Ton Blockchain Stands by while Protocols Inspired by the Olympians Decide When to Launch


The proliferation of protocols based on ordinals is causing noticeable problems for the TON blockchain.

As a new protocol, influenced by Bitcoin Ordinals, caused a boom in activity, the Open Network (TON) blockchain had considerable difficulties processing transactions. Problems started on Tuesday, and by Thursday afternoon, the blockchain’s performance had dropped to less than 1 transaction per second due to more than 2.5 million outstanding transactions.

Many of the most widely used blockchain-based bitcoin wallets, such as Wallet and Tonkeeper, had to briefly halt operations due to the congestion. Network traffic jumped by 61 times within half an hour after creating over 2 million transactions, according to a message in the Community Telegram channel. The debut of Tonano, a service that uses the blockchain standard TON20 token to create blockchain inscriptions inspired by Bitcoin Ordinals, followed by the bottleneck.

Tonano went live on Monday, but minting had to stop by Thursday because of the massive demand. “Validator nodes running on weak hardware” were the cause of the bottleneck, according to an anonymous technical report published on the Telegraph blog site. Without thinking about future load development, these validators had hired hardware with limited load capacity. These validators considerably slowed down the whole network after months of running at low demand, which resulted in a 50–100-times spike in load within 30 minutes.

Future steps, such as more severe punishments for late validators, were considered in addition to the patch that was released to fix the problem. In the Bitcoin ecosystem, where the format was first introduced, the difficulty of inscriptions overwhelming the blockchain with data has been a hotly debated subject. This structure has just entered the Polygon blockchain, which has resulted in an increase in transaction volumes without blocking the network. The developers of the popular cryptocurrency messaging software Telegram were the first to work on the blockchain.

Nikolay Durov, brother of Pavel Durov, founder and CEO of Telegram, wrote the white paper. In 2018, the project raised $1.7 billion in a closed token sale. However, it was then accused of conducting an unregistered securities sale and faced legal action from the SEC. In May of 2020, Telegram formally abandoned the project after reaching a settlement with the SEC. Still, work persisted thanks to the project’s developer community and TON Labs, Telegram’s previous technical partner.

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