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    Animoca to become TON blockchain’s largest validator

    Web3 investment firm Animoca Brands is set to become the largest validator on The Open Network (TON) blockchain, and it plans to deliver blockchain-based games to messaging application Telegram’s 800 million users.

    An announcement shared with Cointelegraph outlined how the partnership will involve funding, research and an analytics platform for third-party TON ecosystem applications. 

    The value of Animoca’s investment was not disclosed by publication. However, part of the investment is understood to have been made directly into Toncoin, which has been staked as part of the validator agreement.

    Related: Animoca still bullish on blockchain games, awaits license for metaverse fund

    Animoca has conducted extensive market research on TON’s wider ecosystem, focusing on the platform’s ability to drive cryptocurrency and GameFi adoption.

    The firm plans to strategically support TON Play, a gaming infrastructure project based on the TON blockchain. The infrastructure allows gaming applications to be built on TON and launched on Telegram and even allows for porting existing web-based games to the messaging app.

    Ton Play will enable developers to deliver games to some 800 million Telegram users through its web application and the mobile app’s PlayDeck bot, which allows users to browse a catalog of mobile games.

    Telegram’s PlayDeck bot allows users to browse a catalog of mobile games. Animoca plans to deliver blockchain-based games through the channel. Source: Telegram Games

    Animoca will also explore the possibility of porting a selection of its gaming titles and applications from its portfolio of over 400 Web3 projects to Telegram.

    Animoca Brands Research has also developed its own TON Analytics Dashboard, which gathers a variety of metrics from TON’s open internet ecosystem, including TON Blockchain, TON DNS, TON Storage and TON Sites.

    Animoca Brands Research has created a live dashboard monitoring key networks of the TON ecosystem. Source: Animoca Brands

    TON Foundation director of growth Justin Hyun said the analytics platform and in-depth research reports provided by Animoca will play an important role in infusing Web3 functionality into the everyday experiences of Telegram users.

    Related: Web3 gaming investors more ‘choosy’ in crypto winter — Animoca’s Robby Yung

    Animoca Brands co-founder Yat Siu said the investment in TON is aligned with the firm’s efforts to drive adoption and the transition from Web2 to Web3.

    “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.”

    Siu added that Animoca has identified significant growth potential for gaming within the TON ecosystem and intends to drive the development of TON-based games over the next few years.

    The partnership with TON is the second instance of Animoca becoming a validator of a proof-of-stake blockchain protocol in Nov. 2023. The firm joined the fan token blockchain, Chiliz Chain, as a validator for its native proof-of-stake authority protocol on Nov. 14.

    Chiliz Chain is the backbone of Socios.com, which operates a plethora of fan tokens for some of the biggest global football and sports teams. Europe’s most loved football clubs and several household sports brands have tapped into the solution to power Web3 fan tokens and other blockchain-based offerings.

    TON was initially developed by Telegram, but a subsequent legal battle with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission saw the messaging application abandon its development efforts in May 2020.

    A small group of open-source developers then took over the project, which led to the establishment of the TON Foundation in May 2021. 

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