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Crypto Conversation: Is TRON a Scam or a 'Healer'

As accusations and rumors swirl around this blockchain project, we checked the stats and we found something different.

What’s hot in crypto this week? 

The blockchain project TRON - a delegated proof of stake network based in Singapore that was founded by the charismatic Justin Sun in 2017. It claims a throughput of 2,000 transactions per second and aims to be a fast, scalable, and responsive smart contract platform.

The TRON blockchain works on top of the TRON virtual machine, which is analogous to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). The team’s aim is to disrupt the content model of the web, giving users a way to monetize their data, with the stated goal of “healing the web.”


Many observers have been alleging that TRON is a scam. 

It all started in January 2018, when the project was accused of plagiarizing other protocols’ white papers to write its own. The project’s founder, Sun, chalked it up to unknowing volunteers with purported translation difficulties.

Then in March 2019, Sun announced he would be giving away $20 million and a Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc. Report to celebrate the success of BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer technology for sharing files on the internet. Sun did not follow through with this promise, and was of course accused of promoting false advertising. 

This came after BitTorrent was plagued with resignations by employees who echoed that Sun exaggerated their technology’s promise. They argued that Sun had access to too many TRON nodes, giving him excessive power to manipulate price. 

To top it off, Sun recently called his own project’s native token, Tronix (TRX), a “shit coin.” 

What does TRON’s on-chain activity show? 

Despite all the controversy, the TRON network proves legitimate and strong.  

We labeled TRON’s on-chain activity to determine if the project was doing something fishy with its native token, TRX. 

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Turns out, looking at the active supply of TRX in the past 30 days reveals a very healthy and active ecosystem.

People are staking. Notice how both top holders (light blue), and less active wallets (dark green), are sending their tokens to “staking” (bottom right in orange). Simply put, staking is the act of locking your tokens to receive rewards. 

FlipsideCrypto- TRON- June2020

There is decentralized app activity. We can see top holders and smaller wallets using their tokens on decentralized apps (in light purple). 

There is decentralized exchange activity, too. TRX is being traded on both decentralized exchanges and regular exchanges. 

Node operators and voters are getting rewarded, as well. Notice the steady outflow of rewards from the supply management side, going straight to node operators. Then you can see node operators sending reward payments to voters. 

Smaller wallets own most of the active supply. This is a good sign for the ecosystem, because it suggests that the token supply is widely distributed and not concentrated in the hands of the foundation or top holders (wallets who own a significant portion of the active supply and whose actions could impact price). 

What’s Flipside’s take? 

To many, Justin Sun and TRON represent a class of useless altcoins - superficial marketers perverting crypto’s “true” purpose. But what if that’s just the intellectual snobbery in the space focusing too much on Twitter trolls, and not enough on TRON’s successful business model? 

The facts are there to prove that TRON is a real business. Probably more real even than 90% of blockchains we’ve looked at. The project currently hovers around a $1.1 billion market cap, already acquired BitTorrent and Steemit, and Sun recently palled around with Warren Buffet. Clearly, TRON’s pragmatism for creating wealth has attracted a thriving community. Our benchmarks below only confirm its success. 

The Flipside Crypto Asset Score Tracker provides institutional and sophisticated retail investors the ability to track over 500 cryptocurrencies' fundamentals. FCAS Tracker is currently free to a select group of new users as it continues to develop the product. Visit Flipside here to gain access to Flipside Analytics.