Since its inception in 2017, the mission of Orbs Network has been to empower developers to build better protocols and products without sacrificing decentralization or their ability to reach mass audiences. Orbs is set up as a separate decentralized infrastructure layer operating between existing L1/L2 solutions and the application layer, as a third layer and part of a tiered blockchain stack.
When operating as L3, Orbs is naturally augmenting an existing base L1 blockchain layer and builds on top of it. Ever since Orbs inception, this base layer L1 has always been the EVM - Ethereum’s Virtual Machine. Orbs runs on top of all prominent EVM flavors, from Ethereum mainnet to Polygon, BSC, Avalanche, Fantom and more and allows smart contract developers on these platforms to enhance the capabilities of their applications.
Back in 2017, when publishing the original Orbs white paper, we envisioned that by 2020 mass adoption of consumer blockchain applications would begin. We envisioned that consumer companies will bring their end users to use blockchain and expose this disruptive technology to billions.
As a whole, the blockchain industry has done very well in the last 5 years. We’ve reached amazing milestones of decentralization, traction and capitalization. Decentralized protocols like Uniswap are reaching sustainable TVLs of billions of dollars on-chain. As proud we are of these achievements, we must admit that the promise of mass adoption is yet to arrive. As successful as Ethereum is, the total number of active users is estimated at a few millions. Ethereum has matured into a platform that caters to professional users and the tech savvy.
While Orbs is strongly committed to the EVM and will continue forever building on Ethereum and EVM-compatible networks, we have never lost the dream to reach billions of end users with blockchain technology. We have been patiently waiting for an L1 that could carry this dream.
Two exciting contenders appeared in recent years but unfortunately disappeared - Telegram Open Network with its GRAM token was announced in 2018 and hoped to bring Telegram’s massive 9-figure userbase to blockchain and Facebook’s Diem with its Libra/DIEM token was announced in 2019 and hoped to bring Facebook’s 3-billion userbase to blockchain as well. Both endeavors were ultimately unable to find a suitable regulatory path forward and had to cease.
The abandoned Telegram codebase has since been picked up by the open source community, reincarnated as The Open Network (TON) with now a fully decentralized token - TON Coin. You can read more about the history of TON here. TON’s mainnet officially launched in early 2021 and is quickly becoming more and more popular. The network today has over 1 million active wallets and has even been formally endorsed by Telegram’s CEO.
Watching from the sidelines, I believe that TON is the first L1 that truly has a chance of carrying the blockchain industry to mass adoption. In the world of crypto, first movers are rarely replaced. When analyzing all L1 use-cases, Bitcoin was the first L1 crypto-currency and will likely never be dethroned as such. Ethereum did not compete with Bitcoin head to head, it found a new L1 use-case - the ability to develop apps for blockchain power users and will likely never be dethroned. TON is not competing with Ethereum head to head, it is attempting to win a new uncaptured L1 use-case - the ability to develop apps for the masses, the rest of the 99%. If successful, I believe that TON will never be dethroned.
Today, the Orbs network is announcing that it is officially building on TON as the first non-EVM L1. Creating a new L1 ecosystem is a great pioneering endeavor. The TON ecosystem is emerging, and it is lacking the maturity of the EVM ecosystem, but it holds great potential. Orbs will be delighted to help bring it to maturity and fulfill its promise.
As an L3 infrastructure layer, Orbs is establishing itself as a key TON ecosystem participant that is implementing new L3 use-cases for protocols running on top of TON. The emerging TON ecosystem has much room for Orbs innovations and a huge potential for capturing exciting opportunities and becoming first movers. We believe that Orbs can build some of the core infrastructure on TON and shoot to the moon as TON grows in traction.
Please stay tuned should you wish to learn more on the specific use-cases, products and services Orbs network will be rolling out on TON.