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TRON logo.png
Founded 2017
Headquarters Singapore
Key People Justin Sun
Employees 24-50
Products The TRON protocol, TRX
Twitter @tronfoundation
LinkedIn Foundation Profile
Website TRON Network Home

TRON is a cryptocurrency business conglomerate. It is also the name of the technical platform on which runs its native coin, TRX.

TRX was developed by the Tron Foundation, which was established in Singapore in 2017. TRON was founded by Justin Sun, former chief representative and advisor for Ripple in greater China.[1][2]


TRON was created in 2017 and its initial coin offering (ICO) launched that September.[3] As of May 2018, the development team of TRON consisted of around 50 men and women. Most of those developers were Chinese, though the team included individuals with international backgrounds, including some from South Korea, Palestine, and Russia.[4] Following its ICO, TRON became the first open-sourced smart contract blockchain-based platform to surpass 10 million worldwide active wallet users. The TRON token, Tronix (TRX) is the native token of the platform.[5] The company intends to use TRON and Tronix to make dApp development and crowdfunding "easier than ever."[6]


Justin Sun, the creator and founder of TRON, has said he intends for TRON to be a decentralized platform for storing digital entertainment and social media, such as social networks and mobile games. It has begun business partnerships with Baofeng, a Chinese video hardware and software provider that has been compared to Netflix, as well as other Chinese companies. Its most notable investors include Dai Wei (not to be confused with Wei Dai), the founder of the Chinese bike-sharing service Ofo, and developers from Microsoft and Alibaba.[7]

Currently, TRON's website lists 10 dApps that have been developed specifically for use with the TRON decentralized operating system, which uses the TRON protocol.[8]

In January 2019, TRON partnered with the ABCC exchange to list TRON's TRC10 tokens, making it the first exchange to offer these tokens. This was confirmed by Justin Sun via Twitter.[9][10]

In May 2019 Opera, the company that created the Internet browser of the same name, announced that it had begun developing TRX support for its in-browser cryptocurrency wallet, as well as many other blockchain-related services, which would be released within a few months after the announcement.[11]

Allegations of plagiarism[edit]

On January 9, 2018, the creators of TRON were accused of plagiarism when Protocol Labs founder Juan Benet tweeted a series of pictures comparing TRON's published whitepaper to that of Filecoin and IPFS documents. Although they are not an exact match, the language of TRON's whitepaper indeed appeared to be similar to that of the Filecoin and IPFS papers.[12]

Justin Sun denied allegations of plagiarism, citing mistakes made in translating the whitepaper from Chinese to English. TRON later removed the whitepaper from its website.[13]

Ethereum Airdrop[edit]

In May 2018, TRON began an airdrop consisting of 30 million TRX to the Ethereum community. The TRON Foundation increased mining fees to streamline the process.[14]

TRON's "hostile takeover" of Steemit[edit]

In February 2020, Steemit entered into a "strategic partnership" with TRON, resulting in TRON gaining considerable influence over the STEEM blockchain's governance. Witnesses within the Steemit community, concerned that TRON's executives and administrators (including Justin Sun) might have gained too much power over the Steem network, implemented a soft fork (Soft Fork 0.22.2) on February 24, deactivating the voting power of a large number of STEEM tokens owned by TRON and Steemit. On March 2, 2020, Huobi, Binance, and Poloniex allegedly used their collective voting power from STEEM tokens held by the exchanges to undo the soft fork, nullifying the voting power of the Witnesses responsible for the original soft fork in the process. The STEEM Team, which apparently consisted of both Steemit and TRON employees, issued a statement on Steemit's website that called Soft Fork 0.22.2 "criminal and illegal," arguing that the soft fork reversal was necessary in order to keep the "maliciously structured" fork from freezing "a handful of very targeted accounts and taking away their rights and possession to their owned asset." The post said the Witnesses threatened to cause a hard fork that would have nullified existing STEEM tokens, which was "very much against every aspect of the original purpose of decentralization and the core value of the Steem blockchain and community." The post said that the soft fork reversal was necessary to "correct the hostile behavior led by a small group of people," and that Steemit would use its voting rights to "resume the order of the community" for the next 4-6 weeks, after which it would return power to the community.

This caused an uproar in the crypto world, with many accusing Sun of "buying" control of the network for the sake of his own interests. Vitalik Buterin tweeted that it seemed like "the first big instance of a 'de facto bribe attack' on coin voting (the bribe being exchs giving holders convenience and taking their votes)." Changpeng Zhao tweeted that Binance would withdraw its voting stake given the community's response to the event. Multiple app developers announced that they were removing their apps from the Steem blockchain in response to the event.[15][16][17]

A few days later, Zhao tweeted an apology to the Steemit community, saying that he thought the TRON takeover was a "regular fork/upgrade." He also said that if the issue was not resolved soon, it would damage the credibility of STEEM, as well as its price.[18][19]

On March 11, Binance posted a letter to the STEEM community on March 11, 2020, apologizing to the Steemit community. The letter said, "Binance stays neutral and has no interest in on-chain governance beyond the Binance ecosystem. We hold a supportive position of normal upgrade/hard fork and will continue to do so in the future."[20]

Products and Services[edit]

TRON is a dApp platform that is developing multiple services that can be paid for using TRX.


In July 2018, Sun purchased BitTorrent for $140 million. BitTorrent is the company that owns uTorrent, a decentralized, peer-to-peer file sharing application that has been responsible for 3 percent of the Internet's daily traffic since at least 2015. The announcement said that BitTorrent's team would be working out of the TRON San Francisco location.[21][22]

In January 2019, TRON announced a new digital token, BitTorrent Token (BTT).[23]

In September 2019, BTT had the 51st largest capitalization of all cryptocurrencies according to CoinMarketCap, an online data reporting service.[24]

BitTorrent acquired Dlive in October 2020. Dlive is a Cupertino, California blockchain-based live streaming service.[25]

In early 2021 Dlive attracted the attention of U.S. Congressmen Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) and Jackie Speier (D-CA) after the New York Times published an article about how right-wing influencers who were closely connected to the January 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol used the Dlive platform. Among the allegations included in the news report, was that a Tim Gionnet ("Baked Alaska") used the platform to broadcast his activities during the riot, to receive real-time information from viewers during the riot about immediate risks to Gionnet and to pay tips in the Dlive native currency, Lemons.[26] According to the newspaper report, the previous year Dlive's CEO told employees regarding the right-wing extremists on the site, “if today we ban everyone controversial on DLive, the difficulties we will encounter on the growth will be 10x more than having them.”

The Congressmen asked in their published letter about the platform's policies for moderating against hate speech and calls to violence.[27]

niTROn 2019[edit]

TRON hosted an international cryptocurrency conference in 2019. The summit was held in San Francisco, California, and featured Justin Sun and NBA veteran Kobe Bryant as guest speakers, in addition to others.[28][29]

TRON Arcade[edit]

In November 2018, the TRON Foundation announced TRON Arcade, a blockchain-based gaming product. The announcement said that up to $100 million would be invested into the project over the course of the following three years. According to the press release, TRON Arcade will be designed to enable game developers to make games using blockchain technology.[30]

In February 2019, Tron signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Korean Mobile Game Association (KMGA) and the Korea Blockchain Contents Association (KBCCA).[31]


  1. About Us. Tron Foundation.
  2. Justin Sun. Linkedin.
  3. Could This Millennial 'Crypto' Tech Visionary Be The Next Jack Ma?. Forbes.
  4. About Us. Tron Foundation.
  5. Could This Millennial 'Crypto' Tech Visionary Be The Next Jack Ma?. Forbes.
  6. TRX. Tron.
  9. ABCC Exchange Partners With Tron to Become First Platform to List TRC10 Tokens. Cointelegraph.
  10. ABCC Exchange is truly an awesome platform that has witnessed great development. Twitter.
  11. Opera Will Soon Add Tron Support to Its In-Browser Crypto Wallet. Coindesk.
  12. TRON’s Whitepaper Appears to Plagiarize from Filecoin and IFPS. CCN.
  13. TRON Plagiarized its Whitepaper, Community Claims. CCN.
  14. Tron (TRX) Airdrop To Ethereum Community Ongoing As Bitfinex Supports Token Migration. Ethereum World News.
  15. Tron takeover? Steem community in uproar as crypto exchanges back reversal of blockchain governance soft fork. The Block.
  16. Why Crypto Should Care About Justin Sun’s Steem Drama. Coindesk.
  17. An Open Letter to the Community - HF22.5. Steemit.
  18. CZ Binance. Twitter.
  19. CZ Binance. Twitter.
  20. A Letter to the STEEM Community. Binance.
  21. Justin Sun now owns BitTorrent, the first of his Infinity stones. The Next Web.
  22. BitTorrent Confirms It’s Been Acquired by Blockchain Startup Tron. Variety.
  23. BitTorrent’s Master Plan to Bring a Tron-Powered Crypto Token to the Masses. Coindesk.
  24. Top 100 Cryptocurrencies by Market Capitalization. CoinMarketCap.
  25. Dlive. Crunchbase.
  26. Pro-Trump Mob Livestreamed Its Rampage, and Made Money Doing It. New York Times.
  27. DLive is under congressional scrutiny over Capitol attack. The Verge.
  28. Kobe Bryant Scheduled To Speak At TRON's Upcoming Summit. Forbes.
  29. NITRON SUMMIT 2019. Nitron.
  30. TRON unveils TRON Arcade: 100 Million USD Game Fund. TRON Foundation.
  31. TRX/USD gears up for growth as Tron leverages South Korean gaming market. FX Street.