Tronix, also known as TRX, is the native cryptocurrency of Tron: a blockchain-based platform
with two main functions. First, it serves as a global online content sharing platform, and secondly, it allows developers to create their own autonomous applications that operate without the need for intermediaries.
Tron is one of many cryptocurrency projects vying to decentralize the internet with blockchain technology. It is a platform built specifically for peer-to-peer file sharing with the goal of competing with centralized media tech giants such as YouTube.
In 2017, Tron raised $60 million in an initial coin offering
(ICO). Tokens were initially allocated as follows:
• 15.75 billion Tronix went to private sale investors.
• 40 billion Tronix went to ICO investors.
• The Tron Foundation, the nonprofit guiding Tron’s development, received over 34 billion Tronix.
• Tech entrepreneur Justin Sun’s company Peiwo Huanle Technology Co. in Beijing received 10 billion Tronix.
• When Tron’s mainnet launched, the Tron Foundation “burned” – or destroyed – 1 billion Tronix.
For now, Tron has a supply cap of 100 billion Tronix. But unlike some other cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, that limit is not set in stone, the Tron Foundation has said
According to price data provider CoinMarketCap
, Tron’s price reached an all-time high of $0.22 in January 2018 amid a crypto-wide bull run. For most of 2018 and 2019, Tron’s price hovered between $0.01 and $0.04. Tron’s price hit a fresh peak of $0.16 in April 2021, rising with the rest of the market as bitcoin broke $64,000 for the first time.
How Tron works
Tron aims to make it easier to distribute files, images, videos and other entertainment content in a decentralized way, without media tech giants such as Netflix and YouTube in the middle.
To accomplish that goal, Tron borrows some of its technology from Ethereum. Similar to the popular cryptocurrency ethereum, Tron uses a virtual machine known as the “Tron Virtual Machine,” or TVM. A virtual machine is a program that allows network contributors (called nodes) to execute Tron-based smart contracts
. Smart contracts are self-executing computer codes that perform certain functions when predefined conditions are met. For example, if Bob sends 1 ETH to a certain wallet, a smart contract triggers and sends him a loan for 2 ETH.
Tron is secured by delegated proof-of-stake, a consensus mechanism where token holders deposit an amount of TRX into a wallet and elect a delegate to validate transactions on the blockchain on their behalf. With Tron, a rotating group of 27 delegates called “super representatives” are swapped out every six hours to validate new transaction data and add it to the blockchain.
The key difference that separates Tron from competitors like YouTube is that Tron is built more with decentralized file sharing in mind.
To make it easier to decentralize media and files, Tron’s architecture is split into three layers:
• The core layer: This layer deals with smart contracts, account management and the delegated proof-of-stake consensus mechanism.
• Storage layer: For storing files and other large pieces of data.
Key events and management
In 2017, Sun founded Tron, launching the Singapore-based Tron Foundation to guide the development of the cryptocurrency. Tron started on the Ethereum blockchain, but migrated to its own blockchain in 2018.
Sun is known for orchestrating extravagant marketing moves on behalf of Tron. In 2018, Tron acquired
the popular decentralized file-sharing service BitTorrent for $120 million.
In 2019, Sun donated
$4.57 million to a charity to win a lunch with Warren Buffett as an opportunity to talk to the prominent investor and bitcoin skeptic
Tron also launched an ICO for BitTorrent in 2019. All the coins were bought up
in less than 15 minutes.