[TEP-1] Enhancing TON Through Structured Innovation: The TEP Lifecycle Framework

In the dynamic ecosystem of the TON (The Open Network) blockchain, the introduction of the TON Enhancement Proposal (TEP) system marks a pivotal advancement in standardizing and streamlining the process of proposing, discussing, and implementing innovations within the network. This paper delves into the TEP lifecycle, providing a structured framework that encourages meticulous analysis, rigorous discussion, and efficient adoption of proposals aimed at enhancing various aspects of the TON blockchain.

Introduction to TEP

The TEP, or TON Enhancement Proposal, serves as a formal design document that outlines proposed enhancements to the TON blockchain. These proposals can encompass a wide range of topics, from network protocols like ADNL to smart contract interfaces for NFTs. The need for a more structured proposal process arose from the limitations of the informal TIP system, which struggled to manage the complexities of proposing, discussing, and accepting new standards effectively.

TEP Lifecycle and Roles

The lifecycle of a TEP involves several key stages and roles, ensuring that each proposal is thoroughly vetted and discussed before being accepted or rejected. The primary roles within the TEP process include the Author, Editor, and Reviewer, each with distinct responsibilities in guiding a TEP from conception to conclusion.

TEP Creation and Review Process

The process begins with the proposal’s creation, where the Author drafts the TEP using a specified template and submits it as a pull request on the TEP GitHub repository. This draft includes a comprehensive header, a detailed body with sections such as Summary, Motivation, Specification, and Drawbacks, and adheres to formal requirements outlined in RFC 2119.

Upon submission, the TEP enters the Review stage, where assigned Reviewers and the community at large engage in discussions, critiques, and voting on the proposal. This phase is crucial for refining the TEP and ensuring it aligns with the community’s needs and technical standards.

Lifecycle Stages

Stage Description
Draft The initial phase where the TEP is drafted and submitted for review.
Review A period of community discussion, critique, and voting on the proposal.
Active The TEP has been accepted and is considered an active standard within the TON ecosystem.
Rejected The TEP has been rejected and is not merged into the repository. It may be revisited or revised for future submission.
Replaced The TEP has been superseded by a newer proposal, indicating the evolution and continuous improvement of the TON blockchain standards.

Comparative Analysis

The development of the TEP system was influenced by existing enhancement proposal frameworks from other blockchain and technology communities, such as Ethereum’s EIPs and Rust’s RFCs. The table below highlights the distinctions and inspirations drawn from these precedents:

Aspect TEP Approach Inspiration and Rationale
Proposal Structure Detailed sections including Summary, Motivation, and Specification Borrowed from Rust RFCs, emphasizing comprehensive analysis and discussion before community engagement.
Review Process Review and Final Comment Period (FCP) conducted entirely within pull requests Simplifies the review process by allowing for iterative improvements and community consensus building.
Header Format Simplified header with links to pull requests and author details Adapted from Rust RFCs for improved usability and accessibility, departing from the RFC 822 header used in other proposal systems.

Challenges and Future Directions

While the TEP system represents a significant step forward in formalizing the proposal process within the TON ecosystem, it faces challenges in reviewer engagement and management of the review process. Future enhancements may include clarifying the criteria and process for selecting reviewers, as well as exploring mechanisms to incentivize and ensure timely reviews.


The TEP lifecycle framework introduces a structured and formalized process for proposing and reviewing enhancements to the TON blockchain. By drawing inspiration from established proposal systems and adapting to the unique needs of the TON community, the TEP system aims to foster a culture of innovation, collaboration, and continuous improvement. As the TON ecosystem evolves, the TEP process will undoubtedly play a crucial role in shaping its future development and ensuring its adaptability to the ever-changing landscape of blockchain technology.

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The introduction of TEP (TON Enhancement Proposal) as outlined in this document aims to formalize the process for proposing, discussing, and implementing new standards and enhancements within the TON blockchain ecosystem. The document, spearheaded by Vladimir Lebedev and supported by contributions from noted community members, lays down a structured framework to streamline innovations and modifications to TON.

Professional Insight:

The TEP lifecycle introduces a rigorous yet flexible framework that is essential for the structured evolution of a blockchain ecosystem as dynamic and expansive as TON. It borrows successful elements from other blockchain communities, such as Ethereum’s EIP and Rust’s RFC processes, tailoring them to fit TON’s unique needs and community structure. The document clearly delineates the roles of authors, editors, and reviewers, ensuring a collaborative yet orderly progression of proposals from inception to implementation or rejection.

Questions and Considerations:

  1. Reviewer Assignment and Qualification: The process for assigning reviewers to a TEP raises questions about transparency and accountability. How will reviewers be selected, and what criteria will determine their eligibility? Ensuring a diverse and knowledgeable reviewer pool is crucial for the objective assessment of TEPs.

  2. Incentivization and Motivation for Participation: The document does not address how authors, reviewers, and other participants will be motivated to contribute actively to the TEP process. In open-source and decentralized ecosystems, incentives (whether intrinsic or extrinsic) play a critical role in encouraging sustained and meaningful contributions.

  3. Handling of Rejected Proposals: While the document outlines the possibility of revising and resubmitting rejected proposals, it does not detail the process for doing so. Clarification on how feedback from the initial review will be incorporated and what steps are necessary for a rejected proposal to be reconsidered could enhance the resubmission process.

  4. Versioning and Deprecation: The lifecycle states include “Active” and “Replaced,” but there’s a lack of clarity on how versioning of standards and protocols will be managed, especially in cases where backward compatibility is a concern. Additionally, guidelines for deprecating outdated or insecure standards could further strengthen the TEP process.

  5. Community Engagement and Consensus: The document emphasizes discussions within community channels (e.g., TON Dev chats) prior to formal proposal submission. However, strategies to ensure broad community engagement and consensus-building throughout the TEP lifecycle could be further elaborated.


The establishment of a formal TEP process is a significant step forward for the TON community, promising to enhance the blockchain’s adaptability and innovation. By addressing the aforementioned considerations and continuously refining the process based on community feedback, TON can foster a vibrant ecosystem where collaborative efforts drive forward-thinking standards and improvements. As TON continues to evolve, the TEP lifecycle will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping its future trajectory.