A year in the life of the Tron (TRX) cryptocurrency

June 12, 2018
Chris Wheal

Tron’s ICO last year came just in time to benefit from Bitcoin hitting the mainstream and helping other cryptocurrencies take a share of the limelight. That increased interest in cryptocurrencies has helped Tron come from nowhere last year to a place in this year’s top 10.

The not inconsiderable total of 100bn tokens were offered in August 2017 and more than 65bn of them are in circulation. Given that Bitcoin will top out at 21m tokens, it’s also not surprising that there are also a lot of people holding Tron – more than a million.


Tron (also known as Tronix) started life as the official currency of the blockchain-based entertainment system also known as Tron.

It was first listed on CoinMarketCap on 13 September 2017 at $0.002, when its trading volume was $48,512 and it didn’t trouble the market capitalisation column. Its first market capitalisation figure on the site was given on 29 September when Tron was valued at $29m.

It is currently trading at around $0.05 and its market capitalisation is more than £3.5bn.

Tron coin

Tron’s ICO was well timed: Shutterstock

Going up

In December when media and public interest in cryptocurrencies massively increased, Tron, like other altcoins, got a significant boost.

Starting the month at $0.002, it ended the year worth $0.04 and just before Christmas its market cap passed $3bn for the first time.

In fact in December its market cap records came thick and fast. It passed $500m on 13 December, broke the $1bn mark the very next day and only had to wait until 17 December to hit the $2bn mark.

All time high

And if Tron thought December had been rather good, January was to prove even better. Less than a week into the new year its price shot up by more than 500% – during trading on 5 January it reached $0.30.

Between 4 January and 5 January its market cap more than doubled from $6.2bn to $13.8bn, with its highest trading volume of $4bn recorded on 4 January. Then on 6 January it broke the $14bn market cap mark.

Likely causes for these impressive increases were the introduction of the Pet Planet game (also known as Tron dogs) and Tron’s founder Justin Sun tweeting that a partnership with “a very prestigious public listed company” was imminent. The company turned out to be Baofeng, a publicly-listed Chinese company.

Coming down

But then Tron came down with a bit of a bump. Rumours started that Justin Sun had sold more than 6bn Tron in a number of transactions over the previous three weeks.

A post on Reddit highlighted a wallet that had sold that amount of Tron for Ethereum and then cashed them in for US dollars. The account also linked to a CryptoKitties account called “justinpets”.

This story gathered momentum, with Litecoin’s Charlie Lee tweeting to Sun: “Did you personally cash out $500MM of TRX though, @justinsuntron?”

Lee and Sun have a bit of Twitter history with Lee, when asked what asked what he thought of Tron, replying disingenuously: “People keep asking me about it… fine, I will give my opinion. I loved the original TRON movie but was meh about the latest one. I feel like it is extremely hyped without a lot of substance.”

To try and silence the rumours, Sun pointed out that the wallet under scrutiny belonged to a private investor and all the Tron tokens held by the Tron Foundation were locked in cold storage until 2020 and therefore could not be sold.

Lee accepted this response and deleted his tweet but by 17 January Tron’s market cap had fallen $10bn from its peak and its price was as low as $0.04.

Computer bug

Tron is offering a generous bug bounty: Shutterstock


Tron started life on the Ethereum blockchain but is currently in the process of moving. Its own main net was launched on 31 May, with migration of the Tron tokens planned to take place on 25 June, a day Sun has dubbed “Tron Independence Day”.

Sun says: “Tron supporters will have a seamless migration of the TRX coin, which will allow for a safe and easy way for users to convert their tokens. All the major exchanges will be assisting Tron holders in this process.”

Tron is making great claims for the speed of the new system, saying it can process 2,000 transactions a second compared with Ethereum’s 25 TPS.

A generous bug bounty is on offer to help Tron rid itself of problems before the launch, with $10m offered as the top reward for potentially fatal bugs.

The day after the token migration Tron will hold its first super representative election with 27 reps to be selected “to represent over one million Tron supporters and provide calculation and validation for the network”.

The super representatives will play a central role in Tron’s future governance structure and will be rewarded with an annual total of 1,009,152,000 TRX.

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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