1. What is TRON, and what is its purpose?
TRON is an open-source blockchain protocol designed to deploy a decentralized ecosystem with simplified mechanisms for creating and hosting entertainment applications and content that users can share without intermediaries. The project’s native cryptocurrency, Tronix (TRX), is supposed to be paid for placing or selling content online, and the platform itself is capable of supporting blockchains and smart contracts of other projects.
2. Who is behind the TRON project?
TRON is led by a young Chinese entrepreneur named Justin Sun. Since his activity significantly influences the market and the price of TRX, he is often referred to as a marketing genius, and the project itself has been criticized from the centralization aspect. Educated in history and economics, Justin Sun began his introduction to the cryptocurrency field in 2012 by investing in bitcoins. He then worked as a representative of Ripple in China and launched Peiwo (Chinese for “call me”), one of the most popular voice-streaming mobile apps among Chinese youth. He became the first Millennial student at the university launched by Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma and made Forbes’ “30 under 30” lists in Asia and China in 2015 and 2017. Then, in 2017, Sun created the TRON Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Singapore, through which he raised 15,000 bitcoins – 40% of an estimated 100 billion TRX token issue – at an ICO for his endeavor. In doing so, 15% of the coins were distributed at the presale, 35% went to the project’s reserve fund, and 10% went to the Peiwo Foundation. In 2018, the TRON Foundation acquired BitTorrent for $140 million – its uTorrent app generates about 3% of daily Internet traffic each month. The company also decided to launch its own version of IPFS, BTFS. Justin Sun often uses aggressive marketing, and his persona is full of controversy. For example, having analyzed TRON’s whitepaper, IPFS creator Juan Benet noted that much of the document was copied from other projects, including his own, or contains basic information about the operation of p2p systems, presented as something original. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin also accused Justin Sun of plagiarism. He also said that he would “lose hope for humanity” if Ethereum was overtaken by TRON, not some other emerging blockchain project.
3. How does TRON work?
TRON’s architecture distinguishes between three layers: storage, core, and applications. The first of these, in addition to storing network blocks and statuses, features a GRPC-neutral open source language and platform framework for remote procedure invocation. At the kernel level, modules for consensus, smart contracts and account management are implemented. And at the application level, it is possible to create decentralized applications not only in the main protocol language (Java), but also in other languages, including Scala, C++, Python and Go, and with support for Protobuf structured data serialization protocol.
4. How is the project evolving?
The project roadmap for 2017-2025 includes six phases. In the first phase (Exodus), the main goal of the TRON hypermedia peer-to-peer platform was to provide simple and decentralized file sharing, which kinned it to IPFS. The project started on Ethereum and moved to its own blockchain in 2018, celebrating Independence Day by burning 1 billion TRX ($50 million). The second phase (Odyssey), which started with the launch of the main network, is dedicated to rolling out a community of entertainment content creators. The third and fourth phases (Great Voyage and Apollo) will be associated with the launch of new tokens by the network’s member projects and personal ICOs. The fifth phase (Star Trek) will begin with the launch of a decentralized platform for games and market predictions. The final phase (Eternity) will address the issues of fundraising and monetization of projects on the platform.
5. What is TRX, TRON Power and TRON20?
The project’s native cryptocurrency (TRX) is the main means of exchange in the TRON network. TRON20 tokens are intended for developers: using them on the platform it will be possible to issue coins for their own applications. And for TRON Power (TP) tokens, which become available when TRX is blocked, users acquire the right to vote on the development of the network.
6. How is TRON different from Ethereum?
Technologically, TRON is a major competitor to Ethereum and EOS, rapidly growing its user base and rather aggressively clearing its place in the crypto market by poaching the developers of these projects to “save them from the collapse” of the platforms. Since TRON started on Ethereum and followed its development path, TRON’s virtual machine (TVM), smart contracts, and token standards are compatible with Ethereum, making it easy to migrate projects to this blockchain. Unlike Ethereum, where, in Justin Sun’s words, “miners struggle with developers,” TRON uses a Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) consensus algorithm, which means it has implemented a separation of roles for voting coin holders and transaction validators.
7. How is TRON different from EOS?
Both projects use the DpoS algorithm, but EOS has a DpoS version of pipelined BFT (Pipelined Byzantine Fault Tolerance). Because of this, the time to generate a new block and confirm a transaction in the network is shorter, and the total time to confirm the result is longer than in TRON. However, migration of projects between blockchains is problematic. Justin Sun speaks directly to EOS app developers about this, advising them to decide at the start which of the two platforms to link the future to. In the TRON network, validators – 27 super representatives chosen by TRX holders – are responsible for checking transaction data and creating new blocks. However, unlike EOS, where block makers are elected without the possibility of buying votes, TRON has such a practice. The Super Representatives can use all the remuneration they receive for adding a new block to the blockchain, and beyond that, to keep control of the network.