Instant messaging platform Telegram has announced their new blockchain-based Telegram Open Network (TON) will launch by Oct. 31.
Telegram’s new platform “will run and manage its own validation pool,” according to TON Labs CTO Mitja Goroshevsky.
“Original investors received emails from the Telegram core team,” stated a post made by the Telegram channel dedicated to the project.
Investors into the TON program will need to provide the company with their public keys by Oct. 16 to receive the token, or “grams,” they purchased.
Telegram has decided to recuse itself from governance over the network in an effort to bolster decentralization.
“Investors have to select validators. Neither Telegram nor the TON Foundation will serve as validators post-launch.”
The open source code was released in early September to allow anyone to test run full nodes, validator nodes and a block explorer.
Telegram raised $1.7 billion for the TON blockchain but has provided very little detail regarding its progress.
Until today, Telegram CEO, Pavel Durov, has never confirmed the project’s existence.
In February 2018, the company registered TON’s SAFT agreement (simple agreement for future tokens) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Telegram’s client-side code is open-source software but the source code for recent versions is not always immediately published, whereas its server-side code is closed-source and proprietary.
The service also provides APIs to independent developers. In March 2018, Telegram stated that it had 200 million monthly active users.
The service provides end-to-end encryption for voice calls, and optional end-to-end encrypted “secret” chats between two online users, yet not for groups or channels.
The company, currently based in Dubai, was launched in 2013 by brothers Nikolai and Pavel Durov.
Previously the pair founded the Russian social network VK, which they left when it was taken over by the Mail.ru Group.
Nikolai Durov created the MTProto protocol that is the basis for the messenger, while Pavel provided financial support and infrastructure through his Digital Fortress fund with partner Axel Neff joining as a second co-founder.