The $2 billion market capitalization coin TON jumped 6.77% to $1.42 early on Wednesday before giving back these gains to now trade at $1.36. The 30th largest cryptocurrency by market cap is still in the green by 2% against USD as well as 1.5% and 1.3% against BTC and ETH, respectively.
The traces of green came as the market activity for the crypto asset saw traction, with TON's trading volume increasing by 134.3% from a day ago to $15.18 million on Wednesday.
Unlike the broad crypto market, TON didn't have a positive start to 2023; rather, the token surged in the second half of 2022 from about $0.80 in late July to $2.70 in Dec. TON started this year at around $2.10 and went on to hit $2.55 in late Jan. 2023. But ever since April, it has been on a downtrend and is currently down 34.7% year-to-date (YTD).
TON's price is still up 2.3% in the past week and has rallied more than 45% over the past year. The cryptocurrency is also in the green by 165.82% since hitting its all-time low at just under $0.52 in Sept. 2021 while being down over 74% from its $5.29 peak in Nov. 2021.
Amidst this price action, Toncoin released a wallet extension specifically designed for decentralized finance (DeFi), aiming to enhance user experiences and accessibility as the DeFi space continues to evolve rapidly. This newly released wallet extension brings added convenience and functionality as users can now gain seamless access to a wide range of DeFi protocols.
The TON blockchain project was originally created by brothers Nikolai and Pavel Durov and developed by the Telegram team. TON was formerly known as Gram which later faced legal challenges in the US, with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) considering it a security. Telegram abandoned the project in 2020, which was then taken over by The TON Foundation, which is now responsible for the development process.
Telegram CEO Owns Toncoin
The price of TON rose this week after Telegram chief executive and founder Pavel Durov confirmed that he owns Toncoin, the cryptocurrency adopted by the popular messaging app.
Durov made the announcement on his personal Telegram channel, where he also shared that he is reinvesting in the company. Durove has bought a quarter of the $270 million of newly issued Telegram bonds, demonstrating his commitment to growth. Durov's latest investment in Telegram has been in addition to the significant amount he has already spent over the last decade to keep the app operational.
“Some people suggested I should have instead bought a house or a jet. But I prefer to stay focused on my work without ‘owning' anything (well, apart from Telegram, some Bitcoin, and some Toncoin),” said Durov. He has previously said he owns BTC, having spent $1.5 million on 2,000 Bitcoin a decade ago.
In his Telegram announcement, Durov further revealed significant milestones, stating that over 2.5 million new users register for the messaging app daily, contributing to the platform's impressive growth. The app actually surpassed 800 million monthly active users earlier this year.
Durov also touched upon higher expenses on storage and traffic required to serve such a vast user base. He further reassured users of Telegram's successful start with monetization efforts in the previous year, although they are not yet profitable. Durov, however, did emphasize that it is closer to profitability in absolute numbers compared to its competitors like Twitter and Snap.
It is to fund the app's continued growth that the company issued $270 mln worth of Telegram bonds this week, building upon its existing bonds until it reaches the break-even point.
Apart from this, last week, Telegram also introduced Wallet Pay to enable merchants to accept crypto payments directly via the app. The Wallet currently offers support for three major cryptocurrencies: BTC, USDT, and TON. These digital assets are seamlessly integrated into the service, ensuring a user-friendly experience for Telegram's vast user base. So far, though, only 2 million members have registered as users of the messaging app's Wallet services.
Telegram's Wallet Pay operates as a custodial wallet, simplifying the transaction process and providing users with enhanced security and convenience.
The Open Network
Toncoin is the native cryptocurrency of The Open Network, which is defined by the team as the future of currency. It is used for transactions, network operations, collections, games, and other applications built on TON.
The Open Network is an open and decentralized internet platform made up of TON Blockchain, TON Sites, TON DNS, and TON Storage.
TON Blockchain is the core that connects them all to create the greater TON Ecosystem. The decentralized layer-1 blockchain was developed in 2018 by Telegram. When taken over by the TON Foundation, an independent community of enthusiasts, it was renamed from “Telegram Open Network” to “The Open Network.”
The project is designed to be highly scalable and can process millions of transactions per second (TPS), with the goal of eventually reaching hundreds of millions of users. It is focused on achieving widespread cross-chain interoperability and contributing to the development of the decentralized vision for the new internet.
TON features a multi-level structure built on the principle of sharding, which involves multiple subnets (shards) on the same blockchain. Each shard here has a specific purpose.
As for conesus, the blockchain utilizes the proof-of-stake (PoS) model for network scalability and reliability. Moreover, the platform provides customers fast, transparent, and secure payment services, facilitating transactions with minimal fees and third-party applications.
Under this model, the network's security and stability are maintained by a set of network validators. And in exchange for processing transactions and contributing to network security, validators receive Toncoin as a reward. When it comes to rewards, users send a small surplus amount of Toncoin to their transaction, which along with new coins generated during the validation process, goes to validators for their contribution and is distributed proportionally to their stake.
Toncoin is at the center of it all and fuels the entire ecosystem. There are a maximum of 5 billion Toncoin, out of which 1.22 billion are currently circulating in the market.
Besides being used as a processing fee for transactions and smart contracts, to make payments for DNS and TON Proxy, cross-chain transaction fees, payments services provided by apps built on the platform, and contributing to network security via staking, Toncoin is also integral to TON's on-chain governance program. In the near future, Toncoin will also be used as a payment mode for decentralized data storage.
As per the official website, there are currently 334 validators, and 474.5 million Toncoin are staked. Talking about network metrics, the blockchain has surpassed 3 million accounts and is currently handling nearly 192k transactions per day.
TON has a thriving ecosystem that covers NFTs and DNS, of which the latter is a service that allows users to assign a human-readable name to smart contracts and crypto wallets. More than 1 million NFTs have been minted on TON so far, while 28,285 TON DNS have been sold.
Moving forward, the project is working on slashing optimization and ETH, BNB, and BTC Bridge in Q2 of 2023 and Jetton Bridge in the following quarter of this year.
A Look at the Broad Crypto Market
As the week progresses, Bitcoin continues to remain weak. As of writing, BTC/USD has been trading at $30,000, slightly above the one-month low of $29,735 it fell on Tuesday. The losses came after economic data confirmed the US economy remains in growth mode, signaling near certainty of another 0.25% rate hike by the Federal Reserve next week.
Another potential reason for this reversal could be cash-strapped Bitcoin miners selling their BTC stash. As Bitcoin's YTD gains surged to 90% as price pushed past $30k recently, miners have been decreasing their overall net position.
The 30-day change of supply in miner addresses has been negative for 20 consecutive days, as per on-chain analytics firm Glassnode. As for miners' Bitcoin balances, it is currently at 1.83 million coins versus 1.82 million at the beginning of this year.
With Bitcoin experiencing ups and downs around the $30,000 mark, having more than reversed last week's rally, the largest cryptocurrency is expected to remain range-bound and stagnant until certain key events take place.
As for altcoins, they began the day in red with Ether flat and changing hands at $1,909. However, some have managed to record gains. XRP, in particular, is continuing its upwards trajectory, rising 4.8% to trade above $0.78.
Among the top 100 crypto assets, RLB is leading the gainers with a 17% upside in the past 24 hours, followed by KAS (12.6%), FLEX (10%), MKR (7.4%), and XLM (7.2%). Meanwhile, UNI is leading the losses by going down 5.3% during this period. RNDR (4%), SUI (3.4%), and LINK (3.1%) are also seeing a negative performance. With this, the total crypto market cap is up 0.4% to $1.25 trillion.
While crypto is struggling, Reddit coins have surged with Moons (MOON), the native token of Reddit's r/CryptoCurrency community of over 6.5 million users, recorded a triple-digit price gain this week to almost 25 cents from 9 cents. While the ERC-20 token MOON jumped by 170%, the Bricks (BRICK) token, which belongs to the r/Fortnite subreddit, rallied even harder by 300% in just two days. This comes after Reddit recently changed its Terms of Service to now explicitly allow for trading tokenized Community Points.
Now, coming on to the trading volume, despite a jump in crypto prices in Q2, spot trading volumes on the top 10 centralized crypto exchanges plummeted by 43% to $1.42 trillion.
According to CoinGecko's report, Binance was hit hard by this plunge in volume, with the world's largest exchange's dominance falling from 62% to 51% in a matter of three months. This comes while the company has been slashing jobs, retreating from key markets, and facing civil charges in the US.
During this period, the combined market cap of the top 15 stablecoins also decreased by 3.5% or $4.6 bln. The NFT sector was also negatively impacted, with trading volumes among all NFTs dropping 35% to $3.15 billion in Q2. Solana blockchain took the brunt of this gloomy outlook plummeting by 79% as flagship collections migrated to Ethereum and Polygon.
However, staking was a trend that grew, unlike volumes. Despite withdrawals of staked ETH finally being activated after a years-long wait, the total amount of Ethereum locked up by validators rallied by 30% in the second quarter, hitting just shy of 24 million, worth about $45 billion at current market rates.