Since there were no official announcements from Durov or the Telegram team, we can operate only with the information provided in the white paper, which was sent to investors.
Blockchain Telegram Open Network
In essence, the blockchain is a multi-level network with a capacity of several million transactions per second, with support of Turing-complete smart contracts, provides for carrying out multi-cryptocurrency transactions, creating payment channels and payment networks outside the blockchain. The network can be updated without hardforks and even «self-healing».
In simple terms, this is a high-tech blockchain with all the modern features. It will be incorrect to treat it as a single blockchain, although there will be one main blockchain, the so-called masterchain. However, it will be divided into 2 ＾ 32 (4294967296) «working» blockchains (workchains). Each branched chain will be responsible for its own transaction format or account addresses, its virtual machine for a certain type of smart contracts, working with a separate cryptocurrency and so on.
However, that is not all. Each workchain can include up to 2 ＾ 60 shardchains, task of which is to accelerate the work.
How will high throughput be ensured?
We have already found out above that the main chain will be one, but many other chains will be separated from it, which will carry out the main load. With a sharp increase in the number of transactions, more shardchains will be created. If some chains stop functioning and become useless, they will merge into one.
If an unvalidated block appears and the master receives information about him, then the «vertical blockchain» creates a new one, valid over the «guilty» and sends it to all the «affected» shardchains. Some other networks have implemented a rollback of the system to the last valid block, which is not very convenient, since some of the transactions are lost. Here the system «heals itself».
Due to the above-mentioned mechanism, there is no probability of forks. In theory, of course, this is possible, but if most validators behave incorrectly, and this is a serious loss for the initiator of the fork.
Price formation of Gram has a rather interesting mechanism, which we could not tell. Initially, the emission of 5 billion coins was produced. Investors got 44%, 4% will get developers, and 52% will lie in a special fund TON Reserve, which is controlled by the TON Foundation. It is planned to continuously issue new Gram to reward validators. Developers expect that 2% of coins will be added each year, so the validators will receive 20% per annum of their bet.
New tokens will be added to the turnover TON Reserve, and each next will be one billion more expensive than the previous one. The first one will cost 10 cents, but it has been sold, since tokens purchased by investors are taken into account.
If the price on the open market falls below the formula, then no one will buy new tokens from TON Reserve, since this is trivially unprofitable. Due to this, the new number of coins will not be added, and accordingly, it is possible that the rate will go higher. Moreover, if the market price of Gram becomes two times lower than the formula», then TON Reserve will start to buy tokens on the open market, thereby pushing the quotations up.
The opposite situation is with too high exchange rate. If it goes much higher than «the official» price, then people will not benefit from buying on the open market and they will buy from TON Reserve. Accordingly, the supply will increase and the price will stabilize over time.
Due to the mechanism described above, the exchange rate is supposedly protected from sharp fluctuations on either side, but let’s see how it will be in practice. According to the idea, the price will gradually increase along with attracting interest to the project.
What about decentralization?
After reviewing the above control mechanism of the exchange rate, a completely logical question arises: «Will Durov really create a centralized product?». At first, this is true, but over time, the role of validators, which are not controlled by TON Reserve, will grow, as they will receive more and more coins. The «defense mechanism» is needed only for the first time, which is the most dangerous for the project. The reserves of developers will gradually become lower, but the influence of small investors will grow.
Therefore, control of the exchange rate can be viewed as support «for your child», who takes only the first steps in an adult and independent life.
Libra and TON, who is cooler?
The unofficial white paper TON appeared 18 months ago, Libra was announced quite recently, but at the official level. A logical question arises: «who will be dominated by the market? Can there be competition between two giants?» Hardly. Let us figure out why.
Initially, decentralization should be mentioned. Above, we have described the mechanism of Gram emission. The role of TON Reserve will gradually decrease over time, but the role of normal users will be contrary grow. Facebook doesn`t allow to make the project decentralized. Initially it is planned that there will be 100 validators, each of which must pay $ 10 million for the opportunity to participate in the network. Moreover, the company approves the validators together with partners in the form of Mastercard, PayPal, Visa, eBay, Facebook, Uber Technologies and Vodafone Group and others. In the future, it is planned that the nodes will be able to run by anyone who has the opportunity to spend $ 280,000 per year on this pleasure. However, all exactly third-party validators will have no more than 20% of the vote. «Founding fathers» will always have the remaining 80%.
Facebook will have only 1% of the vote, like any other company that is at the origin of the project. Are there any guarantees that they will not cooperate and together make decisions on rollbacks of transactions, blocking accounts and so on? No.
What about anonymity?
Libra blockchain will have pseudo-anonymity by analogy with Bitcoin. The blockchain will not tie transactions and addresses to any individuals, but this will be done by the official Calibra wallet. You will not be able to use the wallet without passing KYC, therefore you will not be able to access the Libra blockchain and tokens. Although it is fair to say that, according to representatives of the company, the blockchain will be open source, so anyone can create their own application to interact with it, including a convenient wallet that doesn`t require identification.
Telegram also refuses anonymity and has provided a service for uploading personal data. In the future, it is planned that with the help of this service it will be possible to pass KYC on any resource. Once you uploaded your passport information to Telegram Passport and then simply give permission to use it on other services.
Therefore, in terms of anonymity, both projects offer the same solutions. However, if you are not a crypto-anarchist, then KYC will not be a big problem for you.
We cannot analyze the implementation of the technical part yet. According to Facebook, Libra will process thousands of transactions per second, but an increase is planned in the future. TON, as we already understood, will also have tremendous throughput.
Libra coverage is 1.7 billion users. TON coverage is 200 million users