The TON Foundation, a non-commercial group of contributors behind The Open Network (TON) blockchain, has launched a decentralized file-sharing and data storage solution called TON Storage, taking on similar projects like Filecoin and Storj.
TON Storage works similarly to internet-based peer-to-peer file sharing that uses torrents. But instead, it relies on the TON blockchain network to transfer data files of any size, which are backed-up and encrypted without needing centralized web servers.
Traditional torrents lack long-term storage guarantees. TON Storage aims to overcome this by offering financial incentives to node operators on the network, with smart contracts ensuring users pay them a fixed amount in toncoin to host files for a certain amount of time.
“Anyone can become a node operator on the TON network and receive payments from other users for hosting files — even if operating just one node,” the TON Foundation said in a statement. “The accessibility of this new product will incentivize new, independent users to join the TON network, helping to grow the TON ecosystem even further,” it added.
Telegram began exploring blockchain technology in 2018, developing the Telegram Open Network, as it was then known. It raised $1.7 billion in a private sale of toncoin tokens the same year, but Telegram abandoned the project following SEC investigations. In 2022, open-source developers saved and rebranded it as The Open Network with a functional mainnet.
In October, Telegram allowed users to buy usernames for its messaging app via the decentralized auction platform Fragment, based on The Open Network. With the launch of TON Storage, TON-secured sites can also be hosted on the network, a move that TON Foundation founding member Anatoly Makosov said marks “the next step in realizing our vision of a decentralized, open internet.”
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