Telegram’s long-awaited TON blockchain begins public testing today, September 1st. Instructions for setting up a TON node will be sent out as well, a major milestone for one of the largest ICOs in cryptocurrency history.

In 2018, the messaging app Telegram made headlines for raising some $1.7B from private investors during its ICO, cited as being the second-largest ICO in cryptocurrency history. However, since then the project has gone quiet – perhaps on purpose. It’s not known where the $1.7B has gone, or how it will be used. Yet, it seems like Telegram will soon have something to show with the TON network possibly beginning public tests starting on Sunday.

This launch date is according to an anonymous investor quoted by Russian news outlet Vedomosti. However, one has to wonder why an ICO that raised $1.7B does not have a clear timeline for its plans. Instead, this ‘big announcement’ was leaked by an investor, not by the team itself.

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According to the source, TON’s consensus mechanism and sharding scheme will be available for testing as well. The code for setting up a node will also be released, and interested parties can start setting up their node for public testing then.

All of this in preparation for the TON’s native token to finally be released. Known as GRAM, it is expected to be distributed over the next two months. The 200M+ Telegram users will also be given their own GRAM wallets, a move that will surely boost adoption on one of the world’s most popular messaging platforms.

Overall, TON seems promising. TON Labs, the company behind the project, is even working on a Solidity compiled tool so that decentralized apps on Ethereum can easily be ported over. In May, Telegram released TON’s testnet, so it has been testing for some time. However, whether or not this development needed $1.7B in funding is a different question entirely—one which ultimately forces us to question the long-term viability of TON and whether or not it was merely just a cash-grab. We’re a little unsure of it ourselves.

Do you believe the TON network will be a success or was it merely a flagrant cash-grab? Let us know your thoughts below in the comments. 

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