Several years ago, after Ethereum emerged and shifted the attention of the crypto industry from trading to development, a number of projects mirroring it and its technology appeared, trying to offer similar benefits but with fewer limitations.
After all, Ethereum had, and still has, big scalability issues. However, it brought smart contracts, dApps, and the ability to create new tokens, which was invaluable to the crypto world.
One of these many projects — focusing on being development platforms, rather than coins used for payments — was TRON (TRX), a project created by Justin Sun, and one of the most popular cryptocurrencies at the time it emerged.
Today, we are going to take an in-depth look into TRON, what it does, what it is all about, and more.
What is TRON?
TRON is a blockchain-based development platform that has created a massive ecosystem in the last several years. For a time, the project has been featured in the news every other day due to rapid development and large support that it managed to attract. It is decentralized, and its long-term goal is to revolutionize the entertainment industry by utilizing the abilities of blockchain technology.
The project has already made some steps towards achieving this goal, although it is a lengthy process that depends a lot on adoption, which is progressing rather slowly, as even the largest crypto projects are still struggling to go mainstream.
Still, as mentioned, TRON has achieved a fair amount of popularity, particularly when it comes to online gaming and gambling. Ever since it launched its blockchain in mid-2018, the project has been working on expanding and attracting developers. It attempted to compete with Ethereum, on which TRON itself originated, as an ERC-20 token. However, Ethereum has always been a bigger name and a bigger network, and while TRON did create a faster, more scalable, and cheaper network — it never actually rose to Ethereum’s levels.
At least, not yet. But, it did grow to be large enough to become a serious competition to other Ethereum-like projects, such as NEO, EOS, and Cardano.
How does TRON intend to revolutionize the entertainment industry?
TRON has recognized that the crypto industry has a large potential to remove middlemen between the entertainment providers and consumers. Therefore, it decided to use blockchain features and P2P network technology to bridge that gap and bring consumers and content creators closer to one another, while eliminating intermediaries.
This is beneficial because it removes the cost that both consumers and content creators have to pay to these intermediaries, who do nothing but provide a common ground for the two groups. Via the use of the blockchain, TRON can allow content providers to offer their content to users directly, which is a win for both parties.
If you are interested in seeing how this would work out in practice, let’s take Netflix as an example. Netflix is the world’s biggest streaming service and a very major corporation. However, it became as big as it is by doing nothing except for acting as a middleman. Let’s say that someone makes a documentary and they want to make it available to the masses on a platform where they know it will be seen.
They would, naturally, turn to Netflix. Netflix would post the film on its platform and make it available to consumers who need to pay monthly fees just to watch the content made by someone else. Netflix would take the money from the monthly subscription, pay a portion to the producers, and keep a large amount for itself.
TRON’s goal is to eliminate Netflix from the equation and allow producers to post their film on a public blockchain network, where users would be able to pay a lot less to get to the desired content. Producers would still be able to earn, but they would earn directly from viewers interested in their content, while consumers would be able to pay microtransactions to access this content when and if they want to view it.
TRON already purchased BitTorrent back in the second half of 2018, with the intention of allowing users to share content via the P2P network, and gain rewards for seeding it for the benefit of others. In other words, the project encourages decentralized sharing of any content, as long as it is legal to do so, of course. TRON does not support piracy or any similar illegal activities.
It is through acts like these that TRON intends to revolutionize the entertainment industry, and make it more rewarding for content creators to create and share the fruit of their labors. After all, major corporations like Facebook, YouTube, and others pretty much hold a monopoly on how the media is accessed, viewed, and received. They get to censor content as much as they want, since their platforms means their rules. They can ban anyone for whatever reason, and they are not even obligated to disclose the reason. And, on top of that, they take the majority of the money that the media they post generates, leaving creators only crumbs of income, forcing them to live off of that.
This is why the TRON network is not only a great idea, but a necessary platform that would allow people to finally take the money back from greedy corporations.
The Technology behind TRON
The TRON network is based on several crucial principles that dictate how the entire project is going to work. The first of them is that all data on the network will be decentralized. In other words, no single entity will ever have total control over it. It is all in the hands of the community.
Content creators can post the results of their efforts, and in return, they gain digital assets, either in TRX token, or in other tokens, underpinned by TRX. Thanks to the TRC-20 token model, people can also use the TRON network to create their own coins and tokens, and then use them within their own dApps. These tokens are underpinned by TRX, as the network’s main, native cryptocurrency.
TRON is also a great place for creating online games, which are also completely decentralized, and they can reward creators directly if users enjoy their games. Basically, TRON is all about microtransactions, although these are often extremely small — often mere cents, or even fractions of cents. They represent the amounts that content viewers will not mind paying, but for content creators — they can bring some rather large amounts over time. Best of all — with the expensive intermediaries out of the picture, all of this money goes to content creators themselves.
TRX itself is a massive part of the network. Apart from being used to underpin new tokens, it can function as an investment tool, a store of value, or an instrument for trade. If you can find merchants willing to accept TRX payments, you can even use the coin to pay for goods and services. However, TRX is a token meant to be used within its own network, so the majority of its uses revolve around its local dApps, smart contracts, and local microtransactions.
Another interesting use case is locking the tokens away in order to gain rewards. These are known as Tron Power, which basically allows the voters rights to participate in decision-making within the network. The more TRX you lock up, the more Tron Power you get. The more Tron Power you have, the more weight your vote carries. It is a fairly simple governance concept that is present in many different projects, in and out of the TRON ecosystem, but it is a possibility and an option to consider.
Lastly, let’s talk about the fees. TRX transactions are free of any fees at this moment, which is a rather remarkable feat for such a massive project. The network can support up to 2,000 transactions per second, making TRON extremely scalable. Just compare it to Bitcoin, which only processes a handful of transactions every 10 minutes, and you can see how much more advanced the TRON blockchain truly is.
Advantages of using TRON
We have already mentioned a few of TRON’s advantages along the way, but let’s round them up and list them here for convenience.
First, you have rapid transactions, where TRON can support up to 2,000 of them per second, thus making it an extremely fast project that is capable of handling a lot of user activity. Second, it allows the creation of dApps, smart contracts, and new tokens and coins. As such, it functions excellently as a development platform, and it even has multiple DeFi projects, a large online gaming/gambling ecosystem, and many other popular decentralized applications.
It has its own, multi-purpose token, TRX, and it is also able to directly support content creators who use its ecosystem’s dApps to upload and share their content with the masses. Best of all, its transactions come with no fees, so you don’t have to spend extra money just to view content, play games, place bets, and alike.
And, it even allows you to participate in governance by locking up your TRX to receive Tron Power.
It even offers partial anonymity, as in, you can own coins anonymously and even make transactions anonymously. But, TRON transactions can be traced, and in order to obtain it, you will have to go to exchanges, where you will have to verify your identity. After that, withdrawing TRX to your wallet will make it immediately clear to whom that wallet belongs to, and how much money it has.
You can try to use mixers or buy TRON on DEXes or instant exchanges where you don’t have to create an account, provided that you can find one that offers TRX and services your area. This should let you maintain anonymity, at least until you use it on a service that requires you to verify your identity.
But, TRON has good reputation, and it is considered very safe partially due to decentralization, and partially due to security features that the development team uses.
Speaking of TRON developers, we mentioned Justin Sun — the founder of the project. Sun is the leader of the project, and a very vocal cryptocurrency enthusiast and entrepreneur. He is also the current CEO of Rainberry, and the former chief representative of the Greater China area of Ripple. He also acts as the CEO of a social app Peiwo, developed for mobile platforms, which he also founded.
Sun has quite a successful past, being the only millennial to be among the first graduates of Hupan University, for which he was handpicked by Jack Ma. Since then, he received multiple recognitions as a noteworthy entrepreneur, and he was also listed as one of 30 Under 30 by Forbes China, being named multiple times, from 2015 to 2017.
Another thing worth mentioning is that, in June 2019, Sun placed a $4.5 million bid to have a private lunch with Warren Buffet, a legendary investor and the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. The lunch was, unfortunately, delayed until January 2020, but Sun still used it wisely, to try and help Buffett understand the crypto industry better. It did not seem like his efforts changed Buffett’s stance on crypto all that much, but it was a worthy effort.
As a CEO of TRON, Sun is well-known on Twitter for constant praises of the project, but also for raising hype, which was something that he saw quite a bit of criticism for. Even so, Sun remains a popular and well-known figure in the crypto space.
Other than him, TRON is also being developed by the Tron development hub — an open-source project, which is always open to new developers and their contributions. The Hub offers documents that explain the protocols, as well as details about setting up nodes, developing dApps, creating smart contracts, and more. Essentially, the Hub’s purpose is to help anyone — even those with little to no experience — to figure out how to use the TRON network, engage with it, and eventually even help shape it
Today, we all use the internet for more than just completing various tasks. The internet has become an alternative to our reality, for better or worse. But, the fact is that it is an important medium for enjoying content and enjoying our lives. Unfortunately, the web is still highly centralized, and mostly controlled by major corporations that emerged early and have taken over. While they mostly did so through the quality of their service, they also secured themselves a place of power, which allows them to dictate the terms of usage today.
That led to raising the prices of usage, and rewarding content creators with tiny bits of profit, while they get to keep the rest. Crypto projects like TRON aim to change that, and bring the power back to the people. In this case, this is not that difficult to do. All you need doing is offering a platform that is not controlled by a greedy institution, but rather by the community, and TRON does that quite well. By using its platform, content creators and their audiences can engage with one another directly, and allow people to enjoy the content just as they would on any other platform, often much cheaper, while it is a lot more rewarding for content creators.
By giving them money directly, you are supporting their creativity, providing them with money for new equipment, and generally improving their life, allowing them to focus on providing the much-appreciated content. This is the power of TRON, and why the project has risen to be one of the largest crypto/blockchain projects in the highly-competitive crypto industry.
Thanh Lanh Tran(1989) is Chief Editor from BitcoinUSD.com