TRON’s sudden emergence on the top ten market cap list may come as a surprise to many crypto-enthusiasts. With a market cap ranking of 136 (out of 1,300) as recently as January 1st, $TRX sat in relative obscurity. In less than a week, its market cap increasing by 530%, $TRX was thrust into the altcoin spotlight as a major competitor. It now sits on the number 10 spot among the world’s most capitalized digital currencies.

Here’s a quick breakdown of TRON’s rise in market cap and price over the last eight days:

  • January 1, TRX market cap was at $3 billion; price $0.004
  • January 5, market cap rose to a high of $18.9 billion; price $0.28
  • January 9 (at the time of this writing), market cap is back down to $9.3 billion; price $0.14.

What is TRON ($TRX) and what does it do?

Like the 1982 sci-fi thriller by the same name (TRON), where protagonist Kevin Flynn—digitized and downloaded into the (antagonist’s) ENCOM mainframe—draws upon his “User” powers to manipulate the digital environment in order to escape the prison-like “game grid” and defeat the Master Control Program (MCP)—a sentient software harboring totalitarian designs to enslave other software programs and amalgamate a force capable of turning against its Users (people and governments), the (real-life) TRON protocol aims to trigger a similar dynamic across the content space; allowing Users to take full ownership and control over the content they create; breaking away from the imposed “game grid” of large intermediary corporations (e.g. Google Play or Apple Store); and liberating Users from a system that has overcoded the digital commerce space.

What’s behind the TRON ($TRX) hype?

  • First, there’s Justin Sun, TRON’s visionary founder and CEO, who, according to an article in Forbes, is rumored to be the next Jack Ma (Chinese entrepreneur and founder of tech giant ALIBABA).
  • Speculation of partnership between TRON and Alibaba.
  • A team of tech heavyweights including Binshen Tang, Clash of Kings founder; Wei Dai who founded OFO, the largest bicycle sharing provider in China; Chaoyong Wang, founder of China Equity Group; Xue Manzi and other angel investors; and a huge endorsement from the Chinese government.
  • Last but not least is TRON’s current operation, one enabling entertainment content providers to interact directly with its Users; bypassing the costs of third-party distribution platforms; a global market estimated to be worth around $1 trillion.

What is the connection between TRON and its token $TRX?

TRON is establishing a blockchain-based ecosystem. This ecosystem allows for one-on-one interaction between digital entertainment content providers and their users. As Justin Sun states in a November interview with Medium:

Content providers will no longer need to pay high channel fees to centralized platforms like Google Play and Apple’s Appstore. Also, providers of content such as texts, pictures, videos, and broadcasts, will break the curse that popularity and hits cannot make profits. With the strengths of social network and value network, TRON is committed to ecological prosperity. In relation to any community and free market economy, an incentive system that fairly and reasonably reflects the contributions made by participants is fundamental. TRON will attempt to accurately and transparently measure and motivate relevant participants and contributors using digital assets for the first time, thus enabling this content ecosystem with TRX.

But currently, there’s another strange twist in the TRON narrative; one that bears an uncanny resemblance to the fictional story: like Ed Dillinger—the fictional character who stole Kevin Flynn’s original code—there are accusations flying around that TRON plagiarized segments of IPFS and Filecoin code in its original whitepaper.

Juan Benet, who is working in IPFS, provides a visual for his analysis below:

 

Justin Sun responds, stating that the issue is a matter of translation:

“Our original version of the whitepaper is in Chinese and we have a very detailed reference to the latest Chinese version. The English, Korea, Japanese and Spanish versions are translated by the volunteers. The translation missed numerous important details not just reference.

We do apology for the quality of different versions of the whitepapers. Also, our current code development is not as same as we planned in the whitepaper so please check our Github and feedback is welcome!

We can provide you with the latest Chinese version of the whitepaper and hope we can learn from your advice. Again, from the beginning, we don’t expect numerous languages versions to keep update. After our SF office opens we will have a better English version of everything soon!”

Unfortunately, this scandal had caused rumors to spread that TRON is taking a “marketing-first/product-later” approach; creating a buzz and then hiring developers to produce and implement the product.

With TRON’s team of tech heavy-hitters, potential institutional partnerships, investors, and resources that may accompany the entire collaborative package, the risks and opportunities of $TRX lay in its actual product development and implementation. This is a no-brainer. And it isn’t different from any other enterprise. But given the exceedingly complex nature of the technology, the “marketing-first” rumors (justified or not), and the informational “fog” in which most cryptocurrency investors operate, the actualization and implementation of the product define not only $TRX’s potential value but also the line between prudent speculation, speculative prudence, and haste.

 


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