Coin Study

What Is TRON (TRX)? A Crypto Coin Study

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TRON aims to build a decentralized Internet. It uses smart contracts to run a variety of services, focussing on high-scalability and high-availability.

The goal of building a decentralized Internet is not for the faint of heart. How will TRON do this, and how does it work? Here’s what you need to know.

What Is TRON?

Building the next generation of the Internet requires some next-generation thinking. One of TRON’s core concepts is high performance, measured in transactions per second (TPS). TRON operates at 2000 TPS, which is far greater than Bitcoin’s 3-6 TPS, and Ethereum’s 25 TPS.

TRON’s network speed and efficiency far exceed those of many other blockchains. Such a high-performance system is the only thing that can run a decentralized Internet, so building such a network is a big deal.

The TRX ticker symbol represents TRON. There is a maximum supply of roughly 100 billion TRX, and there is currently a circulating supply of roughly 66 billion TRX. TRX works on a Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) consensus algorithm. You can stake your TRX to elect a representative, where you may earn a share of any rewards earned by your representative.

TRX tokens can pay content creators on the network. While a new Internet is an ultimate goal, media creation is one of the first steps.

The TRON Foundation launched TRON in July 2017. The Testnet launched in March 2018, and the Mainnet shortly after in May 2018. Odyssey 2.0 is the name of the Mainnet, and June 2018 saw the creation of the first genesis block. Since then, TRON has acquired services such as BitTorrent (July 2018) and reached 100 million+ transactions (December 2018).

The TRON Foundation exists to further the development of TRON. Justin Sun is the founder and CEO of the foundation, and he graduated from Jack Ma’s Hupan University. Justin Sun is a charismatic businessman and a former advisor to Ripple Labs.

How Does TRON Work?

TRON’s whitepaper v2.0 outlines every technical detail of the network, but here are the core concepts you need to know.

TRON splits its architecture into three tiers. These consist of an application layer, a storage layer, and a core layer.

The application layer is for developers to deploy Decentralised Apps (DApps). These DApps run on TRON smart contracts and are almost the whole point of TRON. Without developers building DApps, nobody will use TRON, so while there’s still work to do on the underlying infrastructure, developers need to start working on their killer app right now.

The storage layer is the distributed storage for the network. Not only does this store the blockchain itself, but any app data (if required). This layer consists of two parts:

  • Blockchain storage: Uses the Google-designed leveldb to efficiently store the network data.
  • State storage: This is for speeding up the network. Newly forked chains get stored here, along with any questionable contract objects. By temporarily storing data here, the slower main blockchain storage isn’t required until the data is valid, genuine and stable.

Data gets stored using Google’s Protocol Buffer. This is a very efficient way to transfer and store data and can be considered as a modern and cutting edge solution. Other solutions such as JSON are still good, but Protocol Buffers are very new and powerful.

TRON uses a TRON Virtual Machine (TVM), which is like the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). The TVM actually works with the EVM, if you want it to. This virtual machine makes it easy for developers and DApp creators to get started building TRON applications. It makes it easy for them to use their favourite programming language, and ensures consistency between code running on local computers and code running as a smart contract on the network. This makes developers lives easier, as they don’t have to guess how the code runs on the network itself, the TVM handles all this for them.

The core layer handles several important functions. This handles most of the processing work, including smart contracts, network consensus, and account management. This core layer uses Solidity, the same language powering Ethereum’s smart contracts.

TRON’s DPoS consensus algorithm resides in this core layer. TRX holders can stake their coins on representatives competing for one of 27 super representative positions. Every six hours, stakers must vote again. TRON produces a new block every three seconds, during which each super representative gets rewarded with 32 TRX. Super representatives can choose what to do with this reward. Most distribute them to voters based on how much they contributed to the vote. Any representative that decided to keep profits for themselves would soon get voted out.

How Much Does TRON Cost?

TRON historical price chart

At the time of writing in April 2019, one TRX costs $0.025, but that hasn’t always been the case. TRX reached an all-time high price of $0.45 on 5th January 2018. Like the rest of the market, the price has declined by almost 95% since then. The current market cap is roughly $1.7 billion.

TRON is available on the vast majority of exchanges. Bittrex, Binance, Bitfinex, and more all allow trades. It’s not possible to buy TRON on Coinbase.

If you’re thinking about buying some TRON, consider signing up for a Binance account using our link. It helps keep the Blocks Decoded crypto content flowing!

What’s TRON’s Future Potential?

TRON has a very bright future. Justin Sun has some very influential friends, and he’s an influential CEO and businessman. The TRON Foundation’s acquisition of BitTorrent is a big deal and has the potential to expose a huge new market to TRON.

The relentless pursuit of a high-speed available network will reap massive benefits in the future.

While there is a huge circulating supply, the all-time high price rally shows that there is a serious appetite and enthusiasm for this project.

Join the TRON Community

If you’d like to get involved with TRON, then here are some of the best communities you should join:

The TRON Foundation Slack channel is still invitation-only, but you should be able to get an invite through the Twitter or Reddit communities.

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Joe Coburn
Joe is a senior software developer with a degree in computer science from the University of Lincoln, UK. As a writer at MakeUseof.com, Joe has seen his work shared by Adobe, the Arduino Foundation, and Lifehacker. Joe has collaborated with Anker, BenQ, iStock, Ledger, Ultimate Ears, and many more. Joe loves all aspects of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, particularly the technical details.
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