Tron (TRX) Explained

Everything You Need To Know About Tron, Its History, and Technology

 Laughing man wearing headphones using laptop
•••

Westend61 / Getty Images

Tron is a cryptocurrency and blockchain run on software developed by the Tron Foundation. In addition to the Tron cryptocurrency (TRX), the Tron blockchain enables other currencies and products through its smart contract and decentralized app (ÐApp) features. 

This article will look at how Tron came to be and whether it could make sense for your cryptocurrency trading or investing needs. Read on to learn more.

What Is Tron (TRX)?

Tron is a cryptocurrency and blockchain developed by the Tron Foundation. Tron software supports smart contracts and decentralized apps (known as ĐApps in the crypto community), which makes it a suitable platform for additional cryptocurrencies in addition to the Tron coin central to the blockchain’s operation.

Alternate name: TRX, TRONIX

The face of Tron is founder and CEO Justin Sun, who manages Tron offices in the Americas and the Asia Pacific regions. Sun founded the Tron Foundation in Singapore in 2017. 

Just like the smallest unit of Bitcoin is called Satoshi, the smallest unit of TRX is called SUN. 1 TRX = 1,000,000 SUN.

The TRX token was introduced into the market through private sale of 25.7% of the initial token supply in January 2017, followed by an initial coin offering (ICO) for 40% of the supply in August 2017. The Tron Foundation holds the remaining 34.3% of Tron tokens. 

Initially, the TRX tokens were based on the Ethereum network but moved to their own network in 2018. Notably, the foundation also acquired BitTorrent in July 2018.

Special Features of Tron

Tron utilizes a delegated proof-of-stake system, which means it uses far less power than competing currencies like Bitcoin. Tron’s architecture gives the Tron network the ability to handle far more transactions at a time than proof-of-work systems such as Bitcoin, which rely on a massive network of cryptocurrency miners.

The higher throughput isn’t just a small improvement over older, larger cryptocurrency networks. Tron claims the ability to handle 10,000 transactions per second with no transaction fees.

In its 2018 white paper, Tron claimed its delegated proof-of-work mechanism allowed for 2,000 transactions per second compared to three for Bitcoin and 15 for Ethereum.

Higher throughput and lower costs make it attractive for smart contracts and Ðapps. 

   Tron
Inception 2017
Already Mined (as of July 20, 2021) 100,850,743,812
Special Feature High transaction volume and low fees

How To Mine Tron

Tron coins are not directly mineable by the general public. Instead, the consensus network relies on users who stake Tron currency, maintaining a balance of Tron in an eligible cryptocurrency wallet, to power transactions.

The Tron delegated proof-of-stake system relies on 27 super representatives to produce new blocks for the network. These members are picked through a vote of TRX coin holders. 

A new block gets generated on Tron every three seconds, and the Super Representatives get 32 TRX as reward for it. In a year, the Super Representatives will get 336,384,000 TRX in block rewards.

Because this depends on a network of decentralized computers, the blockchain concept still works. But it uses far fewer computers (and electricity) than networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum, where anyone can mine, even with old, inefficient computers on slow internet connections.

How To Invest in Tron

Tron is available through many popular cryptocurrency exchanges. According to the Tron Foundation website, these exchanges enable you to buy TRX:

  • Binance
  • Bittrex
  • Upbit
  • Bitfinex
  • HuobiPro
  • Coinnest
  • OKEx
  • Gate.io
  • CEX.COM
  • Liqui
  • YoBit
  • OTCBTC
  • LBank.info
  • Bibox
  • Bit-Z
  • CoinEgg
  • Qryptos
  • CoolCoin
  • Gatecoin

Wallets

Because Tron is a popular blockchain, it’s widely supported by many software and hardware wallets. That includes the hardware wallet Ledger and the Tron wallet made by the Tron Foundation.

As with all cryptocurrency wallets, it’s extremely important to keep your passwords and access information private and somewhere safe. If you lose access to your wallet or make a mistake when sending, you could lose access to your TRX and any other Tron-compatible assets held in your wallet.

Notable Happenings

The team behind Tron made a big purchase when it bought BitTorrent, a popular software for peer-to-peer software file sharing, in 2018.

Tron has been the subject of a few controversies. Former CTO Lucien Chen went through a fairly public separation from the company, and said that “Tron is no longer decentralized,” in a scathing blog post, pointing to how 90% of votes in Tron’s system are centralized with just a few voters. Tron has also been accused of plagiarizing code from other cryptocurrency projects without attribution.

Nonetheless, Tron is regularly upgraded by an active team of developers and open-source contributors. Tron upgraded in the past to enable the current 10,000 transactions-per-second rate and lists plans on its website to upgrade to “tens of thousands of transactions per second” in the future.

The Balance does not provide tax, investment, or financial services and advice. The information is being presented without consideration of the investment objectives, risk tolerance, or financial circumstances of any specific investor and might not be suitable for all investors. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Investing involves risk including the possible loss of principal.