What is Tron (TRX)

Eric Eissler
| Editor:
June 15, 2023
6 min read

Tron is a cryptocurrency that provides users with decentralized peer-to-peer content and entertainment sharing ecosystem. Its native token is Tronix (TRX) and has two token variations TRC10 and TRC20. As a content creator, you are rewarded with Tronix as a thank you for creating and sharing content on the Tron Network. It's a pretty cool system for anyone who likes to create and consume content, why not get rewarded for it.

In this article, we'll cover the background of Tron, how it works and what it's used for, the tokenomics, and historical pricing. So just where did Tron come from and how did it start?


Image of the Tron Symbol and Logo.
Use Atomic Wallet to get started trading Tron today! (Source: Tron)

In 2017, Justin Sun found Tron in Singapore. The Tron foundation, which now oversees Tron, launched an ICO in 2017 and raised some $70 million USD.

Tron Foundation

The Tron Foundation is a non-profit entity based in Singapore. The foundation mainly engages in operating the Tron crypto network in the principles of openness, fairness, and transparency in supporting Tron's development team.

The team behind the Tron Foundation considers regulation and compliance to be the highest of values. However, despite these high standards, Tron has been accused of stealing ideas and plagiarism.

Plagiarism Accusations

Not all Crypto Currencies can have happy stories. Tron has been accused of plagiarizing the work of Protocol Labs. In 2018, CEO Juan Benet stated that Tron's whitepaper had copied sections from IPFSbot and MineFilecoin whitepapers without providing a reference to these papers. While the plagiarism was not blatant, copying word for word, Benet asserted that the structure and the vocabulary were very similar.

The accusation drew negative attention to Tron and in return, Digital Asset Research did some investigating and turned up some copied code in Tron's codebase. Besides copying from other crypto projects Digital Asset Research threw some red flags because the project does not mention that its client was derived from Ethereum, a Java implementation of Ethereum. Now to be fair, Tron originally was an ERC20 token, which is derived from Ethereum, but did create its own blockchain and move off of Ethereum.

Weak Security

As if the plagiarism accusations weren't bad enough, HackerOne did some analysis on Tron's cyber security and discovered that a single computer could be strong enough to take down the entire Tron network with a distributed denial of service attack. In layman's terms, one computer could send a barrage of requests to the network to overload the Tron network and take it offline.

Tron has not had an easy time establishing itself as one of the premiere crypto currencies. Let's take a look at how Tron works and leave the negativity behind.

Content Creation with Tron

image of Bittorrent's logo
Tron bought BitTorrent for $140 million USD!

Tron was designed with Web 3.0 in mind. In other words, giving the power back to the people. Within the Tron network you are able to create and share your content and be rewarded for doing so. The money is in the data and for the past 20 years or so the tech giants have offered you “free” services in exchange for your data. Data has been such a powerful tool in the 21st century. Web 3.0 seeks to take that power back and give it to the people again.

In 2018, Tron acquired filing sharing site, BitTorrent, for $140 million, as a way to launch itself into the content sharing industry. At the time, Tron was ranked 10 by CoinMarketCap by MarketCap. Now, at the time of writing Tron sits at 27 on the list of tokens rated by market capitalization.

Tron didn't benefit from the NFT craziness of 2021, but it did launch Crypto Puppies to play off of the Chinese year of the dog, but that didn't go over as well as bonafide ERC-20 NFTs on Ethereum.

If you look around on the Tron website, under projects, you won't find as much as you would expect from Tron, considering it touts itself as a content creation platform. Again Tron is falling flat on its potential to deliver. Perhaps Tron's tokenomics can lift it's spirits?

Technical Analysis

Tron is built on Java, which is a much more familiar programming language to developers than say Ethereum's programming language, Solidity. The advantage here is that it can attract more contributors because Java is a standard programming language. So there is a plus for Tron. Speaking of pluses, Tron's network is very scalable and can process more than 20,000 transactions per second! That blows Bitcoin and Ethereum out of the water!

What's more is that Tron created it's own blockchain and moved away from Ethereum's ERC20. This change occurred in 2018. This was referred to as independence day! In doing so, Tron burned its ERC20 tokens by sending them all to a dead wallet, or an unusable address. Speaking of tokens, what's up with having two: TRC10 and TRC20?

TRX10 and TRX20

Aside from easy token creation with TRC10 (that is to create your own token from TRC10) and smart contract functionality withTRC20, there are a few more differences between the two tokens:

  • TRC10 is accessible via application programming interface. This is most commonly referred to as an API.
  • TRC10 has much lower transaction fees than TRC20 but has bandwidth costs for API transfers and deposits.
  • TRC10 transfers and deposits into smart contracts cost bandwidth and energy

Now what you might be asking is what are bandwidth and energy in Tron? Well, bandwidth allows users to perform Tron transactions, and energy allows users to process Tron smart contracts. Instead of paying a gas fee to perform these tasks, users freeze or lock up (similar to staking) Tron, which in turn generates bandwidth and energy. So now you can use your bandwidth and energy to perform your transactions without paying gas fees. If you have been using Ethereum for any transactions over the past year, then you'll know all too well that the gas price has gone way up. This high cost of gas has been leading the way for blockchain developers to come up with new solutions that won't cost as much.

There was a lot to cover on the technical side of things, so now let's jump into the tokenomics section.


In this section, we'll go over some of the unique features of the Tron economy and what makes Tron unique. Earlier in the article, it was mentioned that Tron does not have transaction fees per se. However, that is not 100% there are other ways that Tron is able to take fees.

How do TRON network fees work?

Tron allows you to freeze Tron for Energy and Bandwidth. This allows you to send TRX, TRC10, and TRC20 right from your wallet without paying transaction fees.

If you do not have enough Energy or Bandwidth, the Tron network transaction fee will be between 5 and 10 TRX, which is very reasonable if compared to first and second generation cryptos, which suffer from high network congestion and high gas fees.


Freezing Tron for Bandwidth allows you to be able to perform more TRX and TRC10 transactions without having to pay network fees. Your Tron tokens are frozen for a minimum of 3 days. After the 3-day time period passes, you can choose to unfreeze your Tron or leave it frozen.


Freezing Tron for Energy allows you to be able to perform more transactions with Tron smart contracts without having to pay network fees. This includes all TRC20 token transactions. Again, your Tron is frozen for 3 days. After 3 days, you can unfreeze your Tron or leave it frozen.

Historical Price Action

Graph of Tron's all time price history.
Tron has seen a lot of action since it was listed and then over the past 2 years. (Source: CoinMarketCap)

Tron hit the market at the start of September 2017 at $0.0001802. It did not see much action until 3 months later when the first bit crypto bubble was in its final run up at the end of 2017. From 12 Dec 2017 until 04 January 2018, Tron saw its largest increase, followed by its largest decrease. On 12 Dec the price was $0.004437 and then on 04 Jan the price was at $0.22! Which ended up being Tron's peak price. After that, the big crypto crash began and Tron, like all the tokens, suffered. Within a month's time, Tron's price was reduced to $0.03. For a few months after the big crash in 2018, Tron had some ups and downs and climbed back to around $0.09 in April 2018 before taking a long trip down to $0.01 by the end of 2018. Tron's price didn't do much after that. It remained at $0.01 until 2020, when it went up to $0.02. That's about all that happened in 2020. Now in 2021, the Tron started to come alive again. A run up started in February 2021 and peaked at $0.16 on 15 April 2021. It then fell back to around $0.05 and then went up to $0.11 in September 2021. The current year, 2022, has seen Tron between $0.06 and $0.07.

Atomic Tron Wallet

Atomic Wallet offers you a great place to store your Tron tokens. Besides just being a cryptocurrency wallet for storing, sending, and receiving, you can do much, much more. Atomic Wallet has some great features such as having a built-in decentralized exchange/swap where you can buy more than 300 crypto currencies and have them securely stored in your Atomic Wallet. What's more is that you can stake a number of tokens right in the Wallet! On top of that, for each transaction you make in Atomic Wallet, buying, selling, or swapping, you are eligible to get up to 1% back per transaction paid out in Atomic Wallet's native token, AWC.


Why did Tron leave the Ethereum network?

Tron left the Ethereum network to expand out on its own. Tron created its own blockchain to facilitate its content sharing plan, in addition to buying BitTorrent and creating its own tokens TRX, TRC10 and TRC20 and to use them for its own tokenomics purposes, such as being able to freeze and thaw tokens to support users not having to pay fees for some transactions.

Why Did Tron acquire BitTorrent?

The reason behind the acquisition of BitTorrent was to support Tron's goal of becoming a content sharing network by using its native token. BitTorrent is a well-known file sharing service that has been used all around the world for peer-to-peer continent sharing.

What is Tron's application architecture?

Tron is built on a 3-layer architecture that is divided into storage, core, and application layers. The TRON protocol adheres to Google protocol buffers, which intrinsically supports multi-language extension.

What is the difference between TRC10 and TRC20 tokens?

Aside from easy token creation with TRC10 (that is to create your own token from TRC10) and smart contract functionality withTRC20, there are a few more differences between the two tokens:

  • TRC10 is accessible via application programming interface. This is most commonly referred to as an API.
  • TRC10 has much lower transaction fees than TRC20 but has bandwidth costs for API transfers and deposits.
  • TRC10 transfers and deposits into smart contracts cost bandwidth and energy

Why does it seem hard to find Tron on US exchanges?

In the beginning it was hard to find Tron on US exchanges because it was developed in Singapore and was initially marketed to China. You can easily buy and exchange it with more than 300 crypto currencies on Atomic Wallet.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Sign up to receive the latest news and updates about your wallet.
Related Posts