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Where to Get Started on TON

The Open Network has been a rare rocket ship during choppy markets. Here's where to get started.
David C David C Jun 18, 20246 min read
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Where to Get Started on TON

It's been hard to miss the rise of TON over the past few months.

Thanks to its integration with Telegram and persistent price action — setting new ATHs last week as the rest of the market dumped — The Open Network ecosystem continues to gain traction rapidly.

While TON remains best known for its gaming ecosystem with a wide variety of tokens and titles, its network actually offers a diverse range of activities, from liquid staking to lending and trading.

In this article, we'll dig into five of the most active areas in the TON ecosystem 👇


1. Play Telegram-based games to earn tokens

Gaming has become a stand-out feature for TON, first with Notcoin and now with other games like CatizenAI and Hamster Kombat.

  • Catizen is a popular Telegram-based play-to-earn game in which players become the mayor of a virtual cat city. The game combines city-building with crypto economics, offering strategic gameplay in which players can earn Catizen coins by developing their city, completing tasks, and participating in airdrop campaigns.

    Due to its innovative approach, strategic gameplay, and the ability to earn real crypto, the game has experienced rapid growth, boasting over 15M users and over 3.5M daily active users — more than 50% of which are paying customers.
  • Hamster Kombat puts you, a hamster, in the CEO role of an up-and-coming crypto exchange where it’s your job to grow the exchange. To do so, players tap (like with Notcoin) a golden coin to earn coins and then use those coins to buy upgrades for their exchange, which in turn earns them more coins.

    Straightforward gameplay and real crypto rewards offer a tangible incentive for players and have driven the game to a 150M player user base! Set to launch a token airdrop in July, Hamster Kombat follows the success of its predecessor, Notcoin, which saw its token value soar. 

In summary, gaming on TON, whether through Catizen or Hamster Kombat, offers some (very) simple entertainment and real-world rewards, making it an attractive option for early speculators.

2. Liquid-Stake your TON for additional rewards

Like most PoS ecosystems, liquid staking with Tonstakers or Bemo Finance lets you use your TON to earn additional rewards. 

  • Tonstakers lets TON holders pool their funds for blockchain validation. These users, called Nominators, stake their TON in a pool to help validate the network and earn rewards. By nominating a pool, stakers exercise their validation rights and contribute to the network's security and performance.

    The primary source of rewards in the Tonstakers protocol comes from validation rewards. However, at the pool level, these rewards also come from interest payments made by validators borrowing funds from nominators for staking. In return for staking Toncoin through the Tonstakers protocol, participants receive a liquid staking receipt token known as Jetton Pool.
  • Bemo is another non-custodial liquid staking protocol on TON. It allows users to stake TON tokens and receive stTON tokens in return that can be freely used in DeFi and increase in value as staking rewards are earned. 

    stTON eliminates the need to unstake or wait through cool-down periods since they can be transferred, traded, or used in DeFi anytime. Additionally, you can enhance your yield by using stTON tokens for liquidity provision on TON DEXs or lending protocols, earning more returns beyond staking rewards. 

In conclusion, both Tonstakers and Bemo Finance offer excellent opportunities for users to earn rewards through staking, making them valuable tools for maximizing your TON holdings.

3. Swap tokens on DEXs

DEXs lie at the center of TON’s DeFi ecosystem to drive the network forward, particularly STON.fi and DeDust.

  • STON.fi is a decentralized automated market maker (AMM) built on the TON blockchain, offering virtually zero fees, low slippage, and an easy-to-use interface. Founded in 2022, STON.fi aims to build a user-friendly crypto exchange for mass adoption via Telegram’s audience. The TON blockchain's sharding architecture allows STON.fi users to conduct millions of transactions per second, enabling the speed necessary for trading.
  • DeDust is another DEX on TON. At its core lies the DeDust Protocol 2.0, a system that allows DeDust to build for user experience, gas efficiency, and extensibility. Beyond token swaps, DeDust boasts additional features like bridging and staking its native token, SCALE, to earn protocol rewards. Users can also provide liquidity on DeDust, some pools of which hold attractive APYs, like TON/USDT, at 160% APR

Overall, both STON.fi and DeDust provide TON with the liquidity hubs the network needs to develop a robust DeFi ecosystem and give traders a place on the Open Network. 

4. Lend through money markets

Lending platforms on TON offer additional ways to leverage your assets and turn a profit.

  • Evaa Protocol is a lending platform on the TON network that allows users to lend and borrow assets like TON, stTON, tsTON, and USDT directly from Telegram. With double-digit interest rates for TON and USDT, the platform stands out as a competitive option for participating in DeFi and earning additional yield on your TON — way higher than with staking! The protocol currently has an XP points program, which can be later burned in exchange for the EVAA token when it launches. 
  • DAOLama offers NFT lending for TON, currently supporting over 35 collections. On the platform, users can choose an NFT they’d like to rent out in exchange for TON, create a proposal, and then, when confirmed, receive TON based on the proposal's guidelines. Additionally, DAOLama’s marketplace offers a Buy Now, Pay Later feature for NFTs, allowing you to purchase NFTs like Anonymous Telegram Numbers 👀 for 41 TON instead of 113 TON. 

In conclusion, Evaa Protocol and DAOLama TON offer unique and user-friendly lending solutions, providing even more avenues for earning yield on TON.

5. Trade crypto derivatives

For fans of derivatives trading, TON comes ready for platforms for trading crypto assets on up to 50x leverage.

  • Storm Trade is a decentralized derivatives trading platform built on TON and directly integrated with Telegram. Accessible via a web app and Telegram bot, Storm Trade provides trading features like leverage up to x50, instant price updates, and trading pairs with collateral in TON and USDT.

    In addition, Storm Trade offers opportunities to earn through tournaments or by providing liquidity. In their daily tournaments, users compete for Storm Trade NFTs, which will whitelist them for the exchange’s token at launch. In their vaults, users can provide liquidity to act as a counterparty to traders on the platform and earn 70% of protocol fees. This can all be done directly from Telegram, making trading available on the go.

With its clean Telegram integration and substantial trading features, Storm Trade makes decentralized derivatives trading both accessible and rewarding.


Just Getting Started

The TON network offers a diverse range of activities for both new and experienced crypto users. 

From hosting games like Catizen and Hamster Kombat to earn tokens, to leveraging liquid staking protocols like Tonstakers and Bemo Finance for additional rewards, the network is equipped to attract a range of users. You can swap tokens on DEXs like STON.fi and DeDust, lend assets with Evaa Protocol and DAOLama TON, and trade derivatives on Storm Trade with up to 50x leverage.

With its robust ecosystem and strong momentum, TON looks prepared to attract and engage new and existing users, leveraging its Telegram integrations fully to be a versatile and promising blockchain accessible to all.

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David C

Written by David C

141 Articles View all      

David is a writer/analyst at Bankless. Prior to joining Bankless, he worked for a series of early-stage crypto startups and on grants from the Ethereum, Solana, and Urbit Foundations. He graduated from Skidmore College in New York. He currently lives in the Midwest and enjoys NFTs, but no longer participates in them.

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