Web3 investment firm Animoca Brands is set to make a significant mark in the blockchain space by becoming the largest validator on The Open Network (TON) blockchain. The strategic partnership aims to deliver blockchain-based games to Telegram’s vast user base of 800 million.
The collaboration, as outlined in an announcement shared with Cointelegraph, encompasses investment, research, and the creation of an analytics platform for third-party TON ecosystem applications. While the exact value of Animoca’s investment remains undisclosed, it includes a direct investment in Toncoin, a portion of which is staked as part of the validator agreement.
Animoca Brands has conducted extensive market research on TON’s broader ecosystem, focusing on its potential to drive cryptocurrency and GameFi (Game Finance) adoption. The firm plans to actively support TON Play, a gaming infrastructure project based on the TON blockchain. This infrastructure enables the development and launch of gaming applications on TON, with the added capability of porting existing web-based games to the Telegram messaging app.
Ton Play, a part of TON’s gaming infrastructure, allows developers to deliver games to Telegram’s extensive user base through its web application and the PlayDeck bot on the mobile app. Animoca aims to explore the possibility of porting a selection of its existing gaming titles and applications, drawn from a portfolio of over 400 Web3 projects, to Telegram.
As part of this collaboration, Animoca Brands Research has developed its TON Analytics Dashboard, gathering metrics from TON’s open internet ecosystem, covering TON Blockchain, TON DNS, TON Storage, and TON Sites.
Justin Hyun, Director of Growth at TON Foundation, expressed the significance of Animoca’s analytics platform and research reports in integrating Web3 functionality into the everyday experiences of Telegram users.
Animoca Brands co-founder Yat Siu emphasized that the investment in TON aligns with the firm’s broader mission of driving adoption and the transition from Web2 to Web3. Siu noted, “Taking part in the network’s validation underlines our faith in the successful realization of the vision behind the TON project as it looks to bring Web3 into the mainstream.”
This collaboration marks Animoca Brands’ second venture as a validator of a proof-of-stake blockchain protocol in November 2023. Earlier, the firm joined Chiliz Chain as a validator for its native proof-of-stake authority protocol, reinforcing its commitment to the Web3 gaming space.
While TON was initially developed by Telegram, legal challenges with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission led to the messaging application abandoning its development efforts in May 2020. Subsequently, a group of open-source developers took over the project, leading to the establishment of the TON Foundation in May 2021.
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