What Is TRON (TRX) and Why Is It So Popular?

While there are now thousands of cryptocurrencies, a few well-known names sit at the top of the rankings. There are the market leaders, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, but also a sub-set of additional cryptos that are vastly popular. Take TRON, for example. TRON has become a big name in the industry, but why is this the case? What does TRON offer its users?

The History of TRON

red tron cryptocurrency coin graphic
Image Credit: Satheesh Sankaran/Flickr

As is the case for many crypto projects, TRON began with an ICO (initial coin offering). The TRON ICO reached $70 million in September 2017, largely due to the timing. The 2017 crypto boom gave nearly all assets a healthy price hike, namely Bitcoin.

On top of this, the TRON ICO took place just days before China banned ICOs outright, meaning it would never have existed within China if the company’s founder had waited much longer. But either way, TRON had managed to amass a huge investment sum from a large group of enthusiastic supporters.

TRON’s founder, Sun Yuchen (Justin Sun), is a Chinese entrepreneur and two-time winner of the Forbes “30-Under-30” award. He ran TRON for over four years before retiring from his position as CEO of the Tron Foundation in late 2021. Sun also founded Peiwo, a smartphone app that Chinese residents can use to communicate via audio, and is the former chief representative of Ripple in China.

However, TRON did not begin as the blockchain network it is today. In fact, TRON was once an ERC-20 token built on the Ethereum blockchain. In June 2018, TRON was transformed into its own blockchain and also acquired the BitTorrent peer-to-peer file-sharing protocol, which now exists as a separate chain within the TRON network (with a token known as BTT). This brought TRON extra publicity, as BitTorrent had over 100 million active users at the time.

But what features does TRON offer its users, and what makes it unique?

The TRON Network

tron website homepage screenshot

TRON is a decentralized blockchain network, though it did not reach full decentralization until 2021. Today, it stands as a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) governed by its own community.

Above all else, TRON has one core focus: creating a decentralized internet.

The internet is currently largely overrun by huge corporations, such as Google. These are centralized companies that have formed something of a monopoly in the online space. How these internet giants use our data has been a point of contention for many years, with some facing legal repercussions for their data-handling methods.

In contrast, TRON strides to create a transparent and secure internet. A key element in this goal is providing an entertainment platform that treats creators and consumers well. As stated on TRON’s website, the central aim is to “DECENTRALIZE THE WEB” by “accelerating the decentralization of the Internet via blockchain technology and decentralized applications (DApps).”

TRON gives creators the ability to own their content in its entirety. The network also offers personal ICOs, which individuals can use to raise funds for projects. TRON is considered a key player in the ramp-up towards Web 3.0, the successor of Web 2.0 and the alleged next generation of the internet.

Today, TRON boasts over 118 million users and over four billion transactions. Moreover, its network can process around 2,000 transactions a second, which is fairly high compared to more well-known blockchains like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Cardano.

How Does Tron Work?

TRON relies on the TRON Virtual Machine (TVM) to function, which can minimize network resources and is vital in supporting smart contracts. While the well-known Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) uses the ERC-20, ERC-721, and ERC-1155 technical standards, the TRON virtual machine uses the TRC-20 standard.

The TRON network consists of three main layers: the core, storage, and application layer. Let’s break each of these down to understand further how TRON works.

  • The core layer acts as the foundation of the blockchain, carrying out the crucial operations that the network needs. Block validation (which we’ll discuss a little later) and smart contract reading are particularly important parts of this layer and account management.
  • Next up, you’ve got the storage layer. As the name suggests, this allows for the storage of data. This layer can meet complex storage requirements using a distributed storage system using LevelDB, a fast key-value storage protocol developed by Google.
  • Lastly, we have the application layer. TRON’s network is capable of hosting decentralized applications, or DApps. So, DApp developers need a way to interact with the TRON network, and this is where the application layer comes in. Developers can also use this layer to create wallets.

The TRON network uses a consensus mechanism known as delegated proof of stake to validate blocks and add them to the blockchain. This mechanism is similar to your standard proof of stake protocol but instead uses validators who are delegated by users. This gives TRON users more say on who secures the network and lowers the chances of handing power to malicious validators.

As previously mentioned, TRON also supports smart contacts. These programs are designed to execute digital agreements automatically if certain requirements are met. Smart contracts were popularized via their use on the Ethereum network but have now been adopted by various other blockchains.

But what is the significance of TRX in the TRON network?

What Is TRON’s TRX?

trx tron crypto spelled out in scrabble blocks
Image Credit: Jernej Furman/Flickr

TRON’s native cryptocurrency, Tronix, is simply referred to as “TRX.” This cryptocurrency has a value of around $0.062, but this figure constantly fluctuates, as is the case for most cryptocurrencies in the market. There are currently over 92 billion TRX in circulation, and the maximum circulation is not known.

TRON can pay its content creators and validators in the form of TRX. Users can also stake TRX on various platforms to earn rewards. If users choose to freeze their TRX assets, they can even yield voting power within the TRON DAO ecosystem.

A particularly notable attribute of TRX and the TRON network is the transaction fees. There are none! Transaction fees can be frustratingly high at times, especially on busier networks. So it’s a huge perk for TRON users not to have to worry about these additional charges.

TRX can be bought on many major exchanges, including Binance, Coinbase, Kraken, and eToro.

TRON Has a Bright Future in Crypto and Web 3.0

TRX itself may not be a highly valuable crypto, but the TRON network and its potential in both the crypto and Web 3.0 spaces cannot be denied. We may see TRON become a hugely prevalent content provider platform as Web 3.0 develops and grows in popularity.

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