TRON’s Year in Review, New Report From Konfid.io
TRON, the project looking to decentralize the internet, has gone through many changes this year. In only a year, prolific founder Justin Sun has hit a third of Ethereum’s daily transactions, revealed a new social media app, announced $100M in funding for its gaming market, and much more.
However, no matter how good a project may sound, none are ever perfect. Knowing this, Konfid.io, a Blockchain Venture Studio, put out an in-depth analysis on the project to see if TRON is an over-hyped solution to the internet, or if it can deliver on all of Sun’s promises and more.
Tron vs. Ethereum
Similar to Ethereum, TRON enables developers to create and publish smart-contract-compatible decentralized applications (dApps) on their platform. However, while Ethereum requires developers to use its own coding language, Solidity, TRON is compatible with Java, which many devs are already familiar with.
Interestingly, the report also compares TRON to projects IPFS, Tendermint, FileCoin (FIL), and STEEM (STEEM), claiming that Sun’s idea is a combination of all of these:
- IPFS aims to replace HTTP file sharing system. It offers secure decentralized storage and sharing of a large amount of data and content.
- Tendermint utilizes PoS consensus algorithm to allow increased speed and scalability. Tron’s consensus mechanism relies on Tendermint’s concept.
- FileCoin builds on IPFS and aims to utilize unused storage. Tron is drawing on similar principles.
- Ethereum allows building DApps through smart contracts on top of its blockchain.
- STEEM is a blockchain-based rewards platform for publishers that monetizes content. To put it simply, it converts Likes into actual monetary rewards.
Despite the controversy surrounding TRON’s white paper reveal in September of last year, in which the community accused the team of plagiarizing code ideas and more, the platform’s virtual machine has launched far ahead of its planned release date.
Like many, Konfid.io compares Sun to Steve Jobs or Elon Musk. This is mainly because of the founder’s out-of-this-world claims and his charisma. Sun was once a chief representative and advisor to Ripple in China, but has also founded a Chinese alternative to SnapChat, PEIWO.
Konfid.io then finds that TRON is ahead of schedule based on its roadmap. The project has six stages, with the timeframe running from 2017 to a projected 2027 finish date. Exodus, the first stage, was meant to go until 2019 and incorporated the mainnet migration which occurred this summer. TRON is now in its Odyssey stage and is four months ahead of schedule.
It is known that the total TRX supply is limited at 100,000,000,000 TRX. However, if all goes according to plan, 34% of this number will be released on January 1st, 2020. Similar to with Ripple, this currency is locked away to stabilize prices in case of emergency during development. However, 30% of all released TRX is currently being held by the top 4 wallets. In fact, 17% of this belongs to one address entirely. Counting the locked assets, this means these investors hold 45% of all tokens. This could lead to price manipulation down the line, which would be neutered by the release of these locked assets.
Additionally, the report makes note that the 100 billion supply cap is not coded into the TRX protocol:
“What this means is that, potentially, the TRX supply could breach that level, putting pressure on the price. Justin Sun, the founder of Tron, claimed that the reward and burn mechanisms implemented will guarantee TRX supply does not exceed 100 bn TRX. So, until 2021, Tron Foundation controls the total TRX supply. After 01.01.2021, the committee of 27 Super Representatives (SRs) will be fully responsible for implementing and adjusting relevant mechanisms to keep the total supply under 100 bn TRX. From an investors’ perspective, such risk is highly unattractive, since an infinite amount of TRX can be minted.”
Conversely, this would mean cheaper transaction fees which would benefit developers.
Taken from Tronscan, the formula for total TRX supply is as follows:
“Current total supply = Genesis supply + Block Produce Rewards + Node Rewards – Independence Day Burned – Fees Burned = 99,223,870,126.84 TRX.”
Slowly Gaining Ground
The report also reveals that 29 dApps are live on the TRON blockchain, with 56 total smart contracts. A majority of these dApps are gambling, with an average daily user count of 5,000. Also, only 23% of these apps are games. “The skew to the gambling DApps potentially reveals the true focus and use of the Tron blockchain,” reads the report. “After all, gambling, just like the adult entertainment industry, were the main economic drivers of Internet adoption in the 2000s.”
In addition, the TRON network has two working decentralized exchanges: GOC DEX and TRX Market. TRX Market supports three trading pairs – DICE/TRX, FUN/TRX, and BET/TRX. The TRX Market team aims to be the top cryptocurrency exchange over time.
Other major dApps on the platform include Peiwo and Seedit. The latter is a payment system that works with traditional social media platforms such as Twitter. It enables users to tip others on the platform and boasts 265,000 tips awarded since its launch in August of this year.
Surprisingly, the report finds that there isn’t much correlation between TRON interest and price increase. It divides potential users into two groups: investors and developers. Investors tend to follow TRON on Twitter, while developers lean towards GitHub. The platform had 359,222 followers on December 20th – a 10% increase from September 20th, but there was no reflection in price. On the other hand, GitHub saw its lowest activity since its ICO on that same date. The report provides some insight:
“There could be also a few reasons for the drop. First, it could be a simple coincidence that the majority of the developers are working offline and not checking progress and GitHub commits. Another reason could be that developers reduced activity in anticipation of the open-source platform release on the 29th of December. Last but not least, it could be a start of a long-term fall of interest in Tron platform.”
Increasing Via Usage
Similar to Ether, TRX sees its value from network usage. The more transactions made on the network, the more valuable the asset. Fortunately, the daily number of transactions has only increased as the platform has grown. That said, only 2.3% of addresses communicate with the network on a daily basis, which could be part of the recent price drops. Also, while TRON has passed Ethereum’s transaction volume, EOS is still far ahead of them. At the same time, Ethereum and EOS are far above TRON in terms of daily active addresses, with ETH seeing 1000% more and EOS having 140% above that.
TRON has 1,416 nodes, with the largest collective, 428, located in Washington D.C. Ashburn Village is another big holder, but this info makes it hard to tell if these nodes are in control by one person or many.
Finally, despite TRON’s positive year, the Kintaro report claims that TRON is a fantastic long-term investment but not great for the short-term, as short-term investors are likely to suffer from volatility. Also, only three events this year contributed to a positive price change. However, long-term investors have some ground. For one, the project has always reached its deadlines, the technology has shown itself to be solid, and the TRON Foundation is open about its goals and accomplishments.
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