The Symbiosis of TON and Telegram: A Key to Mass Crypto Adoption

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The collaboration between TON and Telegram provides a compelling avenue for user engagement. This assertion gains credence from the simplicity of the approach: Telegram serves as the sole platform necessary for all blockchain activities.
Telegram today isn’t just a gateway to Web3; it’s also a vital distribution channel for The Open Network's benefits. For instance, developers can leverage the messenger’s Mini Apps to build their own dApps. Meanwhile, features like Wallet simplify the buying and exchanging of cryptocurrency right within the messaging app.
Process of buying TON in Wallet. Source:

Process of buying TON in Wallet. Source:

To better understand TON's potential, let's compare it to the core values of other leading blockchains:

  • Bitcoin: Decentralization. Bitcoin pioneered decentralized value exchange with BTC.
  • Ethereum: Programmability. Ethereum introduced smart contracts, enabling developers to build complex applications like trading platforms, lending protocols, and games.
  • Solana, Polkadot, Cosmos, and others: Improved Ethereum. These platforms offer solutions that are faster, more reliable, and more scalable than Ethereum.

TON introduces a distinct advantage — simplified user onboarding thanks to integration with Telegram. This allows TON network users to access a wide range of functions in one place, including cryptocurrency exchanges, games, and trading platforms.

However, new users face several challenges when interacting with dApps both within and outside the TON ecosystem. Consider the example of futures crypto exchanges.

Cross-chain Transfers: Many futures DEXs operate on L2 networks like Arbitrum and Optimism to achieve lower fees and greater scalability. Transferring cryptocurrencies from Ethereum to an L2 blockchain can be complex and daunting for newcomers.

Finding DEXs: The crypto industry has no equivalent to the AppStore or PlayMarket, making it difficult to find suitable dApps. While search engines, influencers, and crypto media help mitigate this issue, the apps they promote are not always reliable.

Purchasing Cryptocurrency: Users often have to register on a centralized exchange or use a currency exchange service, then transfer assets to a decentralized wallet, a process that can be intricate and require rigorous verification.

In summary, there are two main obstacles to the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies:

  1. The lack of a unified platform.
  2. The complexity of user interactions.

The symbiosis of TON and Telegram addresses both issues. The Telegram App Center provides a unified platform similar to AppStore and PlayMarket, and TON serves as a comprehensive blockchain solution catering to all user needs.

Notcoin as a Tool for Attracting Users

In early 2024, the social clicker game Notcoin was launched on Telegram. Users earned points by tapping the screen and inviting friends, with these points later being convertible into NOT tokens.

On platforms like X (formerly Twitter) and Telegram, Notcoin is humorously described as being capable of literally nothing, and its whitepaper merely lists the project's launch date. This raises the question: what's the real benefit?

The community points to several advantages:

  1. Learning about TON and Mini Apps: Notcoin introduces users to new technologies through gaming, which is often an effective way to familiarize oneself with complex systems. 
  2. Driving New User Adoption: By deploying Notcoin on the TON blockchain, the team has likely broadened the user base of The Open Network. As of May 2024, Notcoin has amassed 35 million players.
  3. Interacting with Other Projects: Notcoin occasionally offers special challenges that reward users with increased incentives for interacting with other projects within the TON ecosystem.

Notcoin exemplifies how a single application can significantly expand the reach of an entire ecosystem. The TON Foundation expects that the popularity of such initiatives will continue to increase, and believes that, along with clickers, GameFi projects will also become more popular.

TON Ecosystem

As of May 2024, the TON ecosystem comprises 730 applications across 19 categories, including wallets, bridges, NFT collections, games, staking, DEXs, and others.
The Open Network Ecosystem. Source:

The Open Network Ecosystem. Source:

Wallets: Within the ecosystem, there are two types of wallets: custodial (where a third party holds the private key) and non-custodial (where the user manages their key). The most popular custodial wallet is Wallet, and the preferred non-custodial option is Tonkeeper.

DEXs: The ecosystem hosts 13 decentralized exchanges as of May 2024. The most frequented are and There are also DEX aggregators like TON Diamonds that offer trading pairs from several exchanges.

Games: The ecosystem features 70 games, ranging from social clickers to farming games, casual games, and interactive adventures. Popular titles include MomoAI, Yescoin, and TonPotato.

Final Words

The widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies via The Open Network largely depends on Telegram's user base. As of May 2024, the messaging app boasts 1.5 billion registered users, with 900 million actively using the platform.

For context, the Ethereum network, which is the most widely-used blockchain, has over 250 million unique crypto addresses as per Etherscan data. It's important to note that these addresses might not all represent unique users since one person can own multiple wallets.
Ethereum Unique Addresses. Source:

Ethereum Unique Addresses. Source:

If we consider 250 million as the Web3 audience, Telegram would only need to convert 27% of its user base to TON to double this number.

Other factors that could drive the growth of the TON ecosystem include:

  1. Telegram's IPO: In March 2024, Pavel Durov hinted at a potential initial public offering for Telegram. An IPO could significantly broaden the messenger's reach.
  2. Pavel Durov’s Personal Brand: Internet users who value freedom may become more aware of TON through Durov's mentions. His increased visibility in the media, especially following his appearance at TOKEN 2049 and his first interview in seven years, supports this likelihood.
  3. Fundraising: On May 2, 2024, Pantera Capital, a venture fund managing over $5 billion, announced its investment in The Open Network. This event marked the first investment in TON by a Tier 1 fund.

The future of The Open Network remains uncertain. Optimists believe it will grow due to its integration with Telegram, while skeptics foresee a decline due to stiff competition in DeFi and a lack of compatibility with Ethereum.

Who will be proven correct? Time will tell.

Vlad Vovk
Writes about DeFi and cryptocurrencies from a technological perspective.