Memories die in the crypto-currency market, where a digital token known as Tron has almost doubled in value in the past month.
Like many of the startups that have risen in value before breaking down during the bubble of the digital asset market, the company presents a young entrepreneur, questions about the use of their main product and much hype. Tronix or TRX, as the token launched in 2017 is officially named, has a market value of about $ 1.6 billion, making it the ninth largest virtual currency, as measured by the data provider CoinMarketcap.com.
At the center of all the excitement is Justin Sun, a 28-year-old man who founded Peiwo, a popular Snapchat-like app for China with millions of users. He then started Tron using much of Ethereum's computer code and using pieces of white papers from other startups to write his own. Sun bought the popular BitTorrent file-sharing software for $ 120 million last year. Demand for the currency has risen since the company recently announced plans for a new BTT token, which runs on the Tron and BitTorrent networks.
"Many people wrote off Tron as all the hype / marketing and no substance, but they made a lot of noise with the acquisition of BitTorrent, and now I think it's an open question if they'll be one of the most talked about" crypto Until you make "success stories," said Ryan Selkis, executive director of researcher Messari Inc., in an e-mail. "It's been wild to watch."
The focus is getting even more intense. A Tron sponsored conference in San Francisco that begins today features former NBA star Kobe Bryant along with Sun and an executive at Swisscom AG, a $ 25 billion telecommunications company. Sun's Twitter account now has 737,000 followers, slightly less than the founder of Ethereum and encryption guru Vitalik Buterin with 832,000 followers.
"We want to become the most famous brand in the world," Sun said in a telephone interview. "The first criptomoeda in which they will think is Tron." While the smaller units of Bitcoin are called satoshi, after its anonymous creator, the smaller units of Tron are called sun, after its creator. Sun would not disclose what percentage of Tron's criptomoeda he owns.
In 2012, Sun, who holds a bachelor's degree from Beijing University and a master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania, heard about Bitcoin and invested a full year of university education in crypto-crash. As Bitcoin's price skyrocketed, he pulled out and founded Peiwo. Tron also raised $ 70 million in an initial money offer that Sun says remains virtually untouched.
The goal is to turn 100 million monthly BitTorrent users into crypto-currency users, said Justin Knoll, chief of the BitTorrent project, in a telephone interview. In the beginning, BTT could be used to accelerate movie downloads and high-end artists, but eventually to other things, such as paying for file storage, he said. BitTorrent is profitable and generates about $ 25 million in revenue per year, Sun said.
The company is focused on increasing the number of distributed applications, such as games, running on its network. While it now has 107 Dapps for the 1,347 Ethereum, according to tracker DappRadar, that number should rise at Sun, recently announced a fund of up to $ 100 million for developers creating Tron gaming applications.
Tron is also expanding to serve corporate customers and has service provider agreements with companies such as Oracle and Swisscom, so their customers can use their network, Sun said.
Tron claims that it has transaction times much faster than Ethereum because it uses a different mechanism to verify transactions: its 27 super representatives produce the blocks that are voted for by the holders of the cryptomoeda account. Meanwhile, Ethereum checks transactions using computers called miners, although it is migrating to a similar proof of participation system.
"Converting to PoS is a big effort," Sun said. "It's like changing a building a block away. It may be easier to knock down the building and rebuild it. year or two to migrate, and this seems optimistic. "
Sun's official biography links him as a protégé of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. president Jack Ma, and some analysts see similarities between the two men. Sun, which currently operates primarily in San Francisco, is a recent graduate of the Hupan Maoming University program for entrepreneurs.
"One point that comes to mind is an example," said Lex Sokolin, global director of financial technology strategy at Autonomous Research LLP, in an e-mail. "The aspiration for someone like Sun is less Steve Jobs or Elon Musk and more Jack Ma. The first is a myth of a Promethean genius, summoning a technology product to the world. The latter is a humble, persistent and unstoppable action hero, running faster and better than everyone else. "
But keep in mind that Bryant is getting paid in cash and not on Tron for his appearance, unlike many celebrity endorsers during the heart of the Bitcoin bubble.