Tron is a blockchain-based decentralized digital platform with its own cryptocurrency, called Tronix or TRX. Founded in 2017 by a Singapore non-profit organization, the Tron Foundation, Tron aims to host a global entertainment system for the cost-effective sharing of digital content.
TRON is the centerpiece of the SUN Ecosystem, which includes a DEX, Poloniex, and a bevy of dApps designed to operate on the TRON network. TRX, the native token on the TRON Network, has established itself among the top 50 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, often boasting over a billion dollars in daily trading volume.
The TRON Foundation was founded by and is currently headed by Justin Sun. Sun is a protégé of Alibaba founder, Jack Ma. Prior to the introduction of TRON, Sun had already made a name for himself in the blockchain sector as Ripple’s chief representative in Asia in 2013. The wealth that Sun earned from his Ripple investments were used to grow his crypto empire, starting with TRON.
The TRON ecosystem is diverse and versatile, but comes with a good deal of controversy. Justin Sun himself is often at the center of these criticisms. There is no denying though, that the TRON network has a lot to offer the cryptocurrency industry.
The TRON Protocol
The TRON blockchain protocol was modeled using the Google Protobuf (Protocol Buffers) system - a method for serializing structured data, designed to help platforms and systems communicate with each other quickly and efficiently. Like the Google Protobuf characteristics it employs, the TRON blockchain was built to streamline communications and ensure easy integration with a multitude of sophisticated programming languages.
TRON is structured as a three-layered system consisting of a core layer, storage layer, and application layer, each of which are optimized for a specific set of functionalities.
The core layer performs multiple fundamental tasks that make up the foundation of the blockchain’s underlying protocol. This system is inspired by the Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) consensus architecture. This layer also oversees the management of the accounts and smart contracts that power the system.
The TRON storage layer is optimized to allow for more complex data storage needs within TRON’s evolving blockchain architectural landscape. It is designed for use as a powerful distributed data storage system, providing a high level of stability and security.
The application layer is built to help software engineers effectively interact with the TRON ecosystem. Because the TRON blockchain features its own built-in smart contract system, it can support new applications built on top of the platform. Even now, the TRON blockchain supports a large number of wallets and dApps. Another notable venture is called Sun - a DeFi initiative allowing users to stake the Tron cryptocurrency (TRX) for mining, and earn TRC-20 tokens in return.
The programming language Solidity (created by the Ethereum network) was chosen as the foundational smart contract language for the TRON blockchain ecosystem. Solidity was specifically selected because of its compatibility with Ethereum and its aptitude for creating and maintaining decentralized applications (dApps) simply and efficiently.
TRON Super Representatives
Super Representatives account for the on-chain governance on the TRON protocol. There are 27 block producers (i.e. super representative) in the TRON network. Any account can apply to become a super representative candidate, which every account can vote for.
This is achieved through freezing and unfreezing tokens. Freezing tokens generates TRON Power which in turn is used to vote for a super representative. The integration between TronWallet and Klever.io makes it super simple and straight-forward to navigate the app and vote for your chosen SR. The top 27 candidates with the most votes are the super representatives, and the 28th to 127th are super partners.
Super representatives generate blocks, package transactions and get block and voting rewards. SRs have the right to participate in the voting of TRON network parameters proposals. The 100 super partners can be awarded according to their voting rate. TRON users can stake their TRX tokens to vote for a super representative. Super representatives (SR) are responsible for creating blocks and confirming transactions, which earns them rewards.
TRON Virtual Machine (TVL)
The TRON Virtual Machine (TVM) was originally forked from the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). TVM was specifically created to minimize resource use and ensure a robust system. It allows developers to easily access the TRON blockchain network at a low cost, with a built-in energy mechanism that facilitates transactions that don’t charge TRX when executing operations. Ultimately, TVM reduces the costs of application development, and lowers the resource costs of the platform itself.
The TVM is designed to be user-friendly and provide a convenient interface as a single point of focus for smart contract development and execution. In contrast to Ethereum’s EVM, every transaction on TRON’s TVM expends energy and bandwidth points instead of TRX.
As a result, every account must purchase energy, and is alloted 5,000 bandwidth points per day. If an account exhausts these points, it must freeze its tokens for at least three days to generate more. It’s also possible for an account to hold insufficient bandwidth points or energy. When this happens, the system will consume the Tron coin in the account to make up for the discrepancy. By shifting transaction costs from a cumulative global model to an account-specific system, the TRON blockchain (unlike Ethereum) reduces the likelihood of attack via Denial-of-Service (DoS) methods.
TRON Sun Network
The CEO of the TRON Foundation, Justin Sun, has named an entire ecosystem of interoperable parts after his namesake. The Sun Network includes dApps, a DEX, and a sidechain that all revolve around the TRON protocol.
DAppChain is a sidechain project for the TRON MainNet, enabling dApps to run on TRON with lower energy consumption, higher security and efficiency. DAppchain consists of multiple sidechains connected to the TRON blockchain, using the same DPoS consensus algorithm.
Developers using the TRON blockchain can easily migrate projects or create a new application on any DAppchain sidechain. DAppchain is smart contract compatible and can facilitate nearly every feature of the TRON main blockchain.
TRONScan is the block explorer for the TRON network. All token transactions on the TRON network can be searched for and tracked on this site, just like Etherscan for Ethereum and BSCScan for BSC. TRONScan is essential for ensuring transparency throughout the TRON ecosystem. Furthermore, the TRONScan explorer incorporates a real-time news feed for important updates such as scheduled maintenance and API adjustments.
PoloniDEX is a decentralized exchange hosted by Poloniex, the centralized exchange Justin Sun acquired. This is a DEX based on the TRON protocol which charges no trading fees, unlike most other exchanges.
Here, users can trade their TRX tokens, or USDT or UDSJ tokens, with hundreds of token pairs. PoloniDEX is a popular application within the ecosystem for TRON users, with a simple, familiar interface on the exchange.
Similar to operations performed by developers on TVM, each transaction initiated on PoloniDEX will use both bandwidth and energy. Users are given 5000 BP bandwidth resources every 24 hours for free (bandwidth resources do not accumulate over time). Users can generate additional energy or bandwidth by freezing TRX tokens on the exchange (only one resource at a time).
On the other end of the decentralized exchange world on TRON is JustSwap. This is an exchange dApp that is similar to Uniswap, where traders can swap any TRON tokens with each other. Similar to many Ethereum-based decentralized applications, JustSwap uses liquidity pools to facilitate token swaps to be used across the TRON ecosystem.
Newest Features and Looking Ahead
The newest update to the TRON blockchain protocol, TRON 4.0, was launched in July of 2020. It introduces the TRONZ privacy protocol, powered by zk-SNARK technology. A zk-SNARK is a cryptographic proof system that uses shielded transactions to provide decentralized transaction confirmation without sharing any private or confidential data.
TRON 4.0 also features TRC-20 tokens based on the TRON blockchain (similar to ERC-20 tokens on Ethereum), as well as TRONZ, a system powering three different types of shielded transactions at very low transaction fee rates.
TRON gives its users three options for conducting shielded transactions with TRC-20 tokens. The first option allows participants to use a standard TRC-20 token and convert it to shielded form, which is called a “mint” transaction on the network. Second, users can leverage the shielded version of a token to transform it into standard form via the “burn” option. Lastly, users can move money between accounts via the “transfer” function. This option hides the identities of the buyer and seller, as well as the amount being transferred.
Now on TRON, third parties can verify transactions of any size, and transaction data is saved on the blockchain using advanced encryption techniques. The TRX token will not allow for anonymous or shielded transactions. A significant milestone for TRON 4.0 is the introduction of a new two-layer consensus mechanism that increases the power of the TRON blockchain exponentially. Specifically, it reduces block confirmation times from an average of 57 seconds down to just three seconds.