Ordinals-inspired Protocol Grounds TON Blockchain

Reading Time: 2 minutes
  • The Open Network blockchain (TON) experienced significant transaction delays this week due to heightened activity from a Bitcoin Ordinals-inspired protocol
  • By Thursday, over 2.5 million pending transactions were recorded, causing the blockchain’s speed to dip below one transaction per second
  • Inscriptions have caused issues on other blockchains, including Bitcoin and Polygon

The Open Network blockchain (TON) is experiencing significant transaction delays due to increased activity from a protocol inspired by Bitcoin Ordinals. Starting on Tuesday, the congestion saw over 2.5 million pending transactions recorded by Thursday afternoon, causing the blockchain’s speed to drop to less than one transaction per second. The congestion led popular TON cryptocurrency wallets, such as Wallet and Tonkeeper, to temporarily suspend services.

Tonano Launch Behind Lagging Transactions?

The issues appear to relate to the launch of Tonano, a service for creating blockchain inscriptions based on Bitcoin Ordinals, using the TON20 token standard. The severe congestion resulted from validator nodes running on insufficient hardware, rented for low loads with no provision for increased demand.

This insufficient provision resulted in inscriptions flooding the blockchain with data and clogging it up to near choking point, an issue that famously plagued the Bitcoin blockchain earlier this year when Ordinals launched. The storing of such data on the TON blockchain has been a controversial issue, as it has on all blockchains that have run an inscription-type service; the situation with Bitcoin has led to an influential developer labeling it a vulnerability in Bitcoin’s code and implementing a patch to ‘fix’ it.

Not the Last

A patch has since been issued to the TON blockchain to address the problem, and stricter penalties for lagging validators are planned for the future. With TON the latest in a line of blockchains to have to deal with inscriptions and the fallout of their implementation, we will almost certainly see more blockchains experiencing the same spike and concomitant pressures in the future.