Web3 investment firm Animoca Brands is set to become the most significant validator on The Open Network (TON) blockchain, aiming to bring blockchain-based games to Telegram’s 800 million users.
Animoca Brands plans to invest in the TON blockchain protocol and become the network’s largest validator. The partnership includes funding, research, and the development of an analytics platform for third-party TON ecosystem applications.
While the specific value of Animoca’s investment was not disclosed, part was made directly into Toncoin, which has been staked as part of the validator agreement.
Animoca has conducted extensive market research on the TON ecosystem, focusing on its potential to drive cryptocurrency and GameFi (gaming finance) adoption. The firm intends to support TON Play, a gaming infrastructure project based on the TON blockchain, which allows gaming applications to be built and launched on Telegram.
Animoca also plans to explore porting some of its gaming titles and applications from its portfolio of over 400 Web3 projects to Telegram, potentially reaching Telegram’s massive user base.
Animoca Brands Research has also developed its own TON Analytics Dashboard, which collects metrics from TON’s open internet ecosystem, including TON Blockchain, TON DNS, TON Storage, and TON Sites.
Justin Hyun, Director of Growth at TON Foundation, highlighted the significance of Animoca’s analytics platform and research reports in bringing Web3 functionality to Telegram users’ daily experiences.
Animoca Brands co-founder Yat Siu emphasized that this investment aligns with their efforts to drive adoption and transition from Web2 to Web3. He sees significant growth potential for gaming within the TON ecosystem and intends to develop TON-based games in the coming years.
This partnership with TON marks the second instance of Animoca becoming a validator for a proof-of-stake blockchain protocol in November 2023. Earlier this month, the firm became a validator for Chiliz Chain, a fan token blockchain used by major football and sports teams.
TON was initially developed by Telegram but faced legal challenges from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, leading Telegram to abandon its development efforts in May 2020. Subsequently, a group of open-source developers took over the project, establishing the TON Foundation in May 2021.