With over 92 million users on the blockchain, smart contract capability, and the largest circulating supply of stablecoins, TRON is quickly getting a reputation as an "Ethereum Killer".
The TRON network was first launched under the direction of the TRON foundation. The foundation was later dissolved and as of December 2021, the TRON network is completely decentralized and purely community-governed.
If you’re interested in developing dApps on the TRON ecosystem, staking or trading with its native token (TRX), then it pays to know a little bit about the blockchain and TRON nodes.
TRON is a decentralized, open-source blockchain with smart contract functionality and its own native cryptocurrency, known as TRONix (TRX). The TRON network supports high throughput, high scalability, and high availability for all dApps made on its ecosystem.
The TRON protocol was launched in December 2017 in Singapore, by H.E. Justin Sun, a Chinese-American tech entrepreneur. By the end of 2018, the TRON Virtual Machine, testnet (called Shasta), Blockchain Explorer (Tronscan), and Web Wallet were all launched.
In the same year, TRON also acquired BitTorrent, the internet’s largest decentralized file-sharing site. This was a strategic move for TRON in achieving its goal to become a global platform for the sharing of digital content that gives more control to content creators.
One of the main motivations behind the development of TRON was to be an innovative solution to the issues of Bitcoin and Ethereum— namely low transaction throughput times, high transaction fees, and lack of scalability.
TRON’s capacity for high performance, safety, and low cost has attracted thousands of developers to develop, deploy, and run dApps on its blockchain. The TRON ecosystem supports a wide variety of decentralized applications including DeFi apps, exchanges, collectibles, and games.
As well as its own native coin (TRX), TRON also supports other tokens and coins such as Tether’s stablecoin. Although the main purpose of the TRX is to pay for actions on the network, it is also used as a store of value and so is suitable for trading on exchanges and as a means of payment.
Top TRON dApps
If you happen to scroll through the TRON dApps on DappRadar, you’ll see that the total number has surpassed 1300. According to Tronscan, there are over 92 million users of the blockchain with more than 3.1 billion transactions.
SunSwap: SunSwap was the very first decentralized exchange (DEX) to be built on the Tron blockchain. It’s similar to Uniswap and PancakeSwap with the same kind of services, including on-chain token exchange, liquidity mining, stable coin conversion, staking, and platform governance.
WINk: The WINk gaming dApp, formerly known as TRONbet was also the first trustless, permission-less, and high-performance e-gaming platform on the TRON network.
Cuties: The collectible play-to-earn game Cuties launched on the TRON network in 2018 and quickly became a network favorite. The cute NFT pets and fantasy creatures can be bought, bred, collected, tested in battles and more.
JustLend: JustLend is a TRON-powered lending platform where users can borrow, lend, deposit assets and earn interest. The fund pools’ interest rates are determined by an algorithm based on the supply and demand of TRON assets.
OxCash: Launched in November 2021, OxCash is a decentralized networking platform based on smart contracts and built on TRON. The smart contracts are basically a payment gateway facilitating peer-to-peer commission payments between OxCash participants.
TRON features a three-layer architecture that is divided into a core layer, a storage layer, and an application layer.
Core Layer: Fueled by the TRON Virtual Machine, the core layer consists of smart contracts, account management, and consensus based on Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) which we will explain later. Smart contracts in TRON are developed in the Solidity programming language.
Storage Layer: TRON’s unique distributed storage protocol consists of high performing Block Storage (blockchain storage) and State Storage.
Application Layer: The diverse range of DApps and customized wallets on TRON. Thanks to the smart contract capability, the opportunities for utility apps that can be deployed and executed are unlimited.
The TRON blockchain network is built on three types of nodes: Witness Node (sometimes called a Super Node), Full Node, and Solidity Node. Each node plays a slightly different role within the TRON network.
Witness Node: Witness nodes are set up by “super representatives” (more on these below), and are responsible for block production, verifying transactions, writing them to the block, and governance.
Full Node: Full TRON nodes provide APIs and are responsible for broadcasting transactions and blocks to the other nodes in the network.
Solidity Node: This type of node synchronizes solidified block data from other full nodes, and also provides indexable APIs.
For security reasons, it is impossible for an end user to directly communicate with a witness node. Instead, access is made through the full nodes or solidity nodes. So, for example, if you want to be a crypto exchange, you will need to deploy a full node and a solidity node.
READ MORE: Blockchain Nodes Explained
TRON uses a consensus mechanism called Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS), which is an evolution of Proof of Stake (PoS) mechanism. In a DPoS blockchain, network users vote and elect nodes to produce the next block.
On the TRON network, the top 27 candidates are known as “Super Representatives” (SR) and the candidates in 28th to 127th place, become “super partners”. The super partners are unable to generate new blocks and gain TRX as a result, but they are eligible for voter rewards.
Voting for the 27 SRs takes place every 6 hours, so there is a new group of validators each round which is what makes DPoS one of the most democratic methods of block validation.
The top 27 SRs are rewarded with an even share of TRX from the block. Although any account can become an SR, they need to have a full node and 9999 TRX (which will be burned by the network) in order to be able to participate in the super representative election and validate blocks. The burning fee helps prevent malicious attacks and keeps SRs honest.
Any account can vote for SRs by first obtaining voting rights in the form of TRON Power (TP). This is achieved by staking TRX (1TRX equals 1TP). If a user stakes 10TRX, they get 10TP which they can split between SRs. For example, 6 votes for witness node A, and 4 votes for witness node B.
The recommended configuration for running a TRON node is as follows:
- CPU: 16 cores
- RAM: 32G
- SSD: 1.5T+
- Bandwidth: 100M
However, if you plan on entering the network as a super representative, you will need a full node capable of block production. In this case the recommended configuration is a CPU of 32 cores with 64GB of RAM.
However, there is another way...
For businesses planning to build on the TRON blockchain or integrate it into applications, they need a way to talk to the TRON node network. However, setting up and running TRON nodes alone can be an on-going labor-intensive operation. Blockchain nodes take a significant amount of time to sync, requiring constant maintenance that will quickly drain a development budget.
The better choice is to access TRON nodes with Crypto APIs, where you get instant access to the network with managed ready to use and always ON nodes.
You can also take advantaged of our robust REST APIs and integrate TRON easily into your system using our 9 SDK libraries. Find out more about how Crypto APIs supports TRON.
To find out more about our products and services, contact the team today.