TON Foundation teams up with HashKey on fiat access

The TON Foundation, a collective of developers behind The Open Network (TON) blockchain, has entered into a strategic partnership with digital asset financial services firm HashKey Group.

The collaboration is said to improve the fiat and crypto on-and-off-ramp experience for users of the Telegram wallet service, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.

TON is a high-throughput layer-1 blockchain designed and developed by the Durov brothers, who created the messenger platform Telegram.

Originally launched by Telegram in 2018, the TON blockchain project was discontinued in 2020 following legal challenges from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Subsequently, the community members established the TON Foundation to continue the project’s development with an endorsement from Telegram.

The partnership’s initial focus will be on the Hong Kong market, with plans to extend services to other Asia-Pacific markets depending on the success of their initial efforts. This initiative is a key part of a larger strategy aimed at making cryptocurrency transactions as smooth and routine as everyday financial activities.

According to Livio Weng, Chief Operating Officer of HashKey Group, the collaboration is set to streamline the fiat on-and-off ramp experience to integrate cryptocurrency into daily life. The TON Foundation also indicated that it is exploring options for treasury management with HashKey Group.

The announcement seemed to have a positive, albeit modest, impact on the market. TON’s native token Toncoin rose 1.7% in the hour following the announcement, despite a nearly 4% decline over the previous 24 hours. Meanwhile, the wider digital asset market saw a decline of about 1.3% during the same period.

This partnership comes at a time when HashKey Group is expanding its footprint in the Asia-Pacific region. Earlier this week, the firm has gone live with its global cryptocurrency exchange, HashKey Global, following the acquisition of a license in Bermuda.

The launch places HashKey in direct competition with major players like Coinbase, which rolled out its international derivatives exchange in Bermuda last year amid a deepening regulatory crackdown at home.