A video of the most secretive blockchain project ever has seemingly been leaked with it showing how Gram, the Telegram token, is meant to work from a user’s perspective.
The new Telegram app version will allow users to scan with a QR code. The usual functionalities are then available, in addition to the incorporation of the gram token.
Two use cases for the token are shown, paying for games and donating to livestreamers. As you’d expect it’s all with just a tap.
It looks fairly sleek and kind of what you’d expect, with little very new here except that it is Telegram doing it, opening blockchain usage to circa 300 million users.
They’re doing so in a highly uncharacteristic manner for this space. There is no official whitepaper. One has been “leaked.”
There is no website for this project. There is no open source code. There is effectively no information with it quite a bit of a mystery as to why they’re being so secretive.
The video in question has apparently been leaked by what looks like an iOS-Developer Marat Kharrasov. It’s authenticity has not been confirmed, with some suggesting this dev did it on his own accord rather than this being an “official” leak.
On balance we think it is probably real as it is difficult to see why one would go through all that effort otherwise. We asked Kharrasov, but received no reply to our questions.
As far as logic can establish, this is probably an attempt to put Telegram back on the crypto map after they raised close to $2 billion in a secretive private sale of circa five billion Gram tokens.
A New Telegram Blockchain
The blockchain upon which this is to run, the Telegram Open Network (TON), is apparently 90% finished, whatever that means.
That will have a Telegram Virtual Machine (TVM) with smart contracts and with a complex design that might sound familiar if you often read these pages.
At a high level view there’s basically a masterchain which sounds like the Beacon chain or the Relay chain. This masterchain is to contain all the hashes of all blocks, with transactions then happening on shards.
It’s a Proof of Stake (PoS) design that is sort of halfway between ETH’s proposed PoS and EOS’s Delegated Proof of Stake (dPoS).
There’s 100 validators, which could increase to 1,000. These validators are nominated by other token holders, with those nominating having to put down a stake. So if the validators misbehave, the nominators lose their stake too.
That’s the very high level design in theory in any event. What it will actually be in practice remains to be seen.
They’re apparently planning to launch the testnet this March. Ostensibly they’re to return the circa $1.7 billion raised if they don’t launch by October, so this appears to be close to going live perhaps by the end of the year.
Making autumn 2019 potentially a very busy period for the crypto space, with Telegram founder Pavel Durov (pictured) further in talks with exchanges like OKEx to list the presumably primarily VC owned token.
A Secret Blockchain?
The secrecy is a bit repelling, especially considering that this is on its own blockchain. So we might not learn things like whether it is just two or three entities that own all this 5 billion gram.
Nor might we know whether it is in fact 5 billion. There’s hardly any public code, so we don’t really know anything except for what they’ve promised in their non-official whitepaper which has now had 121 pages of an update in addition to 148 pages on the TVM.
We’re sure anyone who might be thinking of buying gram will read those books in detail, but what we’re not very sure of is whether this will be an open public blockchain.
You’d think so, of course, but although their testnet is apparently to launch this month, there is literally nothing concrete code-wise for the public.
One can’t discount this blockchain being closed source considering the secrecy so far. They might put up something they say is a node without anyone quite being able to analyze the code it runs upon.
They might, of course, reveal the whole code and open source it upon launch, but technically they don’t quite have to and considering this considerable secrecy, they might actually not reveal any of the code.
In that case this would be a centralized… well database. Hence no wonder you have 300 pages explaining how this works.
That said we’re fully speculating because obviously we have very little facts. Whether that will change, remains to be seen.