A Developer’s Primer to TON Ecosystem

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TON is rapidly gaining popularity: Notcoin now boasts 20 million users, TON Society has just launched crypto’s biggest-ever user onboarding campaign called The Open League, and TON is officially the fastest blockchain in the world. For new users, we’ve already published a guide to TON. However, this post is designed as a primer for developers who may have heard about Web3, blockchain, TON, and Telegram, and want to get involved but aren’t sure where to begin.

This primer goes beyond technical jargon and complex whitepapers. Our goal is to introduce you to blockchain through the emotions and unique experiences that TON brings to its users, including you, as a developer looking to get started with blockchain.

Before we start, here is the core concept that underpins what TON is and why we as a community are building here: TON Blockchain provides a platform where you, as a developer, can empower your users with full control over their digital data, identity, and assets. This means that assets are safe from government seizure, published information remains permanent on the blockchain, and every transaction is both transparent and immutable, creating a uniquely trust-less system of peer-to-peer interaction.

The unmatched TON experience

We won’t just suggest you read the TON Whitepaper and leave you to decipher the appeal of blockchain and TON’s unique advantages on your own. Our aim is for new developers to truly experience what sets TON Blockchain apart. For many, this might be your first time working with blockchain, and technical specifications won’t capture the full picture.

For those new to TON Blockchain, start by exploring Wallet in Telegram. Check out its user-friendly interface, a familiar sight for Web2 users, and notice how straightforward it is to purchase 5 TON using a credit or debit card. Then, download the Tonkeeper wallet on your phone and transfer your 5 TON.

Dive into Tonkeeper’s built-in browser extension next, and see how you can use your TON to buy an eSIM, access ChatGPT, purchase digital gift cards, a VPN, and more. This firsthand experience, showcasing the simplicity and accessibility of interacting with cutting-edge apps within TON Ecosystem, is crucial. It demonstrates that blockchain technology is not an esoteric mystery but a readily accessible tool for everyone.

Why opt for a standalone Web3 wallet filled with confusing energy or bandwidth indicators, or a browser extension wallet that talks about bridges and swaps through complex dropdown menus, feeling detached from the rest of the internet? TON combines the best of blockchain with the best environment: Telegram – an accessible, tangible internet interface that makes blockchain feel both familiar and authentic.

The TON Community has taken innovation to new heights by building the Telegram Web3 SuperApp, powered by TON technology. Wallet is the key stone that provides both custodial and non-custodial services with TON Space, and also serves as an identification and authorization tool for the various Mini Apps under development. These apps are featured in the TON-based Telegram Apps Center, which we have covered in a previous blog post.

DeFi is a standout feature in blockchain: go to DeDust and convert some of your TON to Gram, then add your tokens to the Pool section. You’ll receive LP (liquidity provider) tokens in your wallet equivalent to how many tokens you put into the general pool. This allows others to use your tokens for exchanges on the DEX, ensuring liquidity.

Moreover, by staking your LP tokens in the Pool section in the Gram/TON pair, you can earn up to 257.81% APR with a lock-in period ensuring liquidity stability. If you want to leverage your position, the EVAA Protocol Mini App offers crypto borrowing from a decentralized market. Conversely, conservative users might prefer the bemo Mini App, offering over 4% annual returns for contributing your Toncoin to pools that support network functionality.

Feeling overwhelmed by the options? The Open League, an onboarding initiative by TON Society, rewards users with Toncoin-backed incentives and Collectibles for completing tasks across the TON Ecosystem, guiding you through the most popular projects available.

By following these steps, you’ll quickly grasp the diversity of tokens on TON, its efficiency, user-friendly authorization, and how profits are generated in DeFi, entrusting a portion of your TON to the exchange's smart contracts.

Technically, TON surpasses all of its competitors: it’s faster, more scalable, and more secure. For detailed technical information, you can visit our documentation or check out our video course on TON Blockchain. However, at TON, it’s not just about the technical specifics; it's about the experience we provide. We aim to capture the loftiest ideals of blockchain technology and share them with the world.

But what exactly is going on here? What is blockchain?

This brief blog isn’t the place for an in-depth exploration of blockchain technology, but we've handpicked some excellent resources to help you begin your journey. For a foundational understanding of blockchain, we recommend starting with this insightful article by one of our TON Ambassadors. He also covers similar topics in another article worth reading. If videos are more your style, this YouTube tutorial offers a great introduction. To see how these concepts apply specifically to TON, take a look at this TON Blog post.

Curious about why TON stands out among other blockchains? This analysis provides a clear comparison. Afterwards, you might want to delve into the official TON documentation for a deeper dive. If you find the documentation overwhelming, this video series breaks down the information in an accessible format.

TON is looking for new developers

If you're keen to begin developing on TON, head over to our Developer Portal to start crafting a basic Mini App or smart contract. TON prides itself on being exceptionally developer-friendly, boasting a vibrant community of over 13.5K developers active in TON developer chats. For beginners, ton.org serves as an all-encompassing hub for the ecosystem, offering a wealth of learning and technical resources in one spot. Here, you’ll find tutorials for creating Mini Apps, developing smart contracts with Tact (TON’s next-generation programming language), and guidance on downloading ecosystem SDKs.

We've also featured interviews with Anatoliy Makosov, TON’s Technical Lead, and shared news about Anton Trunov, a well-known Web3 developer, joining the TON Tact team. TON supports developers through various grants and bounty programs, both directly from TON Foundation and via partnerships. Our accelerator program, along with collaborations with prominent entities like DoraHacks, Amazon Web Services, Tencent Cloud, Animoca Brands, KuCoin, and OKX, aims to offer talented creators the finest avenues to contribute to the ecosystem.