerships.
- Dustin Plantholt asks Mitya Goroshevsky about what goals he sets for himself.
Mitya Goroshevsky is on the part of the core developer and it is important for him to promote technologies in this way. They are currently the only multi-threaded blockchain developed in the world that has enormous potential in terms of bandwidth, latency, etc. Free TON is a great smart-contract platform and they want to bring it to the point where a developer can use it, like Amazon Web Services (AWS). However, the blockchain space is still far from this. Mitya believes that his goal is to bring the user experience of both developers and users to the level that they expect from the technology stack.
- Dustin Plantholt asks Alexander Filatov to tell us how they build their community.
The role of TON Labs is now very small from the point of view of building a community, according to Alexander Filatov. There are now about 20 vibrant communities. First of all, Alexander believes that the most important thing is that people see on a daily basis that statements about decentralization are not just statements, but facts, because people see many contests being released. The phenomenon of sub-governance has recently been introduced. Sub-governance unites people from all over the world on a specific topic or geographic location.
- Dustin Plantholt asks Mitya Goroshevsky, as a developer, whether there were any difficulties in solving problems.
Problems existed on all fronts, Mitya reports. And not only in the main development, but also in the support of the community, as well as in the support of the governance system. Because the governance takes place in a chain and Mitja does not think that such a thing has ever been implemented in such a format, since there is always a foundation in the middle that assumes decision-making. And in Free TON there is nothing like a fond. It was necessary to create tools on the fly, such as smart contact tools to create and support all governance decisions on the blockchain. In addition, there was a lot of discussion about how to best design everything and how to protect the network from abuses, how to select the jury and how to keep them honest, how to motivate them to stay active. Mitya also clarifies that tokens are exchanged not for money, but for merit. And they tried to build all management around this idea.
- Dustin Plantholt asks to clarify what is meant by “merit” in this case.
Mitya explains that everything is built around community-driven contests. For example, the community wants to create a set of DeFi smart-contracts, wants to run a competition, vote for this competition, and say that the winner of this competition will receive a certain number of tokens. The winners and the community are selected by a jury who will vote for the winner based on the merit of the submission, and then one of the developers from the community writes this contract, then the jury votes for them, and the winner receives a token. Thus, based on their merit, they are able to write these contracts on the Free TON network.
- Dustin Plantholt speaks to Alexander Filatov, whether he has modeled any other projects or started with a blank slate without allowing indoctrination to take effect.
Alexander explains that they only have two models. There are contests for what matters to bring creativity and talent from around the world. There are contests on any topic. The forum contains a large amount of worldwide creativity, both technical and non-technical in nature.
And the second model is proposals for cooperation. In which partners talk about what their platform is doing and in what areas it can be useful for Free TON. After that, a topic is created on the forum, the community criticizes and the partner can make changes according to the criticism. And then they will eventually receive some amount of tokens to integrate.
- Dustin Plantholt invites Mitya Goroshevsky to contact the developers, explaining where they should start.
Mitya Goroshevsky said that TON is one of the most powerful and interesting platforms. It is an asynchronous multi-threaded multi-chain processor developed by Dr. Nikolai Durov. They also created tools on top of TON, which you can use to create a smart contract in the Solidity language, there is also support for C++ and C. Since this is a very interesting and different processor, you will have to learn a little, but for a good developer it will not be difficult, notes Mitya. They also have a great community, documentation and tools that can help with this.
Or you can participate in contests.
- Dustin Plantholt asks Alexander Filatov how to find out more about TON.
Alexander Filatov says that a lot of information is now available. There is a sub-governance of the Wiki Knowledge Base translated into 17 languages. It contains technical information, information about the ecosystem, information about where tokens can be used. There is also a community forum and channels on various social networks. Videos and weekly news are released. The Free TON Academy is also being created to study decentralized technologies. They take the educational knowledge base very seriously, Alexander sums up.
Dustin Plantholt thanks Alexander and Mitya for sharing their stories on the bitcoin.com podcast.