Free TON is a blockchain platform and cryptocurrency based on the TON protocol created by Nikolai and Pavel Durov, and the Telegram team in 2017. TON Labs co-founder Alexander Filatov and three of his partners worked closely with Telegram developers but when the SEC, an American regulator, stopped the Durovs project, TON Labs teamed up with other developers. Then, based on the open-source TON, launched the Free TON blockchain platform with TON Crystal tokens in 2020.
Free TON includes all the main features of the Telegram Open Network: smart contracts on a new virtual machine, distributed file storage, and so on. Free TON has also added new tools for blockchain service developers (TON OS). Also, TON Crystal tokens, in contrast to Bitcoin, are distributed based on contribution to the ecosystem, to the winners and awardees of open contests; this is due to the principle of meritocracy to which the Free TON community adheres. Currency cannot be mined. It is based on Proof of Stake.