Blockings and restrictions: what TON users should expect
The launch of the Telegram Open Network (TON) is expected on October 31, when each user of the messenger will be able to pay with the Gram cryptocurrency. But the first edition of the rules for using a cryptocurrency wallet warns that users will have far less freedom than bitcoin owners.
The announcement of the launch of the
cryptocurrency from Telegram has become one of the key events in the crypto industry in 2018. After the company successfully raised $1.7 billion from private investors, the release of the main blockchain was scheduled for March 2019. The launch, however, had to be postponed and only in April the developers managed to “roll out” the test-net for general viewing.
Whether Pavel Durov’s team will be able to show the world TON in October is still a mystery and if otherwise, investors may demand their money back.
What is TON
Although TON is often compared to the Facebook Libra cryptocurrency project, they were created for different purposes and audiences. While Libra promises third-country residents access to banking services, TON volunteered to solve one of the main issues of Bitcoin and
Ethereum - scalability and transactions speed.
According to the project’s white paper, its blockchain allows you to process transactions at the speed of Visa and Mastercard. Such bandwidth is achieved through the use of the Proof-of-Stake consensus, and scalability issues are addressed through the use of sharding technology.
It is expected that 200 million users will use the Gram coin within the framework of the messenger ecosystem. Indeed, in the near future, users will have the opportunity to buy and
exchange cryptocurrencies through Telegram bots, which already make fiat payments through their gateways.
Gram will also be used as a payment tool for monetising Telegram channels. In order to achieve that, the developers plan to create an advertising exchange on which the advertiser and the platform will be able to agree on the price of their services on transparent conditions and get all the statistics about viewing ads.
Also, according to the developers plans, Gram will be used to purchase paid content and other goods. And Telegram itself will become a marketplace for the most popular decentralized applications, such as Google Play and the App Store.
With the TON ecosystem and the Gram functionality, everything seems to be clear. There is however, one legal issue - the
token will obviously not be the crypt-anarchistic one. After all, instead of liberties, users expect a number of restrictions.
First of all, according to the published rules for using the Grams Wallet, access to the cryptocurrency can only be obtained by adults who do not live in sanctioned countries. It means that most likely users will have to go through the KYC procedure, so the residents of Iran and Venezuela will not be able to take full advantage of the TON ecosystem.
Telegram also reserves the right to block an account or restrict access to it without explanation. Therefore, Gram is not even close to what Bitcoin is. Indeed, in the case of BTC, coins belong directly to their owner, and Gram is managed mostly by the ecosystem itself rather than by the owner.
By the way, Telegram also disclaims all liability for user losses over $10.
“It would have been very strange if rich people had invested in an anarchy-crypto project. Grams Wallet hints that Pavel Durov wants to control information flows, and that’s the desire for total management of user data. As for the control over the Gram, only time will tell. However, since TON works on Proof-of-Stake, those who have more coins will control transactions,” believes Ilya Boyev, managing partner of Cryptotrust.
Limitations are OK
Telegram FZ-LLC is registered in the UK and in order not to become a target for regulators like Libra, the company decided to strictly adhere to all state regulation rules and comply with the law.
According to the blockchain developer and founder of OnGrid, Kirill Varlamov, the user agreement does not mean any such measures and restrictions. The client is only obliged to accept the terms, agreeing that he is over 18 years old and does not plan to use the application for illegal purposes.
“If the user agrees to these conditions, but has not reached the specified age, or uses the system for activities outside the legal field, then it turns out that that’s his personal responsibility. On these issues, Telegram will not be a defendant in disputes. You will find similar conditions for Acceptable use in almost any Terms of Service, for example, in Linux distributions or ToR clients,” the specialist explains.
According to Kirill Varlamov, the product has two architectural parts: centralised, where Telegram as a provider is responsible for granting or rejecting access for users, and decentralised, which is not subject to the will of administrators. In the centralised part, Telegram, as before, remains the owner and reasonably reserves the right to refuse certain users access to the platform, believes the specialist.
“Telegram, like other software developers and providers, follows an absolutely reasonable practice of disclaimer. While Telegram FZ-LLC is a regular Legal entity organisation, while software is delivered to your devices through intermediaries like Google and Apple with a whole compliance department, I would not expect absolute cyberpunk from Telegram. In my opinion, they are ahead of their time, having cut a window into a decentralised world from a centralised one,” says Kirill Varlamov.
If Telegram really succeeds in launching its cryptocurrency, it will be the very step towards mass adoption of cryptocurrencies. Although it is not an anarchist bitcoin with its own rules and restrictions, it does not make Gram ineffective. After all, the requirements of the FATF and other regulators are still valid. And if so, it is easier to comply with the rule of law, rather than to sacrifice your reputation.