What is TRON
Table of content:
- What is TRON: A Definition
- Origins and History
- Justin Sun
- TRON’s Main Objective
- The TRON Currency TRX and What You Can Do with It
- TRON Protocol and Architecture
- TRON Nodes
- TRON and TRX Transaction Speed
- TRON and Scalability
- TRON and Top Projects
- TRON Virtual Machine (TVM)
- TRON Wallets
- TRON: Partnerships and Exchanges
- TRON Roadmap
TRON is one of the top cryptocurrencies when it comes to market capitalisation, which also makes it the most popular cryptocurrency. TRON was first launched back in 2017 as an ERC20 token, initially being a part of a wider ecosystem of tokens compatible with the Ethereum network.
TRON cryptocurrency has come a long way from representing yet another ERC20 token on Ethereum’s mainnet. It is now a peer-to-peer network with a focus on decentralisation and building a blockchain-based entertainment platform with the possibility of using smart contracts for dApp development.
The main goal of TRON network and its founder and CEO, Justin Sun, is to create Web 3.0, a fully decentralised internet and the next important step towards boldly advocating for a new age of digitalisation and the internet as we know it.
What is TRON: A Definition
TRON is a decentralised, peer-to-peer blockchain network that achieved its independence in May 2018 when the development team launched the TRON mainnet, where TRX units represent the native currency. The network has a goal of creating and representing a system for global entertainment and digital content with distributed ledger technology where sharing content under low fees and with high efficiency is enabled.
Origins and History
TRON is a rather enthusiastic project and the brainchild of Justin Sun, the CEO and creator of the TRON network and cryptocurrency. Sun is also the youngest graduate from Hupan University.
The story of TRON and TRX started 12 years after the initial appearance of Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency market was heading towards its capitalisation peak, and Bitcoin was about to score an all-time high of nearly 20,000 US dollars. TRON started as an ERC20 token residing on Ethereum’s network with numerous other tokens that Ethereum provided support for on the blockchain. However, after a year, Sun flipped the TRON Foundation on its head on May 31, 2018, proclaiming Independence Day. TRON’s network launched, TRX became a native currency and lost its token title. Ever since, TRON has considered the Ethereum platform to be its top and primary competitor, as by Sun has mentioned on social networks such as Twitter.
The competition between TRON and Ethereum seems to be directly related to TRON’s and Ethereum’s virtual machine technologies, which are incredibly similar. TRON’s virtual machine is made to enable the transition of Ethereum-based projects to TRON’s virtual machine and is supported by TRON mainnet. Right after the proclamation of TRON’s Independence Day, Sun made a major purchase of BitTorrent, becoming the CEO of the largest content sharing network. Sun then proclaimed that BitTorrent should be an integral part of the TRON Foundation and the idea of creating a decentralised internet deemed Web 3.0. That is how BitTorrent became the centrepiece of TRON’s Project Atlas. TRX also became available as a method of payment on BitTorrent, enabling users to get exclusive access to faster download and upload speeds on the content sharing network.
When observing the history of TRON and TRX, it can be concluded that TRON represents one of the fastest developing blockchain projects and one of the top projects in terms of ambitious goals and milestones on the roadmap. TRON is set to be the leading cryptocurrency and blockchain platform in the domains of dApps, gaming, online gambling, and digital entertainment.
Justin Sun is one of the key figures who advocated for blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, aiming to bring these technological wonders to mainstream waters. Protégé of Jack Ma, the founder and executive chairman of the popular e-commerce network Alibaba, Sun is a confident young crypto and blockchain enthusiast set to bring new ideas to the blockchain-development table. When Sun purchased the well-known content sharing platform BitTorrent, he became the owner and CEO of the company behind the content sharing platform, holding it as a perfect example of efficient and cost-effective content sharing.
By vocation, Sun is a tech entrepreneur with an MA degree in East Asia studies from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in history from Peking University. Before founding TRON and creating the TRX currency, Sun was a chief representative for a blockchain company known as Ripple, representing another one of the top blockchain projects in the Greater China area. At the time, Sun also founded a social application called Peiwo.
TRON’s Main Objective
The main objective of the TRON Foundation is to create a free blockchain-based, decentralised entertainment platform while enabling content creators to get monetary compensation that matches their contributions. TRON places a major focus on enabling content creators to establish ownership over the digital content they create, which is quite the opposite of the philosophy that forms and defines social networks.
Social networks such as Facebook (which had over 2.2 billion registered users and account owners at the beginning of 2019) don’t have a system to ensure that content creators—users who upload multimedia content—own their content and are paid for their contributions. TRON, on the other hand, advocates for a blockchain-based protocol that allows for seamless publishing of multimedia content, alongside enabling easy and simple data storing and data ownership establishing.
TRON project wants to create Web 3.0
The bigger picture behind the project is to create a completely decentralised internet, referred to as Web 3.0, pushing the evolution of the internet as we know it through the utilisation of smart contracts and the development of decentralised applications.
The TRON mainnet represents the native network of the TRX tokens. It was created to allow for low-fee and decentralised transfers of monetary value. It also serves the purpose of a payment system for gaining access to various blockchain-based applications and services hosted on the TRON network. This objective points to another goal set by the foundation, which is to encourage developers to work with smart contracts to create different decentralised applications for various purposes.
Another objective set by the TRON Foundation is to allow users to create, publish, and own their content without having a central authority that holds control over that content. Instead, only acclaimed content owners and creators hold control and management, as well as the rights to their created content. Other users may gain access to this content by making a payment in the form of TRX units in accordance with the value that content owners set by themselves. With the rise of social media networks and tech giants such as Google, content owners are losing the exclusive rights to their data. The TRON Foundation aims to resolve this issue through blockchain and help content creators regain control and authority over content and data they own.
The peer-to-peer nature of the platform should remove the middleman from the equation, as well as remove the centralised authority from the picture, creating a direct connection between content creators and content consumers.
Following the example of Ethereum network, where TRON was hosted before gaining independence through the TRON mainnet launch, the TRON network also allows for the creation of new crypto and blockchain-based projects on TRON blockchain. Developers may host their token sets to join the cryptocurrency market and crypto exchanges on TRON network in the same fashion that Ethereum allows for the hosting of ERC20 type tokens. Tokens hosted on the TRON network are known as TRC10 and TRC20 tokens. The native currency of the platform represents the means of exchange for the hosted TRC tokens.
The TRON Currency TRX and What You Can Do with It
At the initial launch of the TRON project and TRX, TRX represented yet another ERC20 token hosted on the Ethereum network. A year later, TRON became an independent project with its own mainnet( blockchain network). Consequently, TRX became a native currency of the platform.
TRX can be used as a payment medium for purchasing various products and blockchain-based services hosted, developed, and created on the network. Additionally, TRC tokens hosted on the TRON network can be directly exchanged for TRX units.
The total supply of TRX units is set to 100 billion, and the foundation is working on buying off a part of the TRX units that are currently in circulation. After the initial launch of TRX, TRON raised around 70 million dollars in the form of TRX. The foundation also locked 34.2 billion TRX units, which are said to be unlocked in 2020. Although the TRON Foundation is working on repurchasing a portion of TRX units that are currently in circulation, TRON representatives have not revealed the purpose of this recollection so far.
TRX can be used to tip on Twitter and Telegram
In the spirit of using TRON and TRX to help creators regain control over their content, GoSeedit allows TRX users to use TRON’s official cryptocurrency to tip their favourite content creators on Twitter and Telegram. TRX can be used through GoSeedit to tip celebrities and the people behind posts, as well as send money in the form of TRX to family and friends who have accounts on Twitter and Telegram.
TRX also has the basic purpose that all other cryptocurrencies have, which is to act as a means of payments—that is, it is an alternative payment method. You can purchase TRX units, trade them, exchange them, or use TRX to purchase different products and services on the network. Some of the favourite activities of users are using gambling and gaming applications, with access to these services being unlocked with TRX.
TRON Protocol and Architecture: The TRON Consensus Mechanism, Super Representatives, and Three-Layered Architecture
When it comes to the consensus mechanism, TRON developers have created a unique protocol called TRON Consensus Mechanism. The proof-of-work protocol used by Bitcoin and its successors (that have built blockchain platforms based on the philosophy used for Bitcoin) has flaws in that it is not being particularly energy-efficient. Therefore, the TRON developers came up with a transformed version of the proof-of-stake (PoS) protocol, which means that the TRON network uses a delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS) consensus mechanism. The TRON Consensus Mechanism represents an improved version of DPoS, and it was created based on the community’s efforts and bug reports and designed to match the requirements of the network. The core design of the platform is, thus, deemed unique. This protocol serves the purpose of injecting a viable solution for scalability into the core design of the TRON network. It is ready to support the further growth and development of the TRON blockchain.
The very first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was the first cryptocurrency ever to be pitched through a whitepaper and launched for global usage. Many other cryptos with blockchain networks followed and adopted the protocol used by Bitcoin. However, transactions on the TRON network are not validated through the process of mining. Instead, the TRON blockchain relies on delegates, as the name of its protocol suggests. DPoS is a version of a consensus mechanism built upon the model of PoS that requires staking of the available funds in the form of a cryptocurrency to validate transactions.
Tron uses DPoS protocol to validate transactions
As an alternative version of the PoS protocol, DPoS requires cryptocurrency holders (in this case, TRX owners) to choose delegates who will be in charge of validating transactions on the blockchain, thereby maintaining the network. Transactions are validated by having these delegates create new blocks and adding these blocks to the blockchain network, validating transactions and keeping the network in order. Compensation is given in return for the delegates’ efforts, just as miners receive their share of crypto units by solving mathematical equations and validating transactions along the way.
Following the design of DPos, users of the network vote for their preferred delegates. At least 50% of the network users have to vote for their preferred candidates. The candidates with the highest number of votes get the chance to become delegates, who take care of block creation and transaction validation. With the TRON Consensus Mechanism, which represents a version of DPoS, delegates are officially known as Super Representatives (SR). The role of SRs is crucial to the vitality and functionality of the TRON network.
Users who vote need TRON Power (TP) to vote. TP encourages users to keep TRX funds frozen—that is, unused and unsold—thereby building TP for each user based on how many funds are frozen and for how long. The ratio between votes and TP is rather simple: one frozen TRX unit equals one vote. When electing SRs, all users can use their TP to place votes for the delegate they consider the most suitable choice. Once the vote is used, TP used for the election loses its power and is annulated for any future voting. If there is another vote, new funds need to be frozen to gain more TP.
The network creates records for voting; however, only the most recent voting records are kept on the blockchain, which means that every new vote made by a user erases the last voting records.
Twenty-seven SRs are elected out of 127 candidates. SRs are chosen within a period of six hours, and new voting sessions are enabled in the given timeframe. The list of the 127 candidates for SR positions is updated at every six hours within elections, with TRX 115,200 equally divided among the candidates.
Super Representatives (SR) are responsible for new blocks and bookkeeping
The role of an SR is integral because SRs take care of creating new blocks and bookkeeping, and they are compensated for their efforts in accordance with the importance of the role they hold.
The protocol used by TRON and supported in function by the SRs is set to create a new block every three seconds, rewarding 27 SRs with 32 TRX for every created block. The rewards are automatically split between all SRs. The yearly budget set aside for the SRs is TRX 336,384,000, and it is split among the 27 delegates.
The mechanism for SRs to collect rewards from their role is set in a way that does not allow SRs to collect more than a single reward per 24 hours. Creating a sub-account on the network is the first step in receiving SR rewards. SRs can check the balance of their reward by accessing their sub-account on the TRON ledger; however, the funds cannot be used until these TRX units reach the SR’s personal account.
In the spirit of transparency (which goes hand in hand with blockchain and decentralisation), information and votes for SRs are also made transparent. Network users can see their SR addresses, missed blocks, generated blocks, rewards, and received votes, as well as the website address of each SR. The system is created in such a way that anyone can apply to become an SR candidate; however, with the application, each applicant has to burn 9999 of their own TRX units.
When it comes to the architecture of the network, the TRON blockchain is built in three layers to enable all available functions on the network: developing with smart contracts, storing data and value, and preserving core values and protocols on the network. The network is made out of a storage layer, core layer, and application layer.
The storage layer, as the name suggests, is reserved for data storage through a distributed protocol on the network that contains state storage and block storage. The core layer is designed to support the utilisation of smart contracts and the development of decentralised applications. TRON’s core layer has three modules: an account management module, a consensus module, and a smart contract module. This setup enables proper dApp creation and smart contract operations. Furthermore, TRON architecture is created to support all network requirements by dividing functions into three layers.
The architecture of the TRON network is comprised of three different types of nodes, each with its own specific purpose. Nodes are devices created to support the network’s functions, working together to carry the foundation of the network.
The SR nodes carry the production of new blocks in accordance with the SRs’ roles. The full nodes support transactions made on the blockchain, as well as provide the API. The solidity nodes are connected to the full nodes, which is connected to the mainnet. The solidity nodes provide inquiries for the API and work on synchronising irrevocable blocks.
TRON and TRX Transaction Speed
TRON is probably one of the fastest blockchain environments when it comes to transaction speed. TRON is said to be able to process up to 2,000 transactions per second, counting on block creation that takes three seconds per block. As the network develops according to TRON’s roadmap, the team behind TRX is planning to enable 10,000 transactions per second, increasing the speed of transactions by five times. As explained on the official TRON Foundation website, high throughput allows the network to surpass the top currencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, in terms of transaction speed.
TRON and Scalability
Scalability is deemed one of the biggest and most important issues for blockchain platforms that deal with transactions and cryptocurrencies. Scaling the network to allow for more transactions per second is the main objective, alongside preventing traffic jams and network cluster. Justin Sun announced TRON’s scalability solution in August 2019. The Sun Network, or TRON Network v1.0, is an improved version of the system that was set to increase the speed of transactions on the network and allow for seamless scaling. The network improvements were released soon after the announcement, reflecting changes in the speed of smart contract execution, as well as transactions within smart contract operations.
The goal of this scalability solution is to not only speed up transactions but also allow for dApp faster execution with improved security, energy-efficiency, and general efficiency. Furthermore, the Sun Network’s scalability solution is set to lower transaction fees while speeding up transactions on the network and within smart contract operations. To achieve scalability, the Sun Network uses side-chain and cross-chain communication while the dApp mainnet awaits its official release for more improved scalability when it comes to developing decentralised applications.
TRON and Top Projects
When it comes to the TRON network’s proposed projects, we can conclude that TRON’s operation projects usually revolve around dApp development and encouraging smart contract operations for various applications, as well as building Web 3.0.
One of the biggest and perhaps the most ambitious projects in the TRON Foundation pipeline is Project Atlas, with BitTorrent as the centrepiece of the project. Project Atlas started out with the major purchase of BitTorrent. Sun announced the name of the project without sharing many details after Sun had become the CEO of the company behind BitTorrent. Sun spent $140 million on this purchase, later announcing that BitTorrent wouldn’t change its work policy. Content sharing is still available for clients outside the blockchain integration.
The main objective of the project is to merge BitTorrent’s technology with blockchain technology and release BitTorrent Tokens (BTT), which represent another type of TRON token. However, instead of being a TRON 20 type token, BTT belongs to TRON type 10, which means that BTT is a utility token. BTT is specially designed to advocate for mainstream adoption of blockchain and serves the purpose of fostering speed on the largest content sharing network. The goal of the Project Atlas is to allow content creators and streamers to take advantage of blockchain technology for streaming services and distributing digital content while rewarding these content creators and streamers with tokens. Consumers may also use their tokens to unlock faster download speeds when downloading digital content from the platform. The ultimate objective is to create the fastest and most scalable environment for content sharing. The project system was created in a way that allows users to unlock BitTorrent Speed with BTT tokens to gain access to faster downloads. Think of this environment as a marketplace of bandwidth that can be purchased from BitTorrent users.
BTT tokens can be stored in specially designed wallets integrated with the system, where users can also exchange their BTT units for TRX. Project Atlas’s services are already available in 138 countries around the globe, counting 100 million users and a total of 22% upstream traffic.
Another important project facilitated by the TRON Foundation is the TRON dApp Accelerator. The first dApp incubator within the project offered $1 million for the winning projects and developers.
The goal of the project is to encourage dApp creation and development, encouraging developers to utilise the potential of blockchain technology. The TRON network was created to enable hosting for decentralised applications, and there is an overall focus on dApp creation in the entertainment industry. Therefore, most dApps on the TRON network are related to gambling and gaming.
There are around 500 different decentralised applications on the network, and the TRON Foundation is looking to attract more developers to its mainnet. The most popular decentralised applications on the network are in the domain of gambling and gaming. The network hosts some of the most popular dApps on the market.
The TRON Virtual Machine (TVM)
The TRON Virtual Machine (TVM) was launched right after the proclamation of TRON Independence Day, which also marked a new era for the TRON Foundation and TRX users. The TVM is described as lightweight, developer-friendly, scalable, and secure set to allow developers to easily create dApps for various purposes. The TVM was created in a way that allows seamless integration with the mainnet environment and is compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine environment.
Sun considers Ethereum to be TRON’s greatest competition Ethereum was the first network to have started with dApp creation and development, introducing smart contracts that are now a part of the global blockchain ecosystem and a point of interest for many different blockchain-based platforms. The TVM is designed to be compatible with not only the Ethereum Virtual Machine environment but is also TRON’s DPoS. It was created to allow for the migration of Ethereum-based dApps to the TRON mainnet. The fact that this compatibility exists means that developers who are interested in changing the environment they are working in don’t have to learn a new programming language in order to do so. The TVM allows for programming in different programming languages, including Solidity. Smart contracts can thus be built and deployed on the network while being isolated from external connections after TVM execution, which is supported by the Solidity Node.
One of the advantages that the TRON Foundation made sure of, is to include the ability for developers to utilise bandwidth to execute contracts instead of having the speed and efficiency depend on how many tokens the developer has. While Ethereum uses GAS for its smart contract consumption mechanism, thereby restricting the computation power by the GAS amounts, execution of smart contracts is free on the TVM, making the TVM a more cost-effective solution.
At the same time, free execution on the TVM describes the lightweight nature of this virtual machine, reducing resources and costs for executing smart contracts and building applications. As far as scalability and security are concerned, the TRON Foundation decided to allow the consumption of bandwidth instead of TRX units like the way the Ethereum VM consumes GAS for execution, thereby preventing security breaches. Because Ethereum uses GAS amounts to define the computing power and speed of execution, the EVM becomes more prone to security attacks, which is what TRON wants to avoid with its TVM.
Ethereum contracts can be efficiently executed on TVM
Development costs are also reduced compared to those of EVM. The TVM represents a compatible virtual machine, allowing developers to work with mainstream programming languages. In that spirit, all smart contracts built on the EVM can be efficiently executed on the TVM.
Another feature of the TVM that the TRON Foundation takes pride in is the fact that the machine is built to be developer-friendly, which means that the TVM has interfaces displaying all the commands and actions, including deployment, viewing of smart contracts, and trigger commands. Simultaneously, the TVM architecture allows developers to focus on the code of their smart contracts with easily available commands. There are three interfaces within the TVM used for deploying, triggering, and checking smart contracts.
Although the TRON Foundation has already attracted many new developers and has a growing number of dApps deployed on the mainnet, TRON is already planning future developments for the TVM. These developments will include more developer-friendly tools for debugging, as well as improved developer efficiency through data formats and standardised symbols created with future developments. The TVM is also designed to support multi-scenario tasks, which means that developers can get involved with numerous applications through the TVM, including scientific computing and gaming.
Efficiency, compatibility, and little time needed for smart contract creation are some of the main reasons why the TRON network has managed to attract a flattering number of developers within a short span of time.
Choose your cryptocurrency wallet carefully because your TRX units need to be secured and properly stored to address security issues that may arise if you choose to go for a wallet that doesn’t have enough security to keep your crypto safe. According to the majority of crypto wallet users, the best choice is a hardware wallet, which is the safest solution for storing your TRX units long term. Hardware wallets are said to be the most reliable in the domain of security, but you can consider using Ledger wallets, including the Nano Series. These wallets support TRX, as well as many other tokens and coins.
If you want to try a mobile version, then there are several options you can check out. Some more familiar options for mobile crypto wallets supported by iOS and Android are Cobo Wallet, Wallet.io, TRONWallet.me, Trust Wallet and TRON Android. Mobile wallets are as safe as your phone protection, so these types of wallets are not recommended for storing your TRX long term. You should limit the amount of TRX you keep in mobile wallets to the amount you need on a daily basis or for short-term holding.
You may also decide to use desktop wallets or online wallets. TRON has its own online wallet called TRONscan. If you choose to go for desktop crypto wallet, you can try Exodus Wallet, which is one of the top-used TRX wallets.
Whichever wallet you decide to go for to keep your TRX funds, you need to make sure that you don’t lose your key.
TRON: Partnerships and Exchanges
The TRON Foundation has partnered with some very impressive brands and big names from various industries. These partnerships are how it gained momentum in the crypto and blockchain community, as well as outside crypto waters. Some of the most notable partnerships that TRON has scored since launching in 2017 are Steemit, Opera, Baidu, Aurora, Tether USDT (one of the first stablecoins backed by USD), Pantera, and more.
TRON’s roadmap describes a long journey comprised of six stages of development. The first stage was called Exodus, and it was followed by the second stage, Odyssey. The third stage is called Great Voyage and is set to place a major focus on an initial coin offering (ICO) with the ability to generate income and dividends for shareholders, similar to the way an Initial Public Offer (IPO) works. This process should take place by June 2020, as initially described in the TRON roadmap.
The fourth stage is called Apollo, and according to the TRON Foundation, this stage will allow TRON to enable token hosting, which is the case with Ethereum as well. The TRON network already has utility tokens (TRON type 10) and TRON type 20 tokens. The fifth stage of TRON ‘s development is called Star Trek and will allow the network to take on the more defined form of a gaming platform, which was originally the main objective of TRON and TRX when the currency was launched as an ERC20 token.
In the sixth and final stage, Eternity, TRON will complete all implementations and upgrades, taking the final form of a gaming platform and blockchain-based ecosystem for digital entertainment. The final stage should take place in 2027 when the TRON network takes its final form.
TRON is one of the top cryptocurrencies when it comes to market cap and blockchain projects, and it is certainly one of the most ambitious blockchain networks and cryptocurrencies. The TRON Foundation relies on not only changes, improvements, and progress but also the support of the community and the community’s feedback, which is the case with several other top crypto projects. Thanks to its accelerated progress and ambitious goals of digitalising the internet and empowering content owners to take ownership, TRX is definitely attention-worthy.