In the ever-evolving landscape of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, the emergence of Telegram's Fragment has sparked significant interest and innovation. Fragment, a decentralized auction platform for Telegram usernames, is a testament to the resilience and adaptability of the principles of decentralization. This platform, while independent from Telegram, is deeply rooted in the technology and vision of the Telegram Open Network (TON), and its successor, The Open Network (TON).
Fragment represents a significant stride towards a more decentralized digital world. It is a platform that not only embodies the principles of decentralization that guided the creation of TON, but also introduces innovative concepts like collectible usernames. As we delve deeper into the origins of the Telegram Open Network, the transition to The Open Network, and the emergence of Fragment, we will uncover the transformative impact of these platforms on the landscape of social media and blockchain technology.
The Telegram Open Network (TON) represents a significant chapter in the history of blockchain technology. Conceived by the team behind Telegram, TON was a bold endeavor that sought to push the boundaries of what was possible with blockchain.
This section delves into the vision that guided TON's creation, the unique design elements that set it apart, and the challenges it has encountered.
Vision and Design
The vision for TON was to create a next-generation blockchain platform that could foster decentralization and facilitate compatibility between different blockchains. TON was designed as a "blockchain of blockchains," a unique architecture that allowed it to scale up to accommodate an ever-growing number of transactions and users.
This design also enabled TON to serve as a bridge uniting different blockchains, fostering a level of interconnectivity that was unprecedented in the blockchain world. At the heart of TON was a commitment to the principles of decentralization, a philosophy that advocates for the distribution of authority across multiple participants in a network, rather than concentrating it in a single central authority.
One of the most innovative features of TON was its ability to facilitate communication between smart contracts across different blockchains. This meant that a smart contract on one blockchain could exchange data with smart contracts on other blockchains, as well as access files and websites. This feature represented a significant advancement in the interconnectivity of blockchain technology.
Challenges and Legacy
Despite the promise and potential of TON, the project faced significant challenges that ultimately led to its discontinuation by Telegram. A US court ruled that Grams, the cryptocurrency of TON, could not be bought or sold in the same way as other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. This ruling had global implications, effectively barring TON from operating on a worldwide scale.
However, the end of the Telegram Open Network was not the end of Telegram's pursuit of decentralization. The lessons learned from TON, its innovative technology, and its commitment to decentralization would later inform the creation of a new platform, same achronym, same mission: The Open Network.
Moreover, the technology and principles of the original TON live on in The Open Network (Telegram Open Network’s heir), driven by the community. This shows the resilience of the original vision and the commitment of the community to decentralization and innovation.
In July 2021, a little over a year after the discontinuation of the Telegram Open Network (TON), The Open Network (also referred to as TON), a community-driven continuation of the original project, was created. Following this, a new platform, Fragment, emerged. While independent of Telegram, Fragment is deeply rooted in the technology and vision of TON. Fragment carries forward the principles of decentralization, introducing innovative concepts like collectible usernames and a marketplace for elements of the Telegram ecosystem.
Fragment's inception is closely tied to the legacy of TON and the vision of Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram. Durov was inspired by the success of TON's auction for domain/wallet names and saw the potential for a similar platform within Telegram's ecosystem. He envisioned a decentralized platform where Telegram users could auction their usernames, creating a new marketplace within the digital world.
But Durov's vision extended beyond usernames. He saw the potential for other elements of the Telegram ecosystem, including channels, stickers, and emojis, to become part of this marketplace. This vision was a testament to Durov's commitment to decentralization and his belief in the transformative power of blockchain technology.
Creation and Success
The creation of Fragment was a testament to the resilience and adaptability of the principles of decentralization. Despite the challenges faced by Telegram Open Network, the team behind Fragment was able to leverage the lessons learned and the technology developed for TON to create a new platform. The creation of Fragment was a collaborative effort, involving a small team of five developers, including Durov himself.
Fragment was built on The Open Network, the community-driven continuation of TON, in five days. This connection to TON not only provided Fragment with a robust and efficient underlying technology but also symbolized the continuity of the vision and principles that guided the creation of the Telegram Open Network.
Since its launch, Fragment has been a remarkable success. It has established a fair and transparent market for Telegram usernames, secured in the immutable ledger of a decentralized blockchain network. This success is a promising sign of what's to come in the future of blockchain technology.
How Fragment Works
Fragment is a unique platform that has revolutionized the way we think about social media usernames. By introducing the concept of collectible usernames and leveraging the power of blockchain technology, Fragment has created a new marketplace within the Telegram ecosystem.
This section explores how Fragment works, from the auction process for usernames to the role of blockchain in securing transactions.
Collectibles and Auctions
At the heart of Fragment is the concept of collectible usernames. These are unique usernames that can be bought and sold on the Fragment platform. The idea is that these usernames, much like domain names on the internet, have value due to their uniqueness and demand.
The process of acquiring a username on Fragment is done through an auction. Users can bid on available usernames, with the highest bidder at the end of the auction period winning the username. This process is transparent and fair, ensuring that everyone has an equal opportunity to acquire the username they desire.
Once a user has won a username, they have the option to keep it or sell it on the Fragment marketplace. This creates a dynamic marketplace where usernames are constantly being bought and sold, much like assets in a financial market.
Blockchain technology plays a crucial role in the operation of Fragment. It provides the underlying infrastructure that enables the auction process and the marketplace to function in a decentralized and secure manner.
When a user wins a username in an auction, the transaction is recorded on the blockchain. This creates a permanent record of the transaction that is transparent and immutable. This ensures that the ownership of the username is secure and cannot be disputed.
Furthermore, the use of blockchain technology means that the Fragment platform is decentralized. This means that it is not controlled by a single entity, but rather by the collective actions of its users. This aligns with the principles of decentralization that guided the creation of TON and The Open Network and represents a significant step towards a more decentralized digital world.
Selling and Buying
As a platform built on The Open Network, Fragment facilitates the transaction of unique items, such as Telegram usernames, which are referred to as "collectibles". These collectibles are permanently recorded on the public TON blockchain as property owned by the holder of the corresponding address. The platform supports direct, secure, and anonymous sales as well as public auctions where everyone can participate. To participate in these transactions, users need to have a TON wallet and Toncoin, the special currency used on the platform.
Toncoin is stored in a secure wallet, which can be created using the Tonkeeper app. This app is a non-custodial wallet, meaning that only the user has access to the keys to their funds. Once a wallet is created and funded with Toncoin, it can be connected to Fragment, allowing the user to participate in auctions.
How to Sell a Username on Fragment
- Log in to Fragment with both your Telegram and TON accounts. The TON wallet you've connected will receive the proceeds from the auction, so make sure to connect a wallet that you own.
- Tap on your TON wallet in the top right corner and choose 'Convert to Collectibles' (or follow the 'Convert Usernames to Collectibles' link in 'My Assets').
- Select a username from the list. Note that to prevent abuse, usernames you acquired or reassigned (i.e., moved it from your profile to a channel you own, etc.) very recently may not be immediately available.
- Set a minimum bid. Buyers will have to pay at least this amount to acquire the collectible.
- After confirming, your username will remain available for auction for an unlimited time – interested buyers, including yourself, can place the first bid to start a 7-day auction.
How to Buy a Username on Fragment
- With Toincoins in your wallet and a collectible in mind, open Fragment and use the button in the top-right corner to log in. You will find a Telegram login widget where you can enter your phone number in the international format. Other users will not see your Telegram account or phone number, even if you participate in an auction.
- After logging in with Telegram, use the 'Connect TON' button to log in with Tonkeeper. If you're using Fragment from a separate device, simply scan the QR code from your Tonkeeper app; if you're using the same phone, tap the button right below the QR.
- After connecting to Fragment you're all set and ready to bid on any available collectible. To do so, tap on one of the available auctions, enter an amount, confirm it, and pay via Tonkeeper – just like you did when you were logging in.
- During bidding, whoever’s bid is first to the blockchain will get the bid at that price. If your bid wasn’t reflected in the blockchain before the auction ends, you will get the money back and lose the bid. Your money will also be returned if somebody else outbids you.
Remember, Fragment is a decentralized platform and transactions are permanent. Therefore, it's important to be sure about your decisions before participating in an auction.
The journey from the Telegram Open Network to Fragment is a testament to the resilience and adaptability of the principles of decentralization. It's a story of innovation, ambition, and the relentless pursuit of a vision that seeks to transform the way we interact with the digital world.
The first TON, despite its discontinuation, left a lasting legacy that continues to shape the landscape of blockchain technology. Its successor, The Open Network, and the emergence of Fragment, are proof that the principles that guided the creation of TON are still very much alive and evolving.
Fragment, in particular, represents a significant stride towards a more decentralized digital world. By creating a fair and transparent marketplace for Telegram usernames, Fragment has given power back to the people, allowing them to have ownership over the value of their social media addresses. This is a significant shift from the traditional model of social media, where usernames are assigned and controlled by the platform.
Moreover, Fragment's success demonstrates the potential for blockchain technology to create decentralized applications that are not only efficient and secure but also user-friendly. It shows that with the right technology and vision, it is possible to create applications that can cater to the needs of millions of people while staying true to the principles of decentralization.
As we reflect on the journey from TON to Fragment, we are reminded of the transformative power of blockchain technology and the potential it holds to reshape our digital world. The story of TON and Fragment is not just about the evolution of a platform; it's about the evolution of an idea - the idea of decentralization.