Although there were recent reports about an argument with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and the Telegram, not very many people have heard of the Telegram's Open Network contest that took place a few weeks ago. This was a big event that turned the formerly tiny TON developer community for Fift into a much larger one around a new platform.
Here is a summary of what happened. FunC is TON's oter language for writing. It is a high-level language fairly similar to C and easier to read and write compared to Fift. A good comparison of C to FunC is C# to CIL. Before the competition, there was not much documentation about FunC. This lack of documentation on FunC caused contest participants to learn from existing samples and analyze them. Most of the participants were able to start writing in FunC within a few days.
When writing a contract in FunC, the developer has to know how to deploy and compile the contract. They also have to know how to call functions with arguments. There were no examples showing all of the steps of how to do this. TON only had a brief set of guidelines. It took the participants a lot of effort to find their way.
The contest had five tasks. One of them was an asynchronous payment channel, and the other was a synchronous one. A payment channel is a way to send transactions between two outside parties and make the process faster, inexpensive and customized to the needs of the participants. The participants have their own blockchain accounts.
Both parties send coins to the contract with an open payment channel. Funds have to be sent from both parties in order to open the channel. Once a channel is open, more than 100,000 transactions per second can be completed. It all happens off-chain. In order for a withdrawal to take place, a party has to prove that the sum they remove actually belongs to them. They do this with a signature and a state.
The asynchronous channel is different. Each party has its own states.