What is Tron?
Tron is a decentralized entertainment and content-sharing platform that is based on blockchain technology. The project was launched at the peak of the 2017 cryptocurrency bull run, which helped it gain enormous traction and build a strong community in a short amount of time.
Similar to Ethereum, Tron is a blockchain platform that supports smart contracts. As such, it acts as a global supercomputer that users all around the world can use to deploy decentralized applications. You can read the complete whitepaper here.
The native coin of the Tron blockchain is known as TRX, and serves four different purposes on the Tron blockchain:
Pay for transaction fees
Vote and participate in the governance of the network
Offer passive income through staking
Tron was launched through an ICO, where a total of 100 billion TRX tokens were distributed to participants. You can check the current circulating supply of tokens in the Tron chart above.
The Tron Foundation raised around $70 million at the time of the ICO, shortly before the Chinese government banned this type of project crowdfunding. Today, it is one of the leading smart contract platforms in the world with over 800 dApps deployed.
How Tron works
Originally, the TRX cryptocurrency was an ERC-20 token, created on the Ethereum blockchain. However, the project has migrated on an independent blockchain in 2018.
The Tron blockchain is secured by a Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) consensus mechanism. DPoS is a democratic voting system where users can use their TRX tokens to vote for a preferred representative for the governance of the network.
On the network, there are three types of TRX holders:
TRX investors - who can vote using their TRX tokens.
Super Representative Candidates - who put up candidatures to become Super representatives.
Super Representatives (SR) - a rotating roster of 27 super-users that validate transactions and govern the network. SRs receive rewards in the form of TRX for their efforts.
Moreover, users can freeze a chosen amount of their TRX tokens and entrust them to a SR. The SR then rewards all of the users that voted for them with a percentage of their winnings.
Users can participate in this staking mechanism by using the official Tron Network wallet found on their website.
Finally, there are three types of nodes that can be run on the Tron blockchain:
Witness nodes - which can propose blocks and vote on protocol decisions.
Full nodes - which can broadcast transactions and blocks.
Solidity nodes - which sync blocks from full nodes and provide APIs.
Who invented Tron?
Tron is the brainchild of successful tech entrepreneur Justin Sun (real name Sun Yuchen). Before creating the Tron foundation, Sun was already an established name in the entertainment world in China.
In 2014, he released the audio content application Peiwo and became a Davos Global Shaper later that year. In 2015 he worked as a representative for blockchain company Ripple. He moved on from the position to establish the Tron Foundation and create the Tron cryptocurrency shortly afterward.
His business and blockchain background attracted some first-class investors including Tang Binsen, the founder of the multi-billion dollar mobile game Clash of Kings.
Since the release of TRX, Justin Sun has been involved in a few controversial marketing moves. One such example is the record-breaking $4.5 million bid to participate in a dinner with Warren Buffet. The alleged reason behind this stunt was to educate the investment mogul about cryptocurrencies and spread adoption.
Click here for a Tron price chart