Decentralizing the Internet
TRON is a blockchain company whose stated goal is to decentralize the web. Known for its high scalability, low fees and aggressive style of marketing, TRON’s native cryptocurrency (TRX) is currently a top 15 digital asset by market cap.
The TRON ecosystem attracts retail investors including gamers and defi speculators who want to be entertained and enriched in equal measure. If you like your blockchain projects aggressively marketed and widely integrated, TRON’s smart contract network should certainly be on your watchlist.
Mission and Values
TRON wants to “improve the user experience of blockchain transactions for everyone,” according to Justin Sun, and combine TRON and BitTorrent (which it acquired in 2018) to build a comprehensive decentralized global content entertainment system.
TRON has repeatedly asserted its commitment to accessibility and affordability, adapting its technology to empower content creators and the communities they serve. The company has ambitions of becoming the world’s largest decentralized ecosystem, and in the process making the internet decentralized and available for everyone.
An Expanding Ecosystem
If crypto mergers and acquisitions was a sport, TRON would win the gold medal every time. The TRON Foundation has become a major industry player in recent years, with its own decentralized exchange (JustSwap), sidechain scaling platform (Sun Network), stablecoins (USDJ, JUST), oracle (JustLink), P2P file-sharing network (BitTorrent) and live-streaming community (DLive).
TRON’s main competitor is Ethereum, with each network vying for dominance of the defi landscape and the former frequently accused of “copying” its rival.
In 2019, Samsung integrated TRON into its Blockchain Keystore, enabling users to access the company’s suite of decentralized applications. TRON CEO Justin Sun called the move the “most important milestone for blockchain progress so far.” That same year, the total number of accounts created on TRON surpassed four million.
The company has offices in both Beijing and San Francisco.
Established in 2017 after raising $70 million in a well-publicized ICO, the open-source protocol enables developers to create dApps capable of handling 2,000 transactions per second (TPS).
The TRX token issued by the TRON Foundation has a circulating supply of 72 billion and a maximum supply of 101 billion. Token-holders can stake TRX to elect Super Representatives (SR), whose role it is to maintain the network’s integrity.
Many decentralized applications require the use of TRX, which can be traded on the world’s top exchange platforms and purchased using a credit card from the likes of Binance, KuCoin and Poloniex. The basic unit of account on the TRON blockchain, TRX connects the entire ecosystem and is complemented by JUST and USDJ.
Conceived as a solution to the scalability challenges troubling Ethereum, TRON is a smart contract platform that uses the Solidity programming language. TRON’s consensus mechanism is based on Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) and its distributed storage protocol comprises Block Storage and State Storage.
The TRON community is expansive. CEO Justin Sun has over 2 million Twitter followers, making him one of the most high-profile figures in the crypto industry. The TRON Foundation, meanwhile, has over half a million.
Discounting members of its network (BitTorrent, JustSwap etc), TRON has no fewer than 16 official social media accounts including Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Weibo, Medium and Telegram, the latter featuring specific groups for China, Russia, Japan, Spain and other territories. TRON publishes weekly reports in 15 international languages on its Medium channel and Sun frequently appears at crypto conferences to beat the drum about the network.
Market and Competition
One cannot mention TRON without also mentioning Ethereum: both projects have similar lofty goals and near-identical products, and the founders of each company, Vitalik Buterin and Justin Sun, have thrown verbal jabs at one another in the past. TRON seems determined to surpass Ethereum by all metrics, from number of transactions and pace of development to funds locked in defi and even social media followers. Whether it can achieve this ambition remains to be seen.
EOS is another competitor of TRON, notable for its low fees and high throughput.
With total defi volume having surpassed $12 billion in 2020, this is likely to be a key battleground between the warring blockchains in the years to come. In its quest to onboard new users, TRON has also positioned TRON 4.0 as a superior version of Ethereum 2.0.
News and Views
TRON is one of the most talked-about companies in the crypto world and perhaps one of the most polarizing projects, attracting both acclaim and opprobrium. The company produces a continuous flow of press releases and updates, particularly via Sun’s personal Twitter account, and though most of the network’s activity is driven by gaming and gambling dApps, its ambition is to be an all-encompassing ecosystem for value transfer and content management.