What is Tron?
So, what is Tron you ask?
Before I get to the definition, I’ll tell you what sort of problem Tron aims to solve on a real-world example so you understand it completely.
Think of the internet as one big centralized ecosystem.
To illustrate, pretend you’re just starting out as a singer.
In order to promote and sell your single, you would have to use mainstream some kind of mainstream platform to gain exposure.
If you’re a fan, the obvious choice is Apple Music.
Before you upload your song to iTunes, you need to accept the terms and conditions.
You click accept and your song goes live upon successful review.
But at what cost?
You don’t really have control over your own song: it could be deleted by Apple at any time, it doesn’t have to rank well in the iTunes search, or even when you make a sale, the commission is automatically deducted from the total price which puts less money in your pocket.
This control of digital content by the big boys like Apple, Google, Amazon or other tech giants is essentially what centralization is all about.
And if you want to succeed, you must use their services.
It became necessary to mitigate this control and give the content creators ownership and control of their data.
That’s why Tron was created.
Tron, a blockchain based crypto project is here to give the content creators sole control of their product.
Keep on reading to find out all you need to know about this interesting and complex crypto project.
What is Tron – The definition
Tron is an open-source decentralized platform created to serve as a data sharing system where digital entertainment content creators can share their work with other internet users.
The network is powered by the blockchain technology and uses a peer-to-peer network to connect content creators directly with consumers.
Essentially,Tron was designed to give these content creators total control over their content and how it is used.
The entertainment industry is worth trillions of dollars and a large part of that value can be attributed to the big corporations and middlemen in the system.
The goal of Tron is to build a decentralized sharing platform where content creators can be connected to their consumer base via a direct peer-to-peer network in order to monetize their work.
With Tron, leveraging the benefits of the blockchain technology and the distributed storage system, the middlemen responsible for connecting content creators to consumers are effectively eliminated from the system to allow content creators directly receive revenue from their user base.
Additionally, with Tron, content creators no longer have to worry about the high commission charged by media platforms to host their products as Tron is readily available and accessible at a significantly reduced rate.
Tron also incentivizes users for creating as well as sharing content on the platform with other users.
History of Tron
The Tron Foundation, a Singaporean based non-profit organisation responsible for developing the Tron project and ensuring transparency in the process was founded by Justin Sun in September 2017.
On the 31st of May 2018, the Tron mainnet was officially launched in the event that was live streamed on Tron’s official YouTube channel.
However, the election of the network’s super representative whose responsibility is to validate transactions on the Tron blockchain wasn’t until the 26th of June 2018.
The Tron blockchain is fuelled by a native cryptocurrency token called Tronix (TRX).
TRX tokens were originally created as ERC-20 standard tokens compliant with the Ethereum blockchain.
However, all tokens were migrated from the Ethereum mainnet to the Tron mainnet on a 1:1 ratio when the Tron mainnet was launched.
Essentially, if you held 10 TRX tokens in the ERC-20 form, on migration to the Tron mainnet, your tokens will still be worth 10 TRX tokens.
How Tron works
All transactions on the platform will be facilitated using the TRX token.
For example, when a content creator uploads their product on the platform, as a consumer, you can purchase it using the TRX tokens. Apart from facilitating transactions on the platform, TRX is akso the token available for trade on exchanges.
However, TRX can not directly grant users access to voting rights on the platform.
To gain voting rights, you will have to lock up your TRX tokens for an extended period of time. This locking up of tokens will give you TRON power, a type of currency on the platform which gives token holders voting rights on Tron.
The longer the period of time your tokens are locked up, the more TRON power you will gain.
Apart from voting rights, token holders of TP will also have a higher status on the platform.
TRON power holders, via their voting rights can vote for the nodes they would like to be “witnesses” on the platform. These witnesses become representatives of the network and are responsible for validating transactions.
The first election of representatives was on June 26th 2018 when TP holders voted for 27 nodes to govern the network.
The Tron blockchain
The essence of the Tron blockchain can be boiled down to these two: data liberation and net neutrality.
The platform is designed to help content creators monetize their digital entertainment content regardless of whether it is text, audio or video, without any restrictions.
The TRON network is a three-tier system made up of a blockchain layer, a storage layer, and an application layer.
The blockchain layer
Also known as the core layer features smart contracts functionality and uses a delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS) algorithm to achieve consensus.
The PoS algorithm elects nodes from the Tron community to become super representatives of the network; these nodes are responsible for verifying transactions on the network.
The blockchain layer also supports the creation and development of decentralized distributed Applications (dApps). Users are further incentivized to build their dApps too.
The storage layer
This provides a distributed peer to peer storage system which functions as a shared data storage network for all content uploaded on Tron
The application layer
The application layer allow developers to create and run distributed Apps on the Tron platform.
In addition to dApps, content creators can also create and issue their own tokens on the platform using TRON 20. Tron will also provide infrastructural support for the TRON 20 tokens developed by users on the platform.
For example, if you create a game related token, you can develop a gaming app in which your tokens will be used in. Basically, both the gaming token and the app will be supported on Tron.
The Tron blockchain features the point-to-point transactions system designed to facilitate settlements on the network such that users can easily avoid traditional centralized payment systems.
The network also has a set of consensus mechanisms design to resolve issues pertaining to personal credit and identification in online transactions.
Possible issues with Tron
The Tron project has certainly had its fair share of controversy, too.
To name a couple:
The first scandal was on the basis of an allegedly plagiarized whitepaper.
An analysis of the whitepaper showed large sections of it to be copied from the Filecoin and IPFS whitepaper – almost verbatim.
Justin Sun, the founder or Tron dismissed the allegations as translation errors by volunteers in the translation of the whitepaper in the original Chinese version to the English version.
In statement released by the Tron Foundation, the organization also attributed the plagiarism issue to lack of proper citation with the promise to comply to copyright ownership.
Both English and Chinese versions of the whitepaper were revised and the new plagiarism free content was released in January 2018.
On the Tron network, a single user holds 93 percent of the total token supply. 34 percent of the tokens are held by the Tron foundation via a coin lock where 33.25 TRX were locked in 1000 addreses to be released in January 2020.
This leaves only 7 percent of coins not owned by the Tron foundation available for users on a platform. On a network where decentralization is a core value, the coin distribution system is considerably centralized.
Having one entity in control of such a large number of coins is bad for the Tron blockchain in terms of security and several crypto enthusiast have expressed concern over this structure.
The Tron roadmap
The scope of the Tron network includes multiple blockchain technologies most of which are still currently under experiment.
To effectively implement these technologies, the development of TRON is divided into six phases which are expected to take about 10 years to be fully incorporated.
Each phase of the project is expected to develop a robust solution to the Tron blockchain.
The six phases of development are named after movies and games that are expected to be considerably popular among users of the network: Exodus, Odyssey, Great Voyage, Apollo, Star Trek and Eternity.
1. Exodus – August 2017 to December 2018
The first stage of development called Exodus is focused on the liberation of data.
Tron is currently in Exodus.
This stage started 2017 and by the end 2018 when Exodus is set to be completed, Tron is expected to be a fully functional open peer-to-peer data sharing platform for publishing, storing and distributing digital content amongst users.
2. Odyssey – January 2019 to June 2020
The objective of Odyssey, the second phase, is to empower content creators by expanding their user rights.
The platform will encourage users to create and share content by providing economic incentives for content creators on the network.
Here, Tron will eliminate the middlemen such that the total revenue generated from a content goes directly to the creator of the content.
To ensure credibility in the revenue generation mechanism, Tron will replace clicks and views with a metric system based on a monetization scheme where content consumers “tip” the content creator.
This tipping system is much more transparent and credible than the click and view system as content creators can use bots and automated bodies to generate revenue on the platform.
3. Great Voyage – July 2020 to July 2021
Phase three of the development of the Tron blockchain called the Great Voyage will incorporate Initial Coin Offering which will allow users to run their personal ICO campaigns.
Great Voyage will address issues related to management of dividend, income, and supporters.
Phase three is expected to commence in July of 2020.
4. Apollo – August 2021 to March 2023
In Apollo, the fourth phase, content creators will be able to create and issue their tokens to other Tron users, like it’s the case on the Ethereum network.
These tokens are called TRON-20 tokens, similar to how tokens on the Ethereum blockchain are called ERC-20 tokens.
To promote this model, Tron will develop a decentralized trading platform which will also boost the economic strength of the system.
5. Star Trek – April 2023 to September 2025
Star Trek is the penultimate development stage of Tron. In this stage users will be able to develop gaming apps and gamingprediction apps.
With Tron, users will be able to tap into the booming $10 billion online gaming industry by creating and distributing their online games on the platform.
6. Eternity – September 2025 to September 2027
The final phase is called Eternity.
This phase will enable developers to create and build online games on Tron while allowing other users to invest in and contribute towards the development of the game via crowdfunding.
Eternity is scheduled to be concluded by September 2027.
Meet The Tron Team
The Tron team is made up of experienced and accredited Chinese developers, angel investors and influential business executives who all come together to make a well-rounded and formidable team.
As mentioned before, Tron was founded by Justin Sun, who is the current CEO of the Tron Foundation.
Sun, who is also a protege of Jack Ma, the Executive chairman and founder of Alibaba Group is widely considered to be one of the most ambitious young entrepreneurs in Asia.
At just 28, Justin Sun has been named twice on the 2015 and 2017 list of Forbes China’s 30 under-30 influencers and once on the 2017 Forbes Asia’s 30 under-30 entrepreneurs.
Other than Tron, Justin Sun can also be credited with founding Peiwo, a social media app with about 10 million users often referred to as China’s Snapchat.
He also served in the position of chief representative of Ripple in China, a cryptocurrency settlement platform, from 2013 to 2016 before leaving to work on the Tron project.
With such a remarkable CV to his name, Justin Sun is without a doubt an influential and vital part of Tron.
Other key players in the team include:
- Lucien Chen, Chief Technology Officer; he possesses extensive experience having worked with several first-tier internet companies including Alibaba, Tencent, Netease and Qihoo 360.
- Deuce Yu, Product Supervisor; Yu has a remarkable level of experience in the gaming industry.
- Charles Zhang, Operation Supervisor; a financial specialist and the former COO and co-founder of Elegance Space.
TRON is well supported and backed by some big and influential members of the Chinese business sphere including Dai Wei (CEO of OFO bike), Hitters Xu (founder of Nebulas), Tang Binsen (founder of Clash of Kings), Chaoyong Wang (founder of ChinaEquity Group) and Xue Manzi, an angel investor.
Conclusively, there is certainly no doubt about the potential of the Tron project.
With a very strong team led by one the brightest and most promising entrepreneurs in China and supported by multiple influential investors in the country along with a well laid out roadmap, Tron is certainly worth looking out for.
Moving forward, it will be exciting to see how the Tron project evolves to deliver on its promises of disrupting the current content ecosystem to connect creators of digital entertainment content directly with the consumers without involving middlemen.
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Disclaimer: You should do your own due diligence, research and analysis before you invest any money in cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile and classed as high-risk investments. You should never invest any money unless you’re prepared to lose your capital. The author of this article holds the said assets and might be biased towards them.