/ Crypto 101

Coin Profile - Can TRON (TRX) be truly decentralized with Justin Sun as Founder?

TRON (TRX) is a long-time Top 20 cryptocurrency and public blockchain network that has a massive social presence across the East and the West. Led by the illustrious Justin Sun, the project has continued to build out a crypto presence despite a slew of shady allegations and ongoing rounds of regulatory leapfrog.

What is TRON (TRX)?

TRON is a blockchain ecosystem focused on building out the decentralized Internet. Its infrastructure supports the issuance of tokens and smart contracts, the building of dApps and NFTs, and distributed computing via the BitTorrent protocol, which TRON acquired in 2018. Launched in 2018 after a brief and controversial ICO, TRON is led by the TRON Foundation.

TRON_TRX_Coin_Profile_Price_History$TRX Price Evolution

The TRON Network uses a Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) consensus mechanism where 27 Super Representatives (SRs) validate blocks and transactions to support the network. These 27 are rotated every 6 hours among hundreds of nodes that are voted into a pool for SR selection by TRX holders.

  • According to DappRadar, over 1300 dApps have been deployed on the TRON Network. However, the overwhelming majority of them have only 1 or zero users.
  • TRON distributes computing resources equally to all TRX holders using pricing mechanisms related to bandwidth and energy.
  • Transaction fees on TRON are near zero and TRON claims it handles 2,000 transactions per second (unconfirmed).

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Project status
2017 - TRON Foundation launched in Beijing, then in Singapore; $TRX is launched off Ethereum
2018 - Mainnet launches, TRX migrates to TRON, Sun buys Poloniex and BitTorrent
2022 - TRON launches algorithmic stablecoin, USDD

Team

  • TRON was founded by CEO Justin Sun, who was educated at Peking University and the University of Pennsylvania. He was recognized by Forbes Asia “30 Under 30” and also served as Chief Representative for the Greater China for Ripple. Sun also has had a unique connection to Tether.
  • TRON Lead Engineer and BitTorrent Lead, Zhimin He, has been with the project since 2018. After attaining a Masters in Computer Engineering from the University of Virginia, he went on to become a software engineer at Twitter and Google before joining TRON.

Making headlines
2019 - Tether (USDT) migrates from Omni to TRON blockchain
2020 - Sun's $4.6 million winning auction bid granted him lunch with Warren Buffet
2021 - Justin Sun appointed to become WTO’s Ambassador to Grenada
2022 - Justin Sun accused of crypto insider trading

Does it have staying power?

Competitive?

  • In terms of daily volume, TRX ranges in the middle of other 2nd tier Layer-1s like AVAX, SOL, DOT, ATOM, and ADA, all of which are top 25 coins. And none of which has a founder with a fraction of the social reach of Justin Sun.
  • TRON Network’s $6.06 billion in TVL (total value locked in smart contracts) is second only to Ethereum.
  • Other Layer-1 projects do not have a famous leader who has enjoyed a long tap dancing career around regulators, particularly of the Chinese variety.

Social traction

  • TRON has a social network totaling over 3 million, including 1 million on Facebook.
  • Additionally, Justin Sun, who calls himself “His Excellency Justin Sun” in his social media profiles, has over 9 million social followers across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
  • TRON’s developer community in Discord has over 40,000 members.

Hiring?
The TRON DAO LinkedIn page currently has 28 job listings.

Ever been hacked?

  • A hack of the TRON network was reported in November of 2020 and lasted several hours. Block production and transactions were halted during this time but Justin Sun and the Super Representatives thwarted the attack. Details were “slim”.
  • SharkTon, a mining liquidity platform built on TRON, was exploited in 2020 for $260 million.

Partnerships

  • BitTorrent - P2P file sharing protocol
  • APENFT - Marketplace
  • SwissComm Blockchain
  • Opera Browser
  • Poloniex Exchange
  • Samsung

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$TRX Tokenomics

TRX is short for Tronix, though many just refer to the coin as TRON. It's is the native token for the TRON Network with a considerable amount of utility.

The initial token supply was 100 billion TRX and the token was issued off the Ethereum blockchain, then switched to the TRON blockchain the next year. The intital token distribution went as follows:

TRON_TRX_Coin_Profile_ICO_100_Billion_Allocations$TRX Token Distribution

Total supply
92,394,421,638 (no maximum supply)

Token vesting
According to Messari, the Tron Foundation didn’t have any initial lock-up restrictions. But they did lock up their entire holdings through January 01, 2020 once the mainnet launched. They also initiated a burn of 1 billion TRX tokens to celebrate the launch, a day they coined as “Independence Day.”

Funding
The TRX ICO, which ran for 3 days beginning August 31, 2017 and raised $70 million, took place the same week that the Chinese government banned ICOs completely. Justin Sun left Beijing in a not-so-transparent way and traveled to a number of countries, including the US, Singapore, Malta, and others.

  • 2017: $70 million - ICO
  • 2017: Amount undisclosed - TRON’s seed round included Binance Labs and 10 other investors.
  • 2018: $500,000 was raised in an Angel round led by investors Volcanics Venture and Amino Capital.

Token utility

  • Fees and commissions for running native smart contracts
  • Trading and withdrawal fees on Poloniex and other exchanges (for TRX transactions)
  • Onchain voting
  • Payments, including credit card spends via TRX payment
  • Staking TRX to delegate energy towards running smart contracts
  • Buying TRON-issued tokens
  • Network fees (which are a fraction of a penny)
  • Speculation

Decentralized?
TRON’s DPoS consensus mechanism is maintained by 27 Super Representatives (SRs) who are rotated in and out randomly every 6 hours from a pool of 300+ delegates voted in by TRX holders.

For a decentralized network, the TRON About page is about the farthest you can be from decentralized:

TRON_TRX_Justin_Sun_featured_on_About_PageIs TRON Truly Decentralized?

Burning Mechanism

  • TRX is burnt to mint USDD, their algo stablecoin. The burning is deliberately unpredictable to make USDD harder to attack. For this reason, the supply curve cannot be accurately predicted.
  • According to the TRON community, over 385 million TRX tokens were burned on May 26, 2022.

Code Audit
Yes, in 2020.

Bug bounty?
Yes.

Next up for TRON

In Q4, TRON is planning to launch a “Sea to the Stars” “charity” program, which partners with Blue Origin to launch Justin Sun and 5 lucky crew mates (of his choice) into space on the New Shepard spacecraft. The video explaining the program starts off by saying, “In every person, there is a sun.”

Towards the end, the video summarizes: “We will place the sun itself at the center of the universe.”

Continue your DYOR…

Website
$TRX on Quadency
Blockchain explorer
Documentation
Medium
Github
Twitter

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Disclaimer: The content of this article is for general market education and commentary and is not intended to serve as financial, investment, or any other type of advice.