Tron ($TRX), one of the most talked about coins in cryptocurrency: love it or hate it, if you invest in crypto, you’ve seen the name. Of all of the coins I have invested in or researched, Tron is without a doubt the most misunderstood coin. Those who support it are sometimes confused by some of its purposes, while those who oppose it bought in to the FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) and rumors, and made the decision to have no part in it. We’ll break down all parts of Tron in an attempt to give both sides an understanding of what it is Tron sets out to do, and the very long journey it has ahead.
Tron was founded by Justin Sun (pronounced Soon) in April of 2017. If you know about Tron, then you have no doubt heard about Justin. For the few who haven’t seen his resume, Justin obtained his Master’s Degree at the University of Pennsylvania, a private Ivy League research University. He was a student and protégé of Alibaba founder Jack Ma at Hupan University. Justin is the Founder and CEO of the Callme (Peiwoo) app, and was a former Chief Representative and Adviser for Ripple.
Tron’s team boasts a who’s who of developers, marketers, and advisers, most notably known in Asia. This is where a lot of debate usually comes in between American holders and critics. Because Tron is an international company with a team that doesn’t have recognizable names, it causes a rift in the perception of the team’s strength. On the advisory side, I have a ton of confidence in Justin’s ability to network with key people that can help bring on multiple partnerships that will inevitably help Tron’s volume grow. On the developer side, based on posted resumes, Lucien Chen (CTO) and Keelson Yang (Technical Director) have a ton of experience in development. The rest of the posted development team have a little less experience, but do seem to be growing in numbers every week. In fact, this was one of the announcements Justin made recently, saying that they will have over 100 employees added in Quarter 1, which is a huge task in itself, but does show how committed he is to making Tron a successful and long-term endeavor.
It’s important to know and understand Tron’s road map. From the start, the immediate expectations from most people were way too high. Tron has the longest road map of any coin I have seen, with each timeline giving us a new project that they hope to roll out on the Tron platform. And while I do believe a 10-year time line is a great goal to shoot for, I think the technology, competition and world around it will change very quickly and so there could be some adjustments to this road map as the years progress.
We are currently in “Exodus,” the very first part of the Tron schedule, which is set to run from August 2017 to December 2018. Open source started December 29th, 2017, with mainnet scheduled to be launched on March 31st, 2018. Mainnet will take Tron off of the ERC-20 platform and onto its own TRON-20 platform. This is where Tron will really begin to build value as a coin. As of now, it can only be used as currency, with limited active partnerships where $TRX is actually used (like the Peiwoo app). This keeps skeptics talking and confidence in new investors down, which ultimately affects coin prices. Launch of mainnet will prove Tron’s real value as more than just a currency, causing overall price sustainability.
With the launch of mainnet, quite a few things will happen for Tron, the community, and its holders. We will get an announcement about the conversion of ERC-20 to TRON-20. This usually involves having your $TRX on an exchange so that the exchange can swap your current ERC-20 Tron tokens for TRON-20 coins, thus eliminating it from the Ethereum ERC-20 platform. (Keep this in mind when looking to store your $TRX in Ether wallets; once converted it is no longer an Ethereum token.) At this point, Tron will be able to do for other coins what Ethereum did for Tron. Coins will then be built on a TRON-20 standard, which will immediately begin to add real value to Tron, rather than just the speculative worth based on its value as a currency. Now it becomes a platform for other coins.
Tron has stated that TRON-20 will be able to perform 1000 transactions per second (tps) with its Proof of Stake (PoS) algorithm. To understand more about how Tron would gain value as its own platform, I recommend this video by Ivan on Tech, as he explains the Value of Ethereum. (Tron becoming it’s own platform coin would be similar to how Ethereum gets its value.)
As of this post, Tron ($TRX) sits at #15 on the Coin Market Cap at 537 sats, with a USD value of $0.04. Its Total Supply sits at $100,000,000,000 (100 Billion), with a circulating supply of $65,748,192,476 (65 Billion).
Justin has promised holders that he will keep Tron’s supply of $TRX locked up until 2020, stating he and his team have, “confidence in Tron and have devoted our lives to it.” At one point, Tron reached a CMC high of the #6 position, with coin prices reaching all-time highs, but soon prices started to drop, causing FUD that the project was a scam and the coin was not going to deliver. I think this was the biggest issue to date for Tron. For a coin that had just started in August, there was no way that value was going to hold after reaching prices that high without a working product.
Tron’s price inflation was a perfect storm that caught a lot of new investors by surprise. Tron was introduced to Binance, the most popular online exchange, at a cost of sub 100 sats. In December of 2017, as cryptocurrency saw a major influx of new investors, a coin with a USD value of $0.01 was incredibly tempting to people. Add on the social media presence of Tron and Justin Sun, and it caused inexperienced buyers to go all-in on an unfamiliar coin. As the price started to soar, the fear of missing out (FOMO) kicked in and helped rocket the price to an ATH. People who invested low and knew the coin’s RSI (Relative Strength Index) was way overbought started to sell off, which started to bring the price back down, which in turn caused panic sells, leaving a lot of Tron holders with a portfolio of coins that were bought way over value.
This caused negative sentiment for both supporters and skeptics of Tron. A lot of the blame went to Justin for pumping the coin via Twitter or selling off Tron’s $TRX (which was proved false via etherscan.io), along with any other rumor you could think of. The honest answer is that Tron never should have gone much higher than its current price. At the time, it had no real partnerships, no working development, and only a handful of team members and advisers. At the point of its parabolic run-up Tron was essentially just a vision, and those that knew this capitalized by selling off profits, while those who didn’t were stuck with the bitter taste in their mouth of an investment they would have to sell for a loss or hold for a much later day.
Now we have finally started to reach more stable prices. Even during Bitcoin’s major dips these past few weeks, Tron, for the most part, has held strong to what I believe is its real value. A slow, organic rise is what the coin needs to sustain growth towards higher prices. During the panic sells, we saw Whales manipulating the price and buying Tron at heavily discounted rates. Slow steady growth is the safest way to play without getting caught up in another artificially-induced price increase.
Here you go, Tron skeptics: the part you have been waiting on. I do have a few concerns, and I wouldn’t be doing my due diligence if I didn’t write about them. I live in the real world and do have an investment in Tron, and while I have a ton of confidence in the coin and the company, I want to ensure my investment is protected. Here are the concerns I have and hope will be addressed.
#1. Coinburn. I think there is a misunderstanding of the Tron coin burn and I hope this is fully addressed by Justin soon, as I wouldn’t want more FUD to spread due to the lack of communication about it. I think most people (myself at one point, too) believed that by March 31st, Tron was going to do a coin burn similar to what Binance did with $BNB coin, and billions of coins would be burned. What I think is going to happen, per Justin’s live chat on Periscope, is a coin burn similar to Ripple, where a percentage of coins are burned with each transaction. I think this is being written into the mainnet code, and will be how coins are burned on the TRON-20 standard. This burn would cause a slower, long term reduction in supply instead of a stroke-of-a-button burn-off of a large chunk at once. This isn’t necessarily a problem, but it’s not what people are expecting, and that could be an issue.
#2. White Paper. This caused MAJOR FUD when it was reported that the English version of the Tron White Paper was plagiarized using parts from IPFS and Filecoin without referencing them. Justin immediately went to Twitter saying the English version was done by a community volunteer, and the white paper was pulled from their site. It has yet to be corrected and added back, and while I have 100% faith in the development team, for the sake of me investing in Tron, I would like to read a legit English version of the white paper.
#3. Mainnet Launch. This will not be a long-term issue, but it is more of a warning to Tron holders and buyers. Mainnet is set for beta release on March 31st, 2018. The full roll-out of the mainnet is scheduled for July 1st, 2018 or sooner. This means everyone will be holding their breath and waiting to see what happens on March 31st. Anyone that was a Verge ($XVG) holder remembers spending all of New Year’s Eve glued to their phones waiting for confirmation of Wraith Protocol being released. And when 12:01am (of literally every time zone) rolled in and no Wraith Protocol was released, panic ensued and a sell-off began. Tron can have every intention of launching the testnet by the date they have committed to and fully launching the mainnet any time after, but if you know anything about coding and development, things happen and sometimes deadlines are not met. Plus, the March date is essentially a test mode, so we may not know about anything other than a Tweet that it is “Going well.” There is no guarantee that anything will change when the testnet launch happens. (In fact, I would say it’s safe to say this will not be the case.) So I have concerns that the mainnet could be held up all the way until July 1st, everyone will panic, and we’ll see the market react, so this is your heads up in case that happens. It’s not out of the ordinary for these things to happen, so prepare yourself just in case and just know that the full launch of the Tron mainnet could very likely be in July.
The journey of a Tron holder has been quite the adventure. There is no other coin that has given people so many highs, so many lows, and so much in between. The vision Justin Sun has for Tron is remarkable; it is one that consists of essentially reinventing the internet (Internet 4.0 as he puts it.) I believe that Tron’s relationship with the Chinese government and businesses will lead to huge increases in volume by users, rather than investors. I think many people are confused about China’s cryptocurrency ban (that will be an entirely different blog; I could write another 2000 words on that) and assume that Tron will not be able to do any business there. This is why it’s good to see Tron being recognized by China’s National High-tech Enterprise and the partnerships with Chinese companies continuing to blossom, as I believe we will see a lot of growth in cryptocurrency between Tron and the Chinese citizens.
Although critics have had their fair share of ammunition reinforcing their believe that this coin will fail and people are wasting their money on it, I have witnessed Justin continue to improve upon the company. My initial frustrations at the lack of communication from the development team was easily laid to rest tonight, as we got our first live stream from the team. Rooms full of Tron employees working hard to build the product Justin promised us, with actual interaction from team members and visuals of the development they are working on, was a huge boost of confidence on my end. As Tron continues to build their team, coin pricing finally finds stability that supports its real value, $TRX is integrated into an actual working app, and of course, Justin’s favorite, more partnerships are added, holder confidence should increase to an all-time high. We still have many hurdles to jump, and as I voiced in my concerns, we must be ready for those issues to rear their ugly heads, but overall we are starting to see Tron’s strength build, and I believe that, by end of 2018, Tron holders and supporters will be rewarded for their patience and ability to see the vision that led them to invest in the first place.
If you are interested in learning more about Tron, I recommend checking out some of their resources below.