A history of Tron (TRX)

June 08, 2018
Chris Wheal

The cryptocurrency Tron – sometimes known as Tronix – was originally just the token used on the Tron blockchain-based entertainment system.

It came to the market last year following an initial coin offering in August and in under a year has grown to become the 10th biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation.


Coins were offered at a price of $0.0019 and the sales target of $70m was reached. According to CoinMarketCap there are currently 65.75bn Tron tokens in circulation out of a total of 100bn.

Tron was first listed on CoinMarketCap on 13 September 2017 at $0.002. The trading volume that day was $48,512. The currency’s highest price of $0.30 was reached during trading on 5 January 2018, while its biggest trading volume of $4,089,410,000 was posted the previous day.

Most of the Tron action is based in Asia, with the most popular transactions being TRX and KRW pairs, followed by TRX and BTC. The highest volume of Tron trades are on the Upbit, Bithumb, Binance and OKEx exchanges.

Tron token

Tron has had a rapid rise into the top 10: Shutterstock

Main man

Tron is very much the vision of one man, Justin Sun, the founder and CEO of the Tron Foundation. Sun was previously Ripple’s chief representative in the greater China area. As well as Tron, Sun is the founder and CEO of Peiwo whose live streaming app has more than 10 million registered users, mainly in China. The app is fully integrated with Tron.

Sun is a protégé of the Alibaba founder, Jack Ma, and recently graduated from Ma’s exclusive Hupan University. His graduate thesis was called “The Birth of a Decentralized Internet”. Sun also studied at Peking University and the University of Pennsylvania.

Born in 1990, Sun has appeared in both Forbes “China 30 under 30” and “Asia 30 under 30” lists. Sun takes a very active role in promoting Tron and has more than 400,000 followers on Twitter.

Tron Foundation

Based in Singapore this is a not-for-profit organisation that “mainly engages in operating the Tron network in the principles of openness, fairness and transparency”.

Key figures include alongside Sun are Tron’s CTO, Lucien Chen, technical director Keelson Yang and developer Xie Xiaodong.


Tron started life on the Ethereum blockchain but is currently in the process of breaking free. The Tron main net was launched on 31 May this year and migration of the Tron tokens from ERC20 to Mainnet TRX will take place between 21 and 25 June.

Rapid transaction speeds are promised on the new network with Tron saying that tests have shown speeds of 2,000 TPS – far above Ethereum’s rate.

As well as the purported speed of its new base, Tron says the new platform will make it far easier for developers to create decentralised apps as it is built using Java while Ethereum uses the more niche Solidity programming language.

Sun also sees a new, more egalitarian cryptocurrency world coming in with Tron’s migration. He says that with other currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum “miners, founders, and developer teams hold much of the power”.

Tron plans to give token holders governance rights. “The revolution will begin with Tron, as we become a new decentralized protocol with a democratic, self-governing community, free elections, and overarching legitimacy,” he said.

Blockchain abstract

Tron promises fast transaction speeds: Shutterstock


Tron is a long-term project with the Tron Foundation having a roadmap with six planned stages taking it right through until 2027.

It is currently in what it calls the Exodus stage, focused on data liberation, which is due to last until December 2018. Tron describes this stage as “a mechanism of upload, storage, and distribution which is based on peer-to-peer and distributed content,” with Tron providing users with “a completely free and reliable platform for data publication, storage and dissemination”.

The next stage, Odyssey, will last 18 months and is centred on content empowerment. Tron wants to provide incentives to content creators with “fair returns for content creation, distribution and dissemination”. It aims to cut out middle men such as the Apple store so content producers can receive funds directly from consumers.

After Odyssey, Tron’s roadmap has 4 more stages — Great Voyage, Apollo, Star Trek and Eternity. These aim to see individual ICOs being launched using Tron 20 standards and the creation of a decentralised forecasting and gaming platform.

What people say

Forbes, which has recognised Justin Sun a number of times in its “30 under 30” lists says: “Interest in Tron is running high as it is already showing the same magnitude and growth path as Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, gaining the financial backing and seals of approval from some of the biggest business names in the world. Well, in China to be precise.”

Chronology of dates

  • April 2017 Tron Foundation formed
  • August 2017 Tron ICO
  • May 2018 Tron main net launched
  • June 2018 Token migration to the main net
Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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