The Telegram Open Network (TON), the blockchain developed by popular privacy-centric messaging app Telegram, has reportedly launched a private beta that’s open to Russian developers, and has been showing “extremely high transacting speeds.”
According to local news outlet Vedomosti, Telegram has only given access to the private beta to a few teams of developers, two of which were cited by the publication as anonymous sources. The developers have so far reportedly been able to set up TON blockchain nodes, and test transactions.
The beta testing version was set to be released late last year, but its quiet launch now shows progress is being made. Telegram notably raised $1.7 billion in an initial coin offering (ICO) last year that wasn’t open to the public to develop its project.
The messaging app will reportedly leverage its massive user base to help grow cryptocurrency adoption through the TON, which is set to let developers create decentralized applications (dApps) powered by its Gram token.
According to some sources, Telegram’s Open Network will have to launch by the end of October of this year in order for token purchase agreements to remain valid. This means the company has six months to wrap up its beta testing phase.
Telegram’s record-setting ICO was notably seen as a threat to national security by Iran, and the app itself has been banned in Russia in response to a refusal to cooperate with a request that would see it assist in decrypting users’ conversations.
Despite the ban, the privacy-centric app has over 200 million users throughout the world, and recently recorded exponential growth during a Facebook outage. While Vedomosti’s report doesn’t go into detail about Telegram’s blockchain itself, the testing phase is set to help accelerate its development.
Analysts expect the TON’s native token, the Gram, to see heavy trading once the platform goes live.