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What is Tron?

What is Tron?

Harry Atkins
19th December 2019
Updated: 11th February 2020

1a – What is Tron?

Tron is the cryptocurrency supported by the Tron blockchain, on which the entire history of transactions are publicly recorded. Tron is self-described as a new, ‘decentralised web’. Similarly to Ethereum (the second largest cryptocurrency after bitcoin), Tron is a blockchain network that extends more than just being ‘simply a cryptocurrency’.

In order to understand Tron, you need to know why it was created and where it came from. Continue reading and we’ll take you through all the details you need to know, before moving on to explaining how Tron works and how you can use tron today.

1b – Who or what created Tron?

Tron was devised and created by Justin Sun. Justin is a chinese entrepreneur who features on the Forbes ’30 under 30: Asia’ list. Prior to Tron, Sun was best known for founding multi-media messaging app Peiwo.

The idea behind Tron was first put forward in July 2017, when Justin established the ‘Tron Foundation’. He published an academic journal in September 2017 about the creation of a new blockchain network platform that would allow for decentralised applications (known as dApps) to be built on top of it, almost like how mobile apps can be built for the App Store or Google Play Store.

Development on the Tron blockchain was started by the Tron Foundation, and the first publicly available version of the Tron blockchain was launched in September 2017. When it was launched the Tron blockchain was supported by the Ethereum network, and Tron was what is known as an ERC-20 token.

However, the Tron Foundation launched its own ‘mainnet’ in May 31, 2018. This allowed the Tron blockchain to become separate from Ethereum. Users could also exchange their existing tron ERC-20 tokens on a one-to-one basis for new, independent tron tokens, that are now supported by the Tron ‘decentralised web’.

1c – Why was it created?

Tron was created because Justin wanted a blockchain network that allowed its users to create their own decentralised applications on it. Justin envisioned an internet network that would be decentralised, where blockchain technology could be extended beyond simply allowing users to transact peer-to-peer with each other without a central authority.

The purpose of Tron was to go beyond purely being a cryptocurrency, and also provide a network which allowed users to make blockchain technology a part of everyday life. Unlike cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, which use a blockchain simply to record the movements of currency, the Tron blockchain allows for people to set up automatically executing ‘smart contracts’.

These will be explained in further detail in section 3c, when we look in closer detail at how Tron works. But let’s clear up a few more details about Tron before looking into how it works.

1d – Who owns the Tron blockchain?

Although Justin is responsible for the creation of the Tron blockchain, he does not own it. No one owns the Tron blockchain. The nature of a blockchain is to be decentralised, which means that no one person, group, or entity controls it.

On a technical level, the Tron blockchain is a form of open-source software, meaning that it is controlled by its users who vote on any proposed changes to the code through direct democracy (like the football game with no referee in section 1a). People can freely look at the source code of the blockchain and suggest edits to it, but updates require an ‘economic majority’ to be successfully incorporated.

Just like any app on your phone, updates are made to the blockchain to help it work more efficiently, increase security, or any other improvements it may need. However, when updating an app, it’s the company that owns it that will decide and enact the updates; with Tron, only updates that the majority of users agree to are implemented.

This democratic approach to the management of Tron is a core component of how the Tron ‘decentralised web’ works.

By Harry Atkins
Harry joined us in 2019 to lead our Editorial Team. Drawing on more than a decade writing, editing and managing high-profile content for blue chip companies, Harry’s considerable experience in the finance sector encompasses work for high street and investment banks, insurance companies and trading platforms.
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