Champagne corks are flying as a blockchain network with decentralization at its heart celebrates its first anniversary.

Free TON is holding a series of contests to mark its launch date on May 7, 2020 — and has invited passionate community members and newcomers to come together to build something special.

As events are held online and offline to reflect on the past 12 months, one sub-governance group is encouraging artistically minded crypto enthusiasts to help design some of the first NFTs to be minted on this blockchain.

Known as Numiz, these NFTs are designed to commemorate interesting events and historic milestones — meaning every single token tells a riveting story.

Another novel twist comes in how only one side of a Numi is visible to the world, meaning owners of these digital assets can receive images, animations, music or even films that are for their eyes only. This also has advantages from a security standpoint as it can protect against the risk of counterfeiting.

It is rumored that Prada model and artist Sasha Pivovarova may be among the world-famous artists planning to enter this contest — and the beauty of its decentralized nature means their applications will be considered alongside everyone else who wishes to get involved.

Elsewhere, a contest has been taking place to launch Free TON’s DeBot technology into web browsers — a crucial milestone that aims “to break all ties with the old internet centralized censorship paradigm.”

Contests, not grants

Free TON has previously set out why it believes contests are better than grants for creating a healthy crypto community — creating a palpable sense of excitement in the community and ensuring that tokens reach a broader cross-section of people.

Ben Sunderland, one of the project’s supporters, said: “Free TON is the most scalable blockchain platform in the world, and our community is always working hard to develop contests to improve all aspects of the project. I’ve only joined the TON Labs team recently, and we’re just one team among many who are working toward a common goal: A better world through blockchain. Join us!”

Partnerships are also a crucial attribute of this project. Just some of the high-profile names that Free TON is now collaborating with include, Dune Network, Changelly and the Government Blockchain Association.

Some of the top priorities for Free TON in the coming 12 months — taking it up to its second anniversary in May 2022 — include further development of use cases and partnerships through its unique, meritocracy-based model. DeFi, education, digital passports and enhancing the way we vote are all on the agenda… alongside a tongue-in-cheek proposal to twin the website with the English town of Tonbridge in Kent.

More insights from Free TON here

A momentous year

As TON Labs CEO and co-founder Alexander Filatov explained in a live ask-me-anything session on Cointelegraph’s YouTube page earlier this week, Free TON was born from the ashes of the ill-fated Telegram Open Network.

He said Free TON’s decision to embrace truly decentralized governance was a major social experiment.

“Nobody runs or owns this project. There is no foundation, there is no legal entity — it’s a fully community-driven project,” Filatov explained.

There are currently more than 450 validators on the network’s mainnet, alongside 30 sub-governances.

Mitja Goroshevsky, a fellow co-founder who serves as TON Labs’ chief technology officer, added that the distribution of tokens on merit is another crucial element to this project.

As increasing numbers of switched on, digitally savvy consumers begin to explore what cryptocurrencies and blockchain have to offer, Free TON hopes this anniversary will give people the opportunity to find out how this network stands out from the crowd. After achieving so much in just one year, this is a project that intends to achieve a ton in the next.

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