TRON has not even been in the market for two full years, yet this cryptocurrency has already made some pretty big waves, with the release of the BitTorrent Token (BTT) as the latest development. So just what is TRON, where did it come from and where is it going in 2019?
History of TRON
The TRON foundation was first established in Singapore in July of 2017 by Justin Sun, who remains CEO until this day. Sun's vision is one which rivals many other blockchain projects out there: To create a global, decentralized platform that he is calling “Web 4.0.”
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The focus of the TRON network is on entertainment and giving full control of content to its creators. This is not unlike some other decentralized content platforms, though the team behind TRON claim that its speed and scalability offer it a unique advantage over others in the space. Originally Tronix (TRX), the token which powers the TRON network, existed as an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain. However, TRON saw the creation of the genesis block on its own blockchain on June 25th, 2018 and subsequently all Tronix was migrated onto the native platform.
Early on in the history of TRON, it was pointed out that large portions of project's whitepaper and code were lifted directly from other projects, specifically IPFS and Filecoin, with no reference given to where the ideas came from. Here's a general reference image found in the Crypto Guru's review of TRON:
Justin Sun responded by removing the whitepaper from the website and went on to claim that the original whitepaper, in Chinese, did have a “sources cited” list, but the English and other language versions had been translated by “volunteers” and had omitted the references. Whether or not this was true, an updated version of the whitepaper has been released giving due credit where needed.
What makes TRON unique?
The TRON architecture is based upon three layers, known as the storage layer, the core layer and the application layer.
The storage layer basically deals with reading and writing information on the blockchain. It also deals with storing information about the state of the chain, should forks or other discrepancies occur. The Core layer is the layer that deals with much of the meat of the network, such as smart contracts, account management, and consensus. This is the layer that implements the TRON Virtual Machine (TVM) which is the mechanics that all smart contracts on the platform will run on. Finally, the Application layer is the realm of user interaction. It basically draws on the mechanics of the other two layers to allow for dApps and wallets to be used.
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This architecture is claimed to be what will give TRON an advantage. Due to highly efficient protocols, the TRON network is boasting an impressive 2,000 transactions per second (TPS). If true, this would put it well beyond Bitcoin and Ethereum, having around 3 and 7 TPS respectively.
TRON in 2019: what does the launch of BTT mean?
It is this impressively high TPS that TRON is hoping will make it the ideal platform for the BitTorrent Token (BTT) set to be released today, with an airdrop coming in February. The endeavor is called “Project Atlas,” and looks to incentivize seeding on the BitTorrent network by linking it to the new BTT, hosted on the TRON blockchain.
BitTorrent already has an impressive user base and hopefully this move will drive development and adoption for TRON as well, though whether this will lead to other popular applications remains to be seen.
Chepicap has previously reported that former BitTorrent Executive Simon Morris does not believe the TRON network can handle the transaction volume needed to launch this new token. He is quoted:
"It was very clear when I was [at BitTorrent] that there was no way the transaction capacity of Tron would [work]... The transactional capacity we [were] looking at was needing hundreds of transactions a second just to get started. It’s simply not there. You hear all the bullshit out there, oh, this does 10,000 transactions a second. It’s all crap. We were going to melt Tron. Literally destroy it."
It is a bold statement, but surely with the launch of the token underway the world will soon know if this claim has merit.
Heading into 2019 the team behind TRON is highly optimistic that they can break into the top 5 coins by market cap this year. It is also trying to beat the competition in terms of launched dApps and overall users, having recently reached the milestones of over one million TRON accounts, and 100 million smart contracts deployed on the network.
2018👀: Main Net launch, more transaction volume vs ETH, more accts vs EOS, 1M users in 183 days, 80+ DApps in 60 days, top 10 crypto. 2019⏩: Top 4, larger ecosystem vs ETH, @BitTorrent on the #blockchain, 🌎 largest decentralized ecosystem. Happy New Year & thank you! $TRX— Justin Sun (@justinsuntron) December 31, 2018
There is no guarantee that, even with these signs of adoption, the price will respond favorably. Though the last couple weeks have seen positive growth, plausibly in anticipation of the BTT airdrop, a variety of factors could stand in the way of the coin in 2019. If there are any issues with the BTT rollout, for example, then faith in the network could falter. Furthermore other platforms could see accelerated success that may stand to eclipse the gains made by TRON.
All of that being said, the user base seems optimistic and it does seem plausible that when the bull market returns, TRON will be around to ride the wave back towards the highs of late 2017. If it can keep expanding its infrastructure and user base, then that may just be the beginning.