Tron has been making waves in recent weeks with the purchase of BitTorrent and the subsequent ICO on Binance. Whilst the cryptocurrency has a community of hardcore supporters, there are numerous criticisms levelled at both Tron founder Justin Sun and the technology itself. Here is our ultimate guide to the Tron cryptocurrency, looking at both sides of the arguments.
In much the same way that Ethereum is the brainchild of Vitalik Buterin, it is impossible to discuss Tron without speaking about Justin Sun. According to his Twitter, he is the first millenial graduate of Hupan University, the university founded by Jack Ma of Alibaba. Sun created the Tron network initially as an entertainment platform, but over time the project evolved into a competitor to Ethereum’s “world computer” ideal. Sun’s first foray into cryptocurrencies was like most other people’s – through buying Bitcoin. Soon after though, he managed to secure himself a job at Ripple as Chief Representative of Greater China.
Tron is able to handle such a large number of transactions through its use of DPoS and what are known as super representatives. Meanwhile, Bitcoin is taking a different route to increasing its transaction speed with the Lightning Network. For many Bitcoin advocates, the only way to have such a high transaction speed like Tron is at a cost of reduced decentralisation. This would seemingly go against the Bitcoin ethos of “decentralising the internet”, although no doubt this is a claim they would dispute.
Sun is close friends with Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao, the boss of Binance. To have a close friend who happens to be the boss of one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world is certainly a bonus. Tron was able to partner with Binance for the BitTorrent ICO that sold out almost instantly.
Performance in the bear market
Tron, like many other cryptocurrencies that were born in 2017, ran an ICO.
Similarly to practically every other cryptocurrency on the market, the price of the Tron cryptocurrency has seen a decrease over the past 12 months. At its peak, one Tron coin was approximately $0.30, but it has since fallen to $0.02.
The Tron community, and Sun himself, can point to other successes though. Not only was the acquisition of BitTorrent and the subsequent ICO very positive (as well as being a shrewd acquisition), but TronBet, which runs on the Tron blockchain, recently recorded a week of $41 million in betting volume. Such an amount is not to be sniffed at.
Tron can also lay claim to Tron Arcade, which is aiming to shake up the gaming industry. Tron committed $5 million to help support games that are built on this platform.
Both the gambling and gaming industry are huge avenues of potential, so there is little surprise Sun is focusing on these areas.
The acquisition of BitTorrent combined with the TronBet numbers is impressive considering the current state of the market. It should also be noted that Bram Cohen, the creator of BitTorrent, has been keen to stress he is in no way involved with BitTorrent since its purchase by Tron.
Making promising promises
Sun is no stranger to a little bit of controversy. Not only did Buterin accuse him of being obsessed with him, but he also has a history of announcing announcements. This building of hype has meant some critics have labelled him as merely a marketer. There is definitely a marketing element to Sun, but whether that is good or bad is a matter of opinion. Even if Sun is just a “marketer”, there is no denying the success he has had so far with Tron having a market cap of over $1 billion.
However, his challenge to Buterin over who has the biggest follower count is either a funny joke or slightly pathetic attention seeking from the boss of a large-cap cryptocurrency. The obsession perhaps goes back to the release of the Tron white paper. Upon its release, Buterin pointed out what he viewed as evidence of plagiarism, notably from both Filecoin and IFPS. Sun’s response was that this was an error made by the translators of the white paper.
8. Better white paper writing capability (Ctrl+C + Ctrl+V much higher efficiency than keyboard typing new content)
— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) April 6, 2018
Tron the cryptocurrency shares similarities to Ethereum both in the cult-like figures of their leaders and in their end goals. They are both going very different ways to achieving these goals though. The marketing of Justin Sun is without doubt one of Tron’s greatest strengths. However, marketing will only get you so far. Ultimately, the technology is what will be key to victory.
The partnerships and different avenues Tron is exploring such as TronBet, Tron Arcade, and the BitTorrent ICO add a few strong strings to the Tron bow. Much like Binance, Tron seems to be focusing on building during this bear market. If the network continues to grow however, it remains to be seen whether Tron can maintain the decentralised nature of the blockchain with such a high TPS.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.