02.08.2021 Editorial GetBlock Magazine
One example of today's blockchain projects is TRON. Its mission is to provide new monetization models for content creators and entertainment providers, but the areas in which TRON and TRX technologies find application are incredibly diverse. The project is full of both praise and doubt, and whether you like it or not, it is definitely one of the most discussed projects in the crypto industry.
TRON Cryptocurrency Project
TRON is a decentralized network and platform for decentralized applications. Transactions and operations in it are performed using its own TRX token, which is used for staking, voting, or simply transferring value in this network. It is not different from other modern standard networks, which, in addition to supporting financial services, can be used to create applications.
The TRON network is positioned as a platform for content creators, and its mission is to become a bridge between them and consumers, eliminating the need for intermediaries such as publishers or labels. The primary use case for TRX is as a currency through which network users can access content and creators receive full rewards. To this end, the TRON Network promotes dApp development in games, content distribution, and media.
How did the story of Tron begin?
The basic ideas of TRON were formulated in 2014, but it took three years to implement them. In December 2017, the first version of the protocol was launched on Ethereum. The following year, in May, the core network was launched and the genesis block, now known in the community as TRON Independence Day, was mined on July 25. By August, the TRON virtual machine and super-representative systems were up and running.
The CEO of the TRON Foundation is Justin Sun. Prior to the launch of the project, he was Ripple's chief representative in China. Sun is also known as a graduate of the Hupan University program founded by Jack Ma, the founder of the commercial giant Alibaba. His thesis was the foundation of the TRON network.
How the network works
TRON uses a three-layer architecture consisting of a storage layer, a core layer, and an application layer.
The TRON technical team developed a unique distributed storage protocol consisting of block storage, and state storage.
The concept of a database was introduced into the storage layer design to better address the need for diverse, real-world storage.
The smart contracts module, the account management module, and the consensus module are the three core layer modules. The concept behind TRON is to base its functions on a multi-layered virtual machine and an optimized set of commands.
Developers can use the interfaces to implement various DApps and customizable wallets.
The TRON protocol is fully compliant with Google Protobuf, internally supporting the multilingual extension.
In addition, there is the Sun Network, created specifically to add a large number of applications to the system.
The TRON consensus mechanism uses the Delegated Proof-of-Stake algorithm: participants are divided into Super Representatives (SRs), SR partners, and SR candidates. SRs are selected by voting: the top 27 become super representatives, who can create blocks, package transactions, and receive rewards.
The network also uses smart contracts and supports two token standards: TRC20 is used in smart contracts and is compatible with ERC20, and TRC10 is issued by a system contract. Some of the TRON tokens include BitTorrent (BTT), WINk, and Tether (USDT).
The Tron Virtual Machine
The TRON Virtual Machine (TVM) is a lightweight, complete virtual Turing machine. Its goal is to provide developers from around the world with a blockchain system that is efficient, user-friendly, stable, secure, and scalable.
TVM easily connects to the existing development ecosystem and supports DPoS. TVM is natively compatible with the EVM environment, so instead of learning a new programming language, developers can develop, debug and compile smart contracts in the Remix environment using Solidity and other languages. Once you have created and uploaded your smart contract to the main TRON network, it will be executed on the TVM of the SR node and will be isolated from external connections.
In addition to staking, the network has two additional ways to make TRX feed the network: bandwidth and energy systems.
The bandwidth concept is different from the gas mechanism in Ethereum's EVM: transactional operations or smart contracts on TVM are free and do not require tokens. Technically, the total number of tokens does not limit the executable computing power on TVM. The TRON network uses bandwidth points to execute transactions, making them virtually free. They are credited to users every 24 hours. However, if you need to make transactions more often, you will need to freeze some TRX in your account or pay a transaction fee (calculated as follows: number of bytes in tx * 0,00001TRX).
Energy is necessary to perform calculations with smart contracts. It can only be obtained by freezing TRX in the account. The more TRX you use to get Energy, the more times you can activate a smart contract. The total CPU resource on the network is 1 billion Energy.
Thus, even though there is a constant stream of new TRX in circulation, there are even more ways to keep it blocked for online operation and several deflationary mechanisms. As a result, the total supply of TRX at the moment is just over 100 billion coins, but the circulating supply is only 71,6 billion TRX.
Why is TRON special?
TRON aims to become an application development platform with a primary focus on the entertainment industry. The TRON blockchain is supposed to be a platform for creating dApps. TRON supports applications written in Java, as well as in Go, C++, Scala, and Python.
There is also the aforementioned DAppChain or Sun network, which includes sidechains that are fully compatible with the main network but allow customizable operating rules, and take some computational load off of it, which means more free energy and higher transaction throughput.
Why is TRON being criticized?
TRON has seen a lot of controversy since its inception. First, there have been several cases of accusations of whitepaper plagiarism. Some segments of the TRON technical document were copied from various other projects, including Ethereum, among others.
The decentralization of the network is also questioned again and again: many validators are run by TRON or its affiliates. Currently, out of 27 SRs, 12 are controlled by the TRON Foundation or its affiliates.
There are also some security issues from time to time: in 2019, a critical bug was discovered (and fixed) that, if exploited, could have shut down the entire network. The seriousness of this bug was that the attack could have been conducted using a single machine.
The TRON partnerships and acquisitions
The Tron protocol partners include Peiwo, Obike, Gifto, Uplive, DLive, and Samsung, with a total of over 4 million users, making Tron the blockchain with the largest number of DAPP users in the world.
TRON's acquisitions are a clear reflection of the extent to which TRON is ready to expand its ecosystem.
In July 2018, Justin Sun completed the acquisition of BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer file-sharing network, and integrated it into the TRON ecosystem. The significance of this deal lies in its vast 100 million user base. In addition, integrating the largest peer-to-peer network focused on content sharing seemed like an easy task.
Integration into the TRON network made it possible to optionally monetize BitTorrent. The original service is still free, but with BitTorrent Speed, by paying with tokens, users can increase the download speed limit. Seeders are also interested in staying online. The initial plan for using TRX evolved before the birth of the special TRC BitTorrent token (BT). BitTorrent Speed comes with the classic µTorrent client for Windows with a token storage wallet.
In February 2020, it was announced that the TRON Foundation had bought Steemit, a decentralized network very similar to TRON, with a large community, mostly consolidated in one of its most commonly used applications, Steemit.com.
Where are TRXs used?
The in-house currency in the blockchain is Tronix or, more often, TRX. The main application area of TRX is dApps. Many are used for various forms of gambling: RocketGame, WINk, COSMOS GAMES, and Xdapp, and at the time of writing have hundreds of active users (according to DappRadar). Some popular blockchain games, such as Blockchain Cuties and MegaCryptoPolis, support the TRON blockchain.
However, TRX is not limited to dApps. The TRON Foundation is exploring different applications of the coin, pushing it toward different integrations. For example, TRX is supported in the Spend app and Spend debit cards, which means you can buy it and spend it as if it were regular currency. As a fairly popular cryptocurrency, it is also supported by most payment gateways.
There is no official wallet developed by TRON. However, many independent developers have either created an interface to interact with the blockchain or integrated it with other supported currencies.
The official website recommends TronWallet (available on desktop and mobile devices), Trust Wallet, imToken (only for mobile devices), and Ledger (managed through Ledger Live and TronWallet desktop interfaces), Exodus wallet, available for both desktop and mobile devices.
Skeptics of TRON may despise it for the audacity with which the project positions itself, but the truth is that without it, it would not be as successful and popular as it is now. TRON and its community are undoubtedly active, and we all better keep an eye on them. After all, it is not for nothing that the project considers itself a fairly successful competitor to Ethereum.
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