TRON is a public blockchain attempting to become the core infrastructure for a decentralized internet. Its mainnet was launched on May 31st 2018.
TRON relies on a Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) mechanism in which 27 Super Representatives rotate every 6 hours to validate blocks and transactions.
Smart contracts can be written in Solidity and compiled on the TRON Virtual Machine (TVM). The network also supports native tokens (TRC-10). Also, developers can access full nodes running in the cloud provided by TronGrid.
1. What is TRON (TRX)?
TRON is a public blockchain dedicated to providing the underlying infrastructure that enables developers to create smart contracts and decentralized applications, freely publish, own, and store data & other content.
TRON deploys a Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) consensus mechanism to avoid the issue of low transaction throughput times and high transaction fees amongst Proof-of-Work (PoW) public blockchains (e.g., Bitcoin).
Specifically, some of the core features of TRON include:
A three-layer architecture: a three-Tron supports a three-layer architecture divided into a core layer, a storage layer, and an application layer.
Delegated Proof-of-Stake consensus: TRON utilizes a DPoS algorithm to reach high TPS, offering greater scalability than existing programmable networks.
A network of 27 Super Representatives: TRON relies on a unique model with accounts named Super Representatives who generate and validate blocks.
Tron Virtual Machine (TVM): smart contracts are written in Solidity, making it easy for Ethereum developers to deploy on the TRON network. The TRON project also plans on supporting additional languages in the future.
TRON's mission is to become the underlying architecture for decentralized applications, and therefore .
Some of its products include:
TronGrid: it provides full nodes running in the cloud allowing developers not to set up a full node to work with the TRON protocol. TRONGrid APIs enable developers to query events, transactions, assets, and other blockchain data. Since the launch of TronGrid v2 at the beginning of 2019, there has been a steady increase of traffic with occasional peaks due to dApp launches, averaging over 12,000 requests per second, over 1 billion requests per day. The average response time for querying events on TronGrid v2 has been continuously below 100ms. TronGrid v3, with new features and other significant performance improvements, is in the alpha testing phase as of April 17th 2019 and is expected to be soon released to the entire community.
TronLink: it is a TRON wallet running as a Chrome browser extension, as well as on stand-alone iOS and Android applications. It can be integrated into other decentralized applications and can be used to send and receive TRX, TRC-10 (e.g., BTT), and TRC-20 tokens (USDT).
TRX is the native asset of the TRON network. A few examples of the use cases for the TRX token include:
Payments for services and goods provided by service providers and merchants on TRON.
Payments for fees and commissions for running native smart contracts.
Staking TRX to delegate energy towards running smart contracts or voting for Super Representatives.
2. TRON's key features
2.1 A three-layer infrastructure
TRON adopts a three-layer architecture divided into a core layer, a storage layer, and an application layer.
2.2.1 Core layer
There are several modules in the core layer, including smart contracts, account management, and consensus. A stack-based virtual machine is implemented on TRON, and an optimized instruction set is used. To better support DApp developers, Solidity was chosen as the first smart-contract language, yet to support additional programming languages in the future.
2.2.2 Storage layer
TRON designed a distributed storage protocol consisting of Block Storage and State Storage. The notion of a graph database was introduced into the design of the storage layer to meet better the need for diversified data storage in the real world.
Blockchain storage: the TRON blockchain storage chooses to use LevelDB, which is developed by Google and proven successful with many companies and projects. It supports arbitrary byte arrays as both keys and values, singular get, put and delete, batched set and delete bi-directional iterators, and simple compression using the Snappy algorithm.
State storage: TRON has a KhaosDB in the full-node memory that can store all the newly forked chains generated within a specified period and supports witnesses to switch from their active chain swiftly into a new main chain. It can also protect blockchain storage by making it more stable from being abnormally terminated in an intermediate state.
2.2.3 Application layer
Since TRON enables smart contracts to be deployed and executed, developers can create a diverse range of dApps and customized wallets on TRON.
2.2 Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) consensus algorithm
As of April 24th 2019, the TRON network has over 1,200 nodes, with a block height of over 8 million. Transactions per day have averaged around 2 million. There are also over 2.6 million total accounts on the blockchain. Besides, there are roughly 60 transactions per block, with a block generated every 3 seconds with a block reward set at 32 TRX. For real-time data, please click here.
The TRON consensus mechanism uses a Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) system in which 27 Super Representatives (SRs) produce blocks for the network. Every 6 hours, TRX account holders who freeze their accounts can vote for a selection of SR candidates, with the top 27 candidates deemed the SRs. Voters may choose SRs based on criteria such as projects sponsored by SRs to increase TRX adoption, and rewards distributed to voters.
SRs' accounts are standard, but their accumulation of votes allows them to produce blocks.
The TRON protocol network generates one block every three seconds, with each block awarding 32 TRX to Super Representatives. A total of 336,384,000 TRX will be awarded annually to the 27 SRs.
Whenever a SR finishes block production, rewards are sent to a sub-account in the super-ledger. Meanwhile, SRs can check but are not able to directly make use of these TRX tokens.
A withdrawal can be made by each SR once every 24 hours, transferring the rewards from the sub-account to the specified SR account.
The three types of nodes on the TRON network are Witness Nodes, Full Nodes, and Solidity Nodes:
Witness nodes are set up by SRs and are mainly responsible for block production and proposal creation/voting.
Full nodes provide APIs and broadcast transactions and blocks.
Solidity nodes synchronize blocks from other full nodes while also providing indexable APIs.
2.3 A network of 27 Super Representatives
2.3.1 General mechanism
Every account in the TRON network can apply and have the opportunity to become a Super Representative.
In the TRON network, anyone can vote for SR candidates. The top 27 candidates with the most votes will become SRs with the right and obligation to generate blocks. The votes are counted every 6 hours, and the SRs change accordingly. However, to prevent malicious attacks, there is a cost to becoming an SR candidate. When applying to become a SR, 9,999 TRX will be burned from the applicant's account. Once the tokens are burned, such an account can join the SR election process.
2.3.2 Election process
TRON Power, or TP, is required for all votings on the TRON network. Users can acquire TRON Power by freezing their TRX tokens (i.e., staking).
TP is calculated in the following way: 1 TP = 1 TRX frozen to get bandwidth.
Every account in the TRON network has the right to vote for their SRs. After the release (unfreeze, available after 3 days), users will not have any frozen assets and lose all TP accordingly. As a result, all votes become invalid for the ongoing and future voting rounds unless TRX is frozen again to vote.
The TRON network only records the most recent vote, which means that every new vote will negate all previous votes.
2.3.3 Proposal creation, voting system, and withdrawal mechanism
Only SR accounts have the right to propose a change in dynamic network parameters. Once a proposal is created, SRs will vote for it, and any member who does not vote in time will be considered as a veto.
The proposal is active for 3 days after it is created. The vote can be changed or retrieved during the 3-day voting window. Once the period ends, the proposal will either pass (19+ votes) or fail (and end).
The proposer can withdraw the proposal before it becomes effective.
Table 1 - Proposal approval system
19 or more SRs
8 or fewer SRs
Fewer than 19 SRs
More than 8 SRs
The following tables demonstrate the calculation for vote rewards (table 2) and block rewards (table3).
Table 2 - Vote reward calculation mechanism
Vote Reward (Candidate Reward)
The top 127 candidates update once every round (6 hours) and will share 115,200 TRX as mined. The reward will be split in accordance with the vote weight each candidate receives. Each year, the total reward for candidates will be 168,192,000 TRX.
Total vote reward per round
115,200 TRX = 16 TRX/block × 20 blocks/min × 60 mins/hr × 6 hrs/round
Total vote reward per year
168,192,000 TRX = 115,200 TRX/round × 4 rounds/day × 365 days/year
Table 3 - Block reward calculation system
Block Reward (SR Reward)
The top 27 candidates (SRs) who are elected every round (6 hours) will share roughly 230,400 TRX as mined. The reward will be split evenly between the 27 SRs (minus the total reward blocks missed due to network error). A total of 336,384,000 TRX will be awarded annually to the 27 SRs.
Total block reward per round
230,400 TRX = 32 TRX/block × 20 blocks/min × 60 mins/hr × 6 hrs/round
Total block reward per year
336,384,000 TRX = 230,400 TRX/round × 4 rounds/day × 365 days/year
Due to the issuance of new TRX tokens for Vote and Block Rewards, there will be an annual inflation of 1,681,92,000 TRX + 336,384,000 TRX = 504,576,000 TRX.
2.4 TRON Virtual Machine (TVM)
The TRON Virtual Machine (TVM) is a Turing-complete virtual machine developed to support the TRON's ecosystem.
TVM is EVM-compatible, making it easy for Ethereum developers to port applications on TRON.
However, unlike Ethereum, the TVM employs the concept of Bandwidth, which differs from the gas mechanism on Ethereum's EVM. Instead, transaction operations or smart contracts on TVM are free. The use of bandwidth points prevents spamming while letting contracts being free to use.
The Tron Virtual Machine is compatible mainly with Solidity, but other VMs are expected to be supported in the future.
Similar to Ethereum's EVM business logic, its compiler translates Solidity smart contracts into bytecode readable that are executable on the Tron Virtual Machine.
The TVM accesses blockchain data and invokes External Data Interface through the Interoperation layer.
For more details on the Tron Virtual Machine, please refer to its official documentation.
3. Economics and supply
Native (ERC-20 at TGE)
Private Sale Allocation
25.7% of Total Supply
Private Token Sale Date (completed)
January 8th, 2017
Private Sale Token Price
Initial Amount Raised in Private Sale
Public Sale Allocation
40.0% of total supply
Public Token Sale Date
August 30th, 2017
Initial Amount Raised in Public Sale
The token supply distribution is as follows:
Private sale tokens made up 25.7% of the initial total token supply. It was conducted on January 8, 2017 for 25,700,000,000 TRX at a rate of 1,025,000 TRX = 1 ETH at ~$0.0003 per token, selling 25.7% of the total token supply.
Public sale tokens made up 40.0% of the initial total token supply. It was conducted on August 30, 2017 for 40,000,000,000 TRX at a rate of 205,000 TRX = 1 ETH at ~$0.0015 per token, selling 40.0% of the total token supply.
TRON Foundation and team holds the remaining 34.3% of token supply.
TRON token distribution (%)
TRON holds its funds in cold storage with multi-signature wallets. The foundation's wallet can be found here.
The TRON team decided not to share its use of funds at this point publicly.
4. Project team
5. TRON's activity and community overview
5.1 Social Strategy
The TRON team has listed four critical areas when it comes to community growth and development: online engagement, regional outreach, developer community, and education campaign.
The team states that it prioritizes community engagement, and considers interacting with community members and addressing their problems as an essential strategy in gaining community support. The team also has been and will continue to share development progress with the community.
TRON states that the project has developed strong relationships with Super Representatives and strategic partners, who host meetups and events and significantly extend TRON's outreach. The team also mentioned that they have been identifying and working with TRON advocates and power users, particularly in areas that they have less of a physical presence.
The TRON team provides one-on-one support to projects wishing to build on the TRON network. The team has engineers on-call to provide technical support on Discord. The project claims to make consistent efforts in creating clear technical documentation. In 2018, the team launched TRON Accelerator, in which a total of $1 million of grants were given out. The team has also launched a 100 million USD fund named TRON Arcade for gaming-related dApp development.
TRON also launched its education campaign at the beginning of 2019. This campaign includes videos and articles on topics such as what blockchain is, token economics, and many more. The project has also hosted a series of events where they invited established figures in the field to speak. In January 2019, TRON hosted NiTROn, a summit that illustrated what was happening in the blockchain space and explored what was to come.