Cryptocurrency-related media is always abuzz with news and rumors about Justin Sun and his Tron blockchain project. That is a result of his ambitious vision of Tron as a competitor to basic internet protocol. In a field of "digital currencies," this causes Tron to stand out from the crowd. While the current TRX ERC-20 token serves as only a placeholder, the high market cap shows investors have high hopes for Sun and his foundation. The exact timing of the switch to a full Tron blockchain is currently unknown, but the Tron Foundation continuously outperforms expectations, recently having announced that their main net launch will be over a month ahead of schedule.
Who is Justin Sun?
As the CEO of the Tron Foundation and one of the most charismatic figures in cryptocurrency, Justin Sun is not new to the tech industry. He was fortunate enough to be chosen as one of the first students at Hupan University, where he studied under the famed Jack Ma. Ma, who created the Alibaba internet exchange, is one of the foremost tech entrepreneurs and a household name within China. Under Ma's tutelage, Sun built a strong knowledge base for his later endeavors.
Sun veritably exploded onto the tech scene with his creation of the Peiwo messaging app. Touted as China's answer to Snapchat, Peiwo's user base continues to expand and provide chat services to an impressive market share. Sun entered the cryptocurrency field soon after, working as the Chinese representative for recent fintech powerhouse Ripple. He started looking to establish a blockchain platform of his own, and ultimately founded the Tron Foundation in 2017.
Sun's greatest strength lay in his aggressive promotion of the Tron platform. As CEO of the foundation, he continually pursues new partnerships and ensures growth potential for his company. His social media presence attracts an increasing number of followers, many of whom are committed to the Tron cause. Although occasionally criticized for his tendency to make announcements about other announcements, there can be no doubt that Sun has kept the hype levels high for TRX and the Tron Foundation.
The Tron Platform
As a blockchain platform, Tron's initial infrastructure is similar to Ethereum in theory. In practice, however, Tron is touted as faster, more efficient, and inherently more robust than the legacy smart contract system. While Ethereum is suffering from scalability issues, Sun claims that the final Tron blockchain would be at least 60 times faster than Ethereum. That would put Tron at approximately 1,500 transactions per second compared to Ethereum's 20. This type of output is necessary to ensure that the blockchain can support the projects intended to run on it.
Specifically, Tron will support a complete decentralized entertainment ecosystem. Users will upload content directly to the blockchain, including images, audio, and video. Whereas current major media sites are curated and centralized by the owners, Tron would be a system entirely of the users. YouTube's somewhat draconic content systems are a result of their dominating market presence; if Tron's plan succeeds, it is likely that YouTube would be forced to adapt to stay competitive.
This is all still theoretical, as Tron is a work in progress. In the first step on their road to full release, scheduled for March 31, Tron intends to release the first test net of the blockchain. Interested early adopters have the opportunity to try out the available features while assisting in the initial stress tests for the system. This process is part of Tron's "Exodus," the first in a series of six phases that will occur in the build-up to the platform's full release. Exodus includes not only the test net launch but also the launch of the full main net in late May.
The "Odyssey" phase that follows leverages Sun's charismatic skills to their maximum. Starting after the stable release of the main net platform, Odyssey will seek to draw in content creators from across the web to populate the Tron blockchain. A variety of incentives will be in place to encourage migration from other platforms and ensure that Tron has everything it needs to succeed. Much as Ethereum's ERC-20 standard created a boom of initial coin offerings, Tron intends to do the same. The "Great Voyage" and "Apollo" phases are both focused on the implementation of this system.
As the technology advances and further development occurs, Tron hopes to bring decentralized gaming to the platform as well. Games established on the blockchain would have the ability to use the personalized tokens as in-game currency. As you could imagine, these would be easily integrated with the platform as a whole and allow simple inter-game currency transfers.
Blockchain as a new form of internet is an idea occasionally floated through the community, and Tron is the first project dedicated to its realization. While initially an entertainment-focused endeavor, Tron will have the capacity to expand and encompass much of what makes up today's internet. The decentralized nature of a blockchain will make for a more robust infrastructure. Companies will no longer need to worry about losing their data if a central server farm goes down because, instead, everything is spread out along the network.
The Future of Tron
There is no doubt that Justin Sun will bring the Tron project to fruition. The fact that the main net launch is ahead of schedule is another feather in Sun's already impressive cap. While Tron's roadmap is still in its earliest stages, the constant stream of high-profile partnerships and high level of investor engagement shows a promising future. People are eager for a decentralized media outlet that can compete against the likes of YouTube while also creating direct economic incentive for the content creators who adopt the platform.
Cryptocurrency is a volatile market, and the TRX token that represents the Tron Foundation is a relatively consistent source of value. Even investors with no stake in the success of the full Tron project have noticed this, thereby shooting Tron into the top 20 coins by market cap in less than a year. The crypto-sphere is hungry for real-world use cases and viable, operational products. As soon as Tron is up and running as a decentralized entertainment platform, the market cap may well see another spike in value.