Tron

Tron

Tron first appeared on our radar last month as its price began to spike rapidly. It rocketed from the 20 satoshi range all the way to 1700 before tumbling back down to a more reasonable level of around 600. Tron is a project that hopes to reinvent the internet and create a decentralized content distribution platform. However, there are significant roadblocks that keep Tron from being taken seriously as a platform.

Fundamentals

Tron’s content distribution platform is based on a peer to peer methodology. It also utilizes some of the same technology employed by torrent clients such as BitTorrent. Tron hopes to become not only a decentralized content distribution platform but a platform that can be used for decentralized social media applications as well. In doing so, Tron hopes to create a more decentralized internet and return the web to its roots, though it’s worth mentioning that this functionality is not planned to be fully implemented until the end of 2018. For the time being, TRON has partnered with Peiwo, a Chinese music distribution platform, who will have TRON implemented into their ecosystem somewhat sooner. The token also plans to allow messaging between parties. The sending of TRON through Peiwo will be integrated at the end of March, but the full implementation isn’t expected until the end of November. Justin Sun, the founder of TRON, is also the founder of Peiwo.

All in all TRON has an enormously long roadmap, which they estimate will take 8-10 years to complete. Time will tell if this is just a cautious estimate or a justified timeline. However, it’s worth noting that much of the core tech is based on already existing software and crypto projects. With this taken into account, the timeline seems a lot less reasonable.

Team

Justin Sun – CEO
Most recently served as the Chief Representative for Ripple in China. He is also the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Peiwo. He has a B.A. in History from Peking University and a M.A. in Political Economics from the University of Pennsylvania

Lucien Chen – CTO
Lucien is an expert in Big Data. His prior work experience includes Tencent, Alibaba, Netease, and Qihoo. Much of this work revolved around developing complex system architecture.

Keelson Yang – Technical Director
Keelson has a B.A. in Computer Science from Tsinghua University. He has 15 years of experience in frontend and backend development. He also worked at UFIDA developing enterprise management software.

The Problems with Tron

  1. Even for a whitepaper originally written in a different language, Tron’s whitepaper is an arduous read. It’s very poorly written at worst and very poorly translated at best.
  2. Quite a bit of the code and math in their whitepaper was plagiarized and not properly cited. They claimed this was a translation error, but when the English whitepaper was taken down, they also took down the Chinese version. A translation error also seems unlikely because their founder has spent a great deal of time in the United States and their company is based in San Mateo, California
  3. After the plagiarism was discovered, Tron’s community managers banned people who talked about the debacle
  4. When Tron was at an all-time high, the Founder of Tron Justin Sun sold off 80 percent of his stake (which also makes his twitter feud with Charlie Lee seem odd).
  5. Tron is heavily promoting their project despite the distance from completion. Their founder Justin Sun is especially vocal on social media. This seems to be aimed at causing a stir around the product and in essence promoting FOMO, which should be seen as a warning sign.

Leaked Whitepaper

A new and improved whitepaper was leaked for Tron at the beginning of January. The whitepaper is a good read — fairly legible with only minor errors. It also digs much further into the fundamentals of the project. The whitepaper describes how the data structures work, social media applications that will be integrated with Tron (Peiwo as well as another Tinder-like app), smart contract integration, and quite a bit more. The whitepaper also appears to be original in both its content and presentation. However, because the whitepaper has not been confirmed as being official, it cannot be taken into consideration when objectively examining the project.

Conclusion

There are too many warning signs with Tron to ignore. These warning signs are red flags that would prevent me from ever considering Tron as a viable product. The functionality they describe in their whitepaper is not innovative in the slightest. The timeline they’ve described ensures that some other project will undoubtedly beat them to the punch. While their team is strong, it seems unlikely that the issues described here will be overcome through the sheer might of their combined resumes. It seems likely that these issues are indicative of a larger systemic problem with Tron.

Sources

Tron Whitepaper (Archived)

  • https://hackernoon.com/trons-whitepaper-is-copied-plagiarized-cefce74335ce