Strengths and Weaknesses
- Low transaction fees – fees on the TRON blockchain are very low or non-existent (as long as there are free Bandwidth points). Their price is around 0.000005 USD.
- The TRON blockchain has the largest circulation of stablecoins – TRON has 37.1 billion $USDT in circulation, which is more than 50 % of all $USDT in the crypto market, held on 15.5 million wallets
- Fast transactions – TRON reaches speeds of up to 2000 transactions per second
- Strong development team – TRON blockchain development is mostly handled by experienced Chinese developers
- Entertainment industry – in the TRON ecosystem you can find online casino, streaming platforms, gaming portals, video hosting, and more
- Centralization – the first 25 wallets own 50 % of the total $TRX coin supply. The total number of wallets owning $TRX is 61 million.
- Justin Sun – his suspicious behavior and possible manipulation of the price of $TRX and other tokens on the TRON chain damages the reputation of this blockchain.
TRON operates on the Delegated-Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) consensus and its coin is $Tronix (TRX).
The TRON blockchain is focused on creating smart contracts and dApps, which are mostly gambling in nature. It resembles the Ethereum blockchain in its features and even started out as a token built on the Ethereum blockchain before moving to its own blockchain.
TRON was created in 2018 by Justin Sun, a somewhat obscure figure in the crypto world, who is the former CEO of the TRON Foundation and also the creator of the BitTorrent token (BTT).
Since its launch, TRON has built an extensive ecosystem of dApps and other projects. However, there’s also controversy in that the project has been accused by the crypto community of copying Ethereum code. Additionally, Justin Sun himself has been accused of making money through fraudulent projects on the TRON blockchain several times.
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Functioning of the Chain
TRON uses a three-layer architecture with an Application layer, Core layer and Storage layer.
Here we will break down how these layers work:
Application layer is used by developers to create dApps and new wallets.
Core layer performs the main basic tasks of the blockchain. These include transaction verification, account management and running smart contracts. It uses the Solidity programming language, which was originally developed for the Ethereum blockchain.
Storage layer is designed to handle the complex task of data storage. It is divided into blockchain storage and state storage.
- Blockchain storage: It uses the LevelDB database, which was developed by Google and has been tested by many projects.
- State storage: For this repository, TRON uses the KhaosDB database, which stores all newly created blockchain forks and supports a quick switch function between the current blockchain and the new blockchain. It can also protect the blockchain repository by making it more stable from abnormal termination in a transient state.
On DPoS, holders can place their TRX coins in a staking. This gives them the opportunity to vote for candidates who are elected as “super representatives” (validators) who will verify transactions and create new blocks. The “super representatives” are selected every 6 hours.
TRON has its own Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which it calls the TRON Virtual Machine (TVM). TVM is compatible with EVM. This allows a better transition for developers between the two blockchains; Ethereum and TRON.
As far as fees are concerned, unlike EVM, TVM uses the concept of bandwidth (Bandwidth model), which differs from the gas mechanism. Thanks to this model, transactional operations or smart contracts can be executed on TVM for free. The use of the Bandwidth model prevents spamming while allowing smart contracts to be free to use. TVM is compatible with the Solidity programming language, but support for other virtual machines is expected in the future.
Bandwidth model (network throughput model)
Normal transactions consume bandwidth points (BP) but smart contracts consume energy (TP) and BP. There are two types of bandwidth points.
You can get BP by freezing (staking) $TRX. There are 5000 free BP available daily.
When there is a transaction sent in the network it is transmitted as an ‘array of bytes’. Bandwidth points correspond 1:1 to the size of the transaction in bytes (if the transaction is 100 bytes in size, 100 BP will be required to confirm it).
When the transaction is sent, the BPs corresponding to the value of your frozen $TRX are deducted (depending on the size of the transaction). If you don’t have any, a fee is deducted from the daily number of free bandwidth points. If even this is not enough, $TRX will be deducted from your wallet.
Thanks to this model (free BP), transaction fees on the TRON blockchain can be very cheap or non-existent.
The TRON blockchain also focuses on sidechains and the whole ecosystem is called SUN Network. The first flagship is the DAppChain sidechain, which focuses on unlimited capacity expansion of the entire blockchain. It is fully compatible with the TRON mainnet.
DAppChain contains 4 main parts:
- MainChain Gateway contract – provides asset mapping, asset deposit to the sidechain and asset withdrawal from the sidechain to the main chain
- Multiple transmission node oracle – provide transaction authentication across chains, map / insert / select transaction functionality
- SideChain Gateway contract – provides asset management in sidechain
- SideChain – mainchain-based functionality, but adapted to several mechanisms to match the sidechain model
- Founding of Raybo – an investment company to blockchain technology, the predecessor of TRON Foundation.
- In the same year, Raybo was sponsored by IDG Capital and Ripple blockchain representatives (Greg Kidd and Chris Larsen).
- TRON Foundation established in July.
- In September, the TRON testnet has been launched.
- TRON mainnet launched in May.
- BitTorrent integrated into the TRON ecosystem in July.
- TRON is working with Tether Limited Inc. to issue $USDT as a TRC-20 token.
- In July, TRON Foundation was renamed and restructured as TRON DAO.
- In November, TRON DAO launches a 1.1 billion USD ecosystem support fund.
- In December, Justin Sun leaves as CEO of the TRON blockchain and the TRON DAO takes control of the network.
- Launch of the $USDD stablecoin in May.
- In October, TRON was designated as the national blockchain for the Dominican Republic and tokens based on the TRON blockchain were granted the status of digital currency and medium of exchange in the country.
Marcus Zhao Head of Public Chain
Cong Li Head of Developer Community Division
Chengchang Ren Team Lead – Public Chain
Honghai YU Team Lead – Back-End Engineering
Francesco Sullof Team Lead – API and Dev Tools
Eric Chen Team Lead – Data and Integration
Jin Liu Team Lead
Zhimin He Team Lead – Atlas Exchange and BFTS
Weiyu Yue Team Lead
Jackie Shen Sr. Developer, Team Lead
Jialiang Zhou Software Engineer
Lukasz Juraszek Software Engineer
Joseph Ghantous Software Engineer
Ujwal Battar Software Engineer
Shelly Wei Software Engineer
Shengwen Yu Software Engineer
Jiaxun Liu Software Engineer
Siying Peng Software Engineer
Kun Xu Site Reliability Engineer
Former CEO of the TRON Foundation and the most prominent personality of the TRON chain Justin Sun was born on July 30, 1990 in China. Justin Sun studied at Hupan University and became the face of Yazhou Zhoukan magazine in 2011 and Davos Global Youth Leaders in 2014. He was named CNTV's Most Interesting New Entrepreneur in 2015 and was listed in Forbes China’s 30 under 30 from 2015 to 2017.
The main coin of the TRON blockchain is $TRX (Tronix).
Its use cases:
- Rewards for super representatives (SR – validators) and super partners
Revenue & Tokenomics
The ICO of the TRX coin took place in September 2017, when 40 billion $TRX were allocated, for which 15 200 $BTC (70 million USD) were collected.
The total supply of the coin was originally 100 billion $TRX. The distribution is as follows:
- 15.75 billion $TRX was allocated to investors in the private sale
- 40 billion $TRX has been allocated to ICO investors
- 34 billion $TRX has been allocated to TRON DAO (TRON Foundation)
- 10 billion $TRX was allocated to Peiwo Huanle (Beijing) Technology Co. (Justin Sun’s company)
The TRON DAO (TRON Foundation) initially had no restrictions on locking coins, but locked all of its assets until January 1, 2020 when it launched the TRON blockchain mainnet on June 25, 2018. It also burned 1 billion $TRX to celebrate the launch of the mainnet. It named this event as its “Independence Day.”
New daily issuance is relatively stable at 5.05 million $TRX, with the majority (91%) coming from voting rewards and the remainder (9%) from block rewards.
The $TRX is burned for the purpose of minting $USDD. The burning is deliberately unpredictable to make this algo-stablecoin more difficult to hack. For this reason, it is currently impossible to get an accurate model of the evolution curve.
Here you can see a chart of total supply and $TRX burned.
There is no maximum number of coins in circulation for $TRX.
The total supply of $TRX is (as of 12/11/2022): 92 067 968 220 $TRX.
The $USDD has staggered around the peg before, but has always reverted back to 1:1 to the USD. On November 9, 2022, it deviated from its peg to 1 USD and has failed to revert back. So take care when using the TRON blockchain and buying $USDD as a stablecoin.
The long-term de-pegging of $USDD is accompanied by a steady increase in the degree of stablecoin dominance in the $USDD / 3CRV liquidity pool (LP).
As of December 12, 2022, $USDD accounted for 82.91 % of the total liquidity pool of 34.2 million USD. The strong imbalance suggests that users are increasingly exchanging $USDD for other assets in the pool – $DAI, $USDC and $USDT.
The Uniqueness of the Chain
TRON is an ambitious project dedicated to establishing a truly decentralized internet and its infrastructure. TRON is one of the largest blockchain-based operating systems in the world, offering public blockchain support with high throughput, scalability and availability for all dApps in the TRON ecosystem. The acquisition of the Peer To Peer (P2P) network BitTorrent in July 2018 further solidified the position of the TRON chain in its pursuit of a decentralized ecosystem.
How the Network is Secured
The security of the TRON network is taken care of by the so-called elected “Super Representatives” (SRs – they are basically block validators as we know them from other chains), for which 383 SR candidates are currently running (12/11/2022). From these, the 27 candidates who get the most votes are always selected, and they become these Super Representatives for 6 hours, with the right and duty to generate blocks. The others who are ranked up to 127th place, i.e. the remaining 100 candidates in positions 28 to 127, will become the so-called “super partners”. They will receive a share of the $TRX rewards for the candidates (candidate rewards).
SRs are responsible for creating new blocks and are rewarded for the job in the form of $TRX block rewards.
“Super Partners” can become next SR candidates, vote on additional SRs and receive rewards just for their votes.
Voting in the TRON blockchain requires energy, called TRON Power or TP. Users can obtain TRON Power by freezing their TRX coins (staking them). TP is issued at a 1:1 ratio to frozen TRX coins. Each user has the right to vote for SR candidates. You have to wait 3 days to unfreeze (unstake) before your $TRX is returned to you and TP disappears.
Although the security of the TRON network is decentralized through many SRs (Super Representatives), they only need 9 999 $TRX coins to run a witness node and they can participate in running the network if elected. DPoS consensus does not need as much computational power as Proof of Work (PoW), but even this small amount of power it requires has to work somewhere. In most cases, these are leased servers at Google Cloud Computing Services or Amazon Web Services. These cloud services run most of the network’s operation.
If these cloud services, owned by large corporations, have to shut down in the future under the threat of government authorities, it will definitely not be good for the TRON blockchain.
Super Representative (SR, validator) with node
It is easy to become a super representative (SR) on the TRON blockchain. You just need a certain number of $TRX coins to create a SR account and computing power.
Recommended requirements for a super representative node:
- 32-core CPU
- 64 GB RAM
- 100M Bandwidth points (BP)
- 1.5 TB+ storage space
- 24/7 on-line
To avoid tampering with the blockchain, one must pay for the SR application form, which can be found in your wallet. When you apply, you will be charged 9 999 $TRX, which will be burned. Once your account has been approved, you can join the candidates for super representative.
The latest version of the TRON client can be found here.
You will become a Super Candidate if you are ranked between 28th and 127th in the Super Representative voting. As a Super Candidate, you will receive a share of the $TRX candidate rewards and can reapply for the Super Representative position in the next vote.
Every TRON account is eligible to vote for a Super Representative (SR), not just candidates. In order to vote, you need to obtain voting rights (TRON Power, TP) by depositing 9 999 $TRX into the stake.
For each new block, the super representative (elected validator) and super partner (candidate / nominator) will receive a reward in the form of new TRX coins.
There are two rewards: for the block and for the votes received.
- Block reward: for each new block, the super representative will receive 16 $TRX, the super representative will also distribute the remaining amount to the voters according to the ratio of the voters’ votes minus his commission
- Voting reward: for each new block, TRON will give 160 $TRX to the super representatives and super partners who share it in proportion to their votes
When freezing (staking) your $TRX, you need to keep in mind that it takes 3 days to unfreeze (remove from staking). During this period you will not be able to access your coins.
TRON is currently developing the Apollo phase. This phase focuses on the free movement of values. All content producers will be able to create and emit their own tokens (TRC-20 tokens). For this implementation, they need to create a decentralized trading platform that will facilitate the trading of all tokens on the TRON blockchain.
The TRON blockchain doesn’t have the largest representation of DeFi projects, but it still has a large amount of USD locked up.
The biggest DeFi projects on the TRON chain:
1. JustLend – Lending
2. JustStables – CDP
3. Sun – DEX
Today, the entire DeFi ecosystem includes 9 projects (the top three have a total TVL of $4.82 billion).
The total locked-in value (TVL) in DeFi is 4.88 billion USD on the TRON chain.
TRON supports its ecosystem with grants for new projects, for which it has earmarked 1.1 billion USD by the end of 2021.
The general mood of the Discord community is gloomy at the moment (December, 2022). You’ll get an answer in a moment, thanks to the fact that there aren’t many questions for the admins. TRON is mainly geared towards the Asian community and has all of its social networks divided into Asian and English.
However, there is a nicely done YouTube channel where you can find various educational and explainer videos about the whole TRON blockchain.
Other partners (outside the crypto world) are established brands such as Samsung, Sony, as well as the Dominican Republic, Liverpool FC, etc.
Where to Buy
$TRX can be bought on almost all centralized exchanges (CEX) that exist in the crypto world.
When buying on decentralized exchanges (DEX), it’s best to use those that run on the TRON blockchain:
When buying on CEX, you are not limited by any exchange. $TRX is the seventeenth largest cryptocurrency and is therefore supported by almost all exchanges.
TRON blockchain is fast and transactions are almost free. What more could you ask for? After examining the ecosystem, you’ll find that it’s mostly a crypto casino. With minimal fees, gambling is flourishing here and the TRON ecosystem is thriving on it. The world of DeFi is almost non-existent here, which is interesting (for a couple of apps with TVL over 4 billion USD). TRON does try to lure new developers to its blockchain, but I think in vain. Its former CEO Justin Sun has been associated with the TRON chain forever and his controversial behavior is always associated with this blockchain. A “blockchain casino” and a CEO who acts like a spoiled rich kid at times is not a good image. But let’s not be just disparaging here. The overall concept of the TRON blockchain is very well designed, and a network without fees is the dream of perhaps every crypto project. We’ll see over time how sustainable this system is given the inflationary $TRX coin that underpins the entire TRON blockchain. If you want to try gambling on the blockchain, this is the chain for you, but if you love the DeFi world like all of us here, TRON is not the right choice yet. Although they’ve been trying to make amends for the last few years by supporting new projects in various ways.