The TON Foundation, steward of the cryptocurrency project abandoned by messaging app provider Telegram, said it has raised over $1 billion in donations from users to advance its ecosystem.
Donations were made in toncoin (TON), the native currency of the ecosystem, over the course of 10 days starting April 7, according to an announcement Wednesday shared with CoinDesk.
A total of 527 million TON have been donated, worth just over $1 billion at the time of writing.
The funds came via 176 separate donations, with most coming from large holders. Among them, 18 donations were of over 10 million TON and 37 were of over 4 million, a TON Foundation spokesperson told CoinDesk.
The foundation has been attempting to increase the allure of the TON ecosystem to potential Web 3 builders and developers.
There is no plan to offer a direct incentive for donors, who have been motivated instead by a desire to benefit the TON ecosystem, the spokesperson said. "We think donors realize that TON's success is helped by having a well-capitalized foundation to support the ecosystem."
The TON Foundation was formed by members of the blockchain's community who wished to keep the project alive after Telegram shut it down in August 2020 following a lawsuit from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
TON's reincarnation has also recently received $250 million in investment for its first ecosystem fund, with the venture arms of Huobi and Kucoin among the backers.
While toncoin is independent from Telegram, the project was endorsed in December 2021 by Telegram founder Pavel Durov. In early 2021, Andrew Rogozov, founding member of the TON Foundation, told CoinDesk toncoin was on its way to becoming fully integrated into the messaging app, which would make the coin available to Telegram's 500 million monthly users. On Wednesday the spokesperson walked back the statement, saying no such plans had been "explicitly shared."
UPDATE (April 20, 20:23 UTC): Adds attribution to previously published statement about Telegram integration and new quote from TON spokesperson.
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