TON Ecosystem Growth: Relying on Asian Developer Resources and Telegram Ecosystem

1 weeks ago
This article is approximately 3350 words,and reading the entire article takes about 5 minutes
“Telegram+TON+Asia will lead us into the next bull market.”

Original article from Howard ( Head of Developer Relations, Asia, TON Foundation )

Compiled by Odaily Planet Daily Golem ( @web3_golem )

TON Ecosystem Growth: Relying on Asian Developer Resources and Telegram Ecosystem


  1. TON is still in its early days and has not yet reached the real money stage. But the flywheel effect has been formed, especially compared to other L1 networks, and the moat of the TON blockchain itself has also been consolidated, including payments, mini-program applications, and an increasing number of network users. TON is experiencing a network compounding effect .

  2. Asia is an underrated region in every aspect (most people agreed with this before TON became popular this year), and the talent pool for mini-program development is particularly prominent. However, in my 9 months at the TON Foundation, I think there are still not many local investors or companies. This also means that VCs have huge opportunities here.

  3. Due to the huge demand in the Telegram applet ecosystem, Telegram usernames will become the most valuable NFTs and assets in the history of cryptocurrencies. Telegram Stars will become the most successful entry point from Web2 to Web3, bringing billions of dollars to the TON network. This will bring real mass adoption: more users join, and the way to purchase digital goods will become more convenient.

  4. More importantly , 99 % of people are focused on mini-programs and click-to-earn or tap-to-earn projects. However, the real potential of TON and Telegram lies in their DeFi and social integration capabilities. In the second half of 2024, TON is likely to achieve growth in DeFi and other on-chain applications, and indicators such as TVL, transaction volume, and number of on-chain users are expected to increase.

TON / Telegram Network

Currently, most people only focus on the mini-programs on TON. They ignore the bigger picture of the TON blockchain, which includes smart contracts, a DNS system, over 100k TPS , and the most convertible user base, because it is backed by Telegram, which has 900 million users .

The following structure can help us understand the relationship between Telegram and TON:

  • Telegram: A messaging layer that connects everyone, with usernames being unique IDs.

  • Wallet: A bridge between messaging and cryptocurrency, connecting users and making it easy for everyone to acquire cryptocurrency.

  • TON Blockchain: An asset layer for building financial systems and other decentralized, permissionless functions and businesses.

TON Ecosystem Growth: Relying on Asian Developer Resources and Telegram Ecosystem

Why hasn’t TON succeeded yet?

The reasons why the TON blockchain still has a low transaction richness and no large DApp surge are as follows:

  1. It is much easier to build a small application to acquire users than to invest a lot of time to train smart contract developers. At least in terms of time and financial investment, it is more efficient;

  2. Due to the scarcity of DApps on the TON blockchain, there are not many open source projects to refer to or copy;

  3. More importantly, the smart contract language itself is too difficult to learn (FunC language). On the contrary, the Tact language is simpler and has recently undergone major updates.

To address these issues from top to bottom, we (TON Foundation) and the developer relations team are committed to bridging these gaps. We will create more tutorials and templates, and promote more public resources to help projects develop better on TON.

Of course, we know that Rome wasnt built in a day.

TON Ecosystem Growth: Relying on Asian Developer Resources and Telegram Ecosystem


Fortunately, our developer ecosystem has grown significantly. More importantly, the recent success of the Tap-to-Earn project and the integration of USDT on TON have greatly accelerated the adoption of TON.

Developer related information:

How does Tap-to-Earn change the Telegram ecosystem?

Based on the first point in the previous section about why TON has not yet succeeded, it is clear that most teams prefer to invest in projects with high returns and quickly accumulate users. This makes sense for any Internet company. From the results, millions of users use Tap-to-Earn or click-based products in the Telegram and TON ecosystems . Here are some data:

  • Hamster: 48 million subscribers

  • Tapswap: 25 million subscribers

  • Blum: 15 million subscribers

  • Telegram Tips: 11 million subscribers

  • Yescoin: 9.8 million subscribers

  • Pixelverse: 9.2 million subscribers

  • Notcoin: 8.3 million subscribers

  • MemeFi: 8 million subscribers

TON Ecosystem Growth: Relying on Asian Developer Resources and Telegram Ecosystem


This is a great example of how cryptocurrency is driving user adoption, not just in terms of subscriber count, but also because almost all of the top 8 Telegram channels are cryptocurrency related (except for number 4, Telegram Tips).

Hamster went from 1 million subscribers on April 15th to 48 million on June 30th. This growth rate is faster than any DAU I have ever seen. It may even be higher than the number of new users gained in late 2017 by hyping altcoins. My point is: In the past, people had no incentive to join public channels. Now they have.

TON Ecosystem Growth: Relying on Asian Developer Resources and Telegram Ecosystem

Still think cryptocurrency can’t change the world? It has already dramatically changed the Telegram ecosystem and the way people behave in it.

The reason is simple: the value of crypto is becoming easier to monetize. Since Notcoin was listed on a major CEX, it has created more anticipation, attracted more users into the Telegram ecosystem and encouraged them to participate more in the ecosystem, such as subscribing to channels and clicking on games.

This is a good example of how we can gradually transition to Web2.5-Web3 business logic with stronger economic value, network effects and optimal user experience. In addition, the barriers created by the previous network effects will in turn benefit the TON blockchain and user experience, promote the birth of more successful projects, and attract more projects to join.

How far can we go?

Fortunately, I think we are still in the early stages and there is much more to explore in the Telegram network and beyond. Here are some:

1. The ratio of Hamster channel subscribers to Telegram’s total monthly active users (MAU) is 48 million/900 million, which is only 5.3%. If we compare it to mass-adoption, we are still in the early stages.

2. Nevertheless, this is just basic math. The more critical thing is “penetration”, that is, how many TApps are based on DeFi? How many users in Telegram have on-chain wallets? These are the main indicators I care about most.

Again, were still in the very, very early stages.

TON Ecosystem Growth: Relying on Asian Developer Resources and Telegram Ecosystem

Mass-adoption / The Chasm Theory

The network is experiencing a compounding effect

There has to be a network effect to move forward quickly. The large number of users in the Telegram channel, coupled with Notcoin listing and USDT integration, enhances the overall compounding effect.

Meanwhile, the flywheel effect is spreading. While I can’t provide specific numbers on how many projects have submitted proposals to us or how many messages I’ve received on Telegram, public data shows that the first wave of momentum has been formed and further growth and effects may occur at any time.

To ensure this article remains readable and not too lengthy, here are some potential topics I should expand on in the near future:

  • On-chain data : Reasons for the increase in TVL on the TON blockchain and the increase in the number of on-chain users.

  • USDT Supply : What drives the increase in USDT total supply and what is the next module we can build on TON?

  • Tap-to-Earn Projects : How do these projects transform into new business models? What is the business model for these types of “traffic-driven products”?

Overall, I think our network effects have already formed a cut-through on the TON blockchain. Moreover, the path from 0 to 1 is complete and we should now focus on going from 1 to 100+.

About the Asian influence

We have seen many successful companies based on the “Super App” theory, such as WeChat, Alipay, Zalo, Grab and Line Messenger.

TON Ecosystem Growth: Relying on Asian Developer Resources and Telegram Ecosystem

Super App Theory

Take WeChat as an example. It not only has millions of users, but also provides a platform for thousands of developers. Here are some of my key points:

  1. Developers in Asia are already familiar with mobile-driven markets. Many case studies can be found in the WeChat mini-app rankings — they know what to build.

  2. As China’s economy slows, more and more teams and studios are looking to overseas opportunities to increase profits and revenue, such as TikTok, Temu and Taobao - they want to survive and they are eager to find opportunities.

With that in mind, lets focus on the data and examine the projects, brands, or companies that have been found through the Open League so far. First, the Open League ( @TONOpenLeague ) competition uses an SDK to track every tapps accessed/opened. This makes it very difficult to cheat or falsify numbers.

TON Ecosystem Growth: Relying on Asian Developer Resources and Telegram Ecosystem

The Open League provides liquidity rewards for high-quality projects, which can be roughly divided into NFT, applications, Meme coins, etc. For more details, please click the following link:

TON Ecosystem Growth: Relying on Asian Developer Resources and Telegram Ecosystem

Again, this is all based on personal opinions and does not represent any entity or foundation’s views on projects or issues. These views may be based on my own personal opinions, past collaboration experiences, or impressions from our offline events in Asia over the past nine months.

Impact on Asia

From the chart above, we can see that many projects are very good at marketing and attracting user attention. However, most of them face the problem of cold start because they are mainly good at operating on platforms like WeChat and Weibo, not X. But with the emergence of more and more Tap-to-Earn projects, project parties can easily enter the market and acquire early users (refer to the network effect mentioned in the previous section), and with the help of Telegram ads and other tools, the situation has become smoother. But we still face some problems:

  • How do we define projects as purely Asian? Are they successful because they exploit unique strengths in Asia? What types of projects are Asian teams particularly good at?

  • If I have an idea and build an MVP product, who else can I turn to for support besides TON Foundation resources (such as Grants or Ton Ventures)?

  • Which teams are truly focused on Asia and truly believe in the Super App Theory and are willing to go all-in on TON? How can I help them?

While we have some clear ideas that we can effectively build an ecosystem in Asia, the ecosystem still lacks prominent companies to reinvest in it. “Until the price changes in the next few months” - this seems to be a long-standing problem, similar to the early Ethereum ecosystem being unwelcome in China: it is very challenging to be an early investor and publicly defend it.

I have seen many successful projects rooted in Asia, such as Catizen , Yescoin , Tonano , 852 Web3 , SquidTG , Bitget Wallet , okx Wallet , Gate Web3 Wallet , Kenetic , Mechanism Capital , Folius Ventures , and so on.

The most obvious thing that came to my mind when preparing this article was, “It seems like not many investors actually care about or invest in TON projects in Asia.” This may be true, or it may just be based on my personal experience.

Related information about Asian projects on TON:

TON Open Summit

Fundamentally, there is much more to explore, but due to the limited scope of this article, I will summarize the key points below:

  1. If you are a developer in Asia, you should build on TON because it is the environment you are familiar with.

  2. If you are stuck in the Web2 business and want to try Web3, choose TON. In fact, most successful projects come from teams with Web2 backgrounds.

  3. If you are an investor who believes in the potential of Asia, then you should come to build and invest.

That’s why I’m promoting and helping out at the Open Summit in Taipei, Taiwan from August 6-8. I firmly believe that there are still many projects that have yet to gain attention, especially considering the huge growth of the TON ecosystem.

TON Ecosystem Growth: Relying on Asian Developer Resources and Telegram Ecosystem


If you are a VC who has not yet explored the TON ecosystem or its projects in depth, I strongly recommend that you join to discover more opportunities. There is still plenty of room for growth and business opportunities from both the project and VC perspectives.

Brand Building in the Mini Program Ecosystem

With the emergence of the mini-program ecosystem, a key aspect that all TApps must focus on is brand building.

Here are some of the most successful projects in brand building on TON:

  • wallet : The best centralized TON crypto wallet, also providing services for TON Space (non-custodial wallet);

  • Crypto Bot : Experience the best wallet bot for EVM tokens and other altcoins. Users can activate this bot service by typing @send 1 USDT in any chat;

  • Whale : The largest crypto gambling bot;

  • Telegram Developer Community : A place for Telegram app developers to ask questions;

  • Pavel Durov : Telegram username of Pavel Durov.

TON Ecosystem Growth: Relying on Asian Developer Resources and Telegram Ecosystem


Telegram Username

Due to the upcoming Telegram bot and mini-app services, the huge demand for bot usage will directly drive the demand for these usernames, both for buying and selling. I believe that in the near future, Telegram usernames will be sold at higher and higher prices on the page, which shows the growing market demand for unique and short domain names.

Telegram Stars

This is the most exciting update for me since . Even though it looks like any payment flow on other apps, I am very excited about this feature and look forward to seeing the data grow.

Combined with Telegram usernames, Telegram applets, Telegram ads, and Telegram Stars, the leverage effect will be even more significant. In addition to providing a better Web3 entry (you can see it this way), there is also the best user experience to capture the value of these digital projects and highlight them on Telegrams page.

  • Relying on social elements, digital content (whether Jetton Token or NFTs) will have more opportunities for exposure;

  • The shift from peer-to-peer to group interactions will generate more social content and competition based on Telegram groups, strengthening social networks;

  • This will encourage users to spend more time on Telegram, building the ecosystem layer and application layer (e.g., “TApps will become the Web3 of the AppStore”).

However, since the Telegram team may have some potentially undisclosed information, I will not invest too much energy in this part, and my main focus will be on the TON blockchain and smart contracts.

TON Ecosystem in the Second Half of 2024

Of course, our goal for 2024 is to attract 10 million active on-chain users on the TON blockchain.

According to, we are approaching 5.8 million monthly active users (MAU). This is largely due to the aforementioned traffic-driven TApps, upcoming utility apps, and the influx of mocha users. Overall, I believe this opens up a lot of potential for expansion, first-mover advantage, and network effects.

Similarly, I believe that eventually 80% of traffic will be contributed by the top 20% of channels and TApps. Therefore, more projects will enter the highly competitive traffic business stage in the future. At present, it is crucial to maximize traffic and increase the number of users as much as possible, which can generate a leading advantage in the second stage.

TON Ecosystem Growth: Relying on Asian Developer Resources and Telegram Ecosystem

It’s worth considering, what happens next?

As I mentioned before, it is crucial to guide the team to develop mini-program-based projects to quickly capture the market with ROI as the metric. In the near future, there will be more innovations than just mini-programs or current business models. For example, Tap-to-Earn combined with the Launchpad model, or a prediction market that combines social relationships with mobile experiences, there are too many possibilities to explore.

Take the success of Hamster Kombat as an example. It used airdrop incentives to drive user interaction, encouraging people to click and subscribe to channels. However, I believe this is just an early example of using reward properties to change user behavior. In the future, due to its natural social viral growth, the TON ecosystem will host the most profitable projects, even surpassing FriendTech and In addition, it provides a stage for everyone to showcase and promote their NFTs and content.

The DeFi ecosystem could see explosive growth

More projects will focus on DeFi construction, and I think the DeFi field in the TON ecosystem will make significant progress in the second half of 2024. Here are a few reasons:

  • More smart contract developers are joining, and the Tact language is being enhanced and updated more frequently (

  • More mini program teams are providing high-quality TApps, enabling them to explore smart contracts .

  • The launch of USDT on TON has increased the TVL on the TON blockchain, and more DApps are being developed. In addition, more and more projects focusing on oracle prices are turning to TON, such as RedStone Oracles .

TON Ecosystem Growth: Relying on Asian Developer Resources and Telegram Ecosystem

What are the most successful projects right now? Especially this cycle? GMX, FriendTech, LooksRare, UniBot, and OpenSea.

I firmly believe that as more teams learn to develop mini-programs and a large amount of traffic enters TON-related applications, DeFi protocols built on them will better align with the market and amplify network effects. For example, imagine the Polymarket mini-program built on TON and how it will easily scale and grow.

1. Traffic-driven projects will always have greater influence, both in dealing with exchanges and in continuing to incubate new projects.

2. Investing in TON will become more complicated. As more applications and applets natively integrated with Telegram emerge, it will become increasingly difficult to assess the value of the “TON network”.


In summary, the TON ecosystem has significant growth in the first half of 2024. As the head of developer relations for the TON Foundation in Asia, I think there are many areas worth paying attention to: infrastructure, investor relations, payment solutions, P2P markets, DNS domain names, DeFi, NFT markets, derivatives, etc. There are a lot of untapped opportunities in these areas.

TON Ecosystem Growth: Relying on Asian Developer Resources and Telegram Ecosystem

On the other hand, it is great to see more projects from Asia joining the ecosystem. However, I must admit that I am overwhelmed by the messages on Twitter and Telegram. I regret that I cannot reply and handle all the projects one by one. Telegram applets and TON will become a way for Asian developers to make an impact and bring value to more people. This is a familiar pattern for those who do development work in Asia.

Personally, it’s hard to describe the feeling because we have been promoting TON for the past 1.5 years. I tried to build a project on TON before, but it didn’t go well due to the lack of infrastructure. Compared to then, now you can clearly see that everyone is talking about TON and asking questions since the price increase. Now is definitely the best time to build in our ecosystem and network.

From my personal perspective, although TON is still in its early stages, it is building a strong foundation with a growing user base and features such as payments and mini-programs, especially in Asia where developer talent is abundant, paving the way for Telegram usernames to become high-value NFTs and for TON to achieve mass adoption in the second half of 2024 through its unique DeFi and social integration potential.

I don’t know how to predict the price of TON, and I don’t have the ability to predict it. I firmly believe that attracting 10 times more users is my biggest mission. I still maintain my original intention when I joined Binance in 2018, which was to help CZ make cryptocurrency accessible to everyone.

Changing the world is not easy, let us take responsibility and move forward together. I believe Telegram + TON + Asia will lead us into the next bull market.

This article is translated from linkIf reprinted, please indicate the source.

ODAILY reminds readers to establish correct monetary and investment concepts, rationally view blockchain, and effectively improve risk awareness; We can actively report and report any illegal or criminal clues discovered to relevant departments.

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