What is Tron (TRX)?
Tron intends to create a decentralized operating system that enables users to publish, store, own, and access data. Tron is focusing on a decentralized content entertainment system and is branding itself to be a decentralized internet. Despite its branding, Tron is a direct competitor to other cryptocurrencies trying to create a platform for decentralized applications and smart contracts, like Ethereum, EOS, and Cardano. Note that most of Tron’s primary resources are in Chinese and are not originally in English. Also note that Tron’s mainnet launch that’s scheduled for May 31st, will greatly affect some of the concerns in this report.
Tron is targeting the problem of centralized entities having too much power over data on the internet, but the more specific problem it is addressing is creating a decentralized network that can process several decentralized applications and smart contracts at once. Ethereum is the most popular platform for such use cases, but its throughput currently peaks at about 15 transactions per second, which is not fast enough to support commercial applications.
Tron will use an “Improved POS consensus” that looks like delegated proof of stake. Specific details about how many delegates there will be or how they will be chosen are not included in the “Technical Docs” section of Tron’s website. The “Design Book of Tron Architecture” document includes the following rules about their consensus mechanism, which vaguely describes a delegated proof of stake system:
- Coin holders are required to vote for nodes in accordance to their coins that have vote right. And nodes are elected to become what are known as witnesses based on votes and rules, which keep a balance between block-producing speed and the number of witness.
- Meanwhile, voting users and nodes that are voted out will be paid for a certain sum of money for encouraging them to run for further elections.
- Witnesses will produce valid blocks successively based on specific distribution rules and success to do so results in highest reward.
- The vast majority of witnesses are chosen by votes and the rest will guarantee to be selected randomly under certain algorithm.
Point of TRX coin?
I could not find the succinct purpose of the TRX coin directly from a text primary source from Tron but 3rd party sources claim that Tron will be used to pay for smart contract fees, used to put decentralized applications on the Tron network, and to also provide an exchangeable currency for Tron-based-tokens. Tron will launch its own token protocol, similar to the ERC-20 protocol and TRX may be used to exchange those tokens.
Click here to see Tron’s team. Most notably, Justin Sun is Tron’s CEO. He founded Peiwo, which the Tron whitepaper claims to have over 10 million users. Beyond Justin Sun, Tron’s website features 75 other team members which mostly consist of engineers and product developers. The Tron website does not post LinkedIN links to their team members and about half of their captions are vague. Although Tron does not make it easy to check the track record of their contributor’s, it looks like they have experienced team members.
Justin Sun founded Peiwo, a Chinese social media app with supposedly 10 million users. Tron plans to integrate Peiwo with TRX so that Peiwo accounts use TRX, which would significantly increase Tron adoption.
This is a good article that explains the plagiarism in Tron’s whitepaper. Portions of the whitepaper were replications of sections from FileCoin’s and IPFS’s whitepaper without proper citations. Justin Sun attributed this to translation mistakes and removed the Tron whitepaper from its website.
Vitalik Buterin also mocked Justin Sun for Tron’s whitepaper.
Tron’s market cap is worth multiple billions of dollars, has a team of over 50 people, and a founder that graduated from a top 10 American school, yet it has significant English translation issues. Compared to other competitors like Ethereum, Cardano, and EOS, Tron seems to focus its marketing more on hype over its technology. Before a mainnet is released, BlockWolf feels less comfortable speculating on the future of Tron rather than a coin that is led by more tech-centric founders like Ethereum, Cardano, and EOS.