On 19 April 2024, the TON Foundation announced a significant development in digital finance with the launch of Tether (USDT) on The Open Network (TON), which is integrated with the globally popular Telegram messaging service. This initiative introduces nearly 900 million monthly active users of Telegram to an innovative Web3 experience centered around global peer-to-peer payments.

Paolo Ardoino, the CEO of Tether, underscored the synergy between TON and Tether’s missions as he spoke about supporting TON’s vision for an open, decentralized internet and a borderless financial system. He highlighted that the launch of USDT on TON would facilitate seamless value transfers globally, offering a simple user experience that rivals traditional financial systems and drives the mission of powering open financial infrastructure across the blockchain space.

The TON Foundation’s blog post elucidated how this collaboration could democratize access to financial services, emphasizing that USDT on TON eliminates intermediaries, borders, and limits. This setup aligns with the foundation’s goal to make crypto a commonplace element of everyday life, making the digital space welcoming for billions of users through valuable applications that enhance daily activities.

However, it’s important to note the service availability exclusions. The blog post explicitly mentions that USDT on TON will not be accessible to users residing in the mainland US, US territories, or US citizens and other individuals in countries listed under Tether’s Terms of Service’s Prohibited Countries.

Explaining the utility of USDT, the post points out that USDT is the most recognized and extensively utilized stablecoin in the market, boasting over $85 billion in daily volume and a total market cap of $106 billion. Tether’s announcement says the stablecoin is pegged 1-to-1 with the USD and is backed entirely by Tether’s reserves, providing it a stable value which is crucial for daily transactions, trading, remittances, and safeguarding holdings against the volatility of other digital currencies.

The integration of USDT on TON is set to revolutionize several aspects of digital transactions:

  • Seamless Integration: USDt will be integrated directly into Telegram, streamlining the user experience for decentralized finance (DeFi) and making it more accessible and comprehensible for Telegram users.
  • Reduced Costs: The integration boasts transaction costs significantly lower than other platforms, with the core TON development team having optimized Tether’s smart contract to reduce transaction fees by 66% compared to other jettons.
  • Enhanced Speed and Scalability: TON’s infrastructure supports high throughput and rapid confirmation times, which means USDT transactions can be processed faster than ever before.

Furthermore, the TON-based Wallet in Telegram will enable instant, fee-free transfers of USDt to Telegram contacts worldwide. This feature is complemented by exchanges and built-in on-ramps that include bank transfers, cards, and peer-to-peer systems, enhancing the accessibility and utility of USDt.

To incentivize early adoption, the TON Foundation has allocated 11 million Toncoin for various user incentives:

  • 5 million Toncoin for Wallet-in-Telegram’s USDt Earn, which rewards users who buy or deposit USDt.
  • 5 million Toncoin to boost liquidity pools on TON’s largest decentralized exchanges, encouraging users to supply both Toncoin and USDt to earn yields.
  • 1.2 million Toncoin to cover free withdrawals from major centralized exchanges when users purchase USDt or any TON-based asset and withdraw it to TON.

TON Foundation says this comprehensive approach not only fosters a robust ecosystem for USDT within the TON framework but also significantly enhances the transaction experience for TON community members and Telegram users alike.

Tether Chief Executive Officer Paolo Ardoino told Bloomberg News during an interview at the Token2049 crypto conference in Dubai:

We can create the first real power app that can both serve as a communication system, but also as a bank account.