Promotion and marketing are two key elements of any human enterprise. The people behind the enterprise want the word to get out about their project. They want to raise awareness and reach potential consumers who will buy the product that is being created and sold. Cryptosphere is no different. A project can offer the fastest, best scaling, safest cryptocurrency out there but if “nocoiners” aren’t aware of its existence and potential, commercial adoption will never happen.
Sometimes, projects decide to focus on the marketing aspect before providing an actual working product. We have seen this happening a lot in the world of crypto, where almost every ICO manages to raise millions of dollars with a single promotional video and a whitepaper full of promises. Once that money is raised, it’s invested into further promotional activities meant to reach even more people, sometimes neglecting doing actual work on improving the platform.
And this leads us to our today’s topic, Tron, a project that has seen its fair share of both positive and negative press about itself in the past. Looking at the history of Tron’s promotional activities, we can probably consider their “beef” with Ethereum as their first serious foray into the crypto eye.
Most recent swipe at Ethereum
As cryptoslate.com covers it, Justin Sun and Vitalik Buterin clash once again over Twitter. The two juggernauts are back to unleashing criticisms against each other’s platforms as Ethereum and TRON battle for market dominance.
Justin Sun once again touted the merits of the TRON platform. In a tweet, he linked an article where Vitalik Buterin stated:
“…basically the next wave of crypto adoption is not going to be built on hype because the hype is basically already come. It has to come from really useful applications and things delivering value to people.”
In response to Buterin’s comment, Justin Sun tweeted the following:
“[Vitalik Buterin] admits that ETH lead the 2017 bull run built on hype. TRON will lead the next bull run built on massive adoption, dApps and BitTorrent… $TRX [TRON’s ticker symbol]”
The comments are consistent with Justin Sun’s usual promotion of TRON, having previously elucidated multiple times that TRON would cause the next “bull run.”
In response to Sun’s underhanded comment, Buterin fired back by saying that anyone who uses their own ticker symbol in a tweet is “basically a self-identified shill and not worth listening to.”
Sun sarcastically responded by saying that Buterin can criticize his use of the TRX ticker after the Ethereum platform matches TRON’s alleged “2 million transactions per second” throughput:
Sun’s fetishistic obsession with Ethereum
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Why #TRON is better than #ETH: 1. 10000TPS vs. 25TPS 2. zero fee vs. high fee 3. consistent Coinburn vs. no coinburn 4. Java vs. Solidity 5. strong extensibility vs. no ex. 6. 1 billion USD developers rewards vs. no plan 7. 100 million users vs. small number #TRX $TRX
It has been known for quite some time that TRX is one of the coins looking to supplant ETH as the king of smart contract technology-based blockchains. Vitalik Buterin, creator of Ethereum and probably the single person more malnourished than Justin Sun, replied to the tweet above with some chosen words of his own:
- Better white paper writing capability (Ctrl+C + Ctrl+V much higher efficiency than keyboard typing new content)
His comment of course referenced the fact that Tron was allegedly caught copy-pasting elements of its whitepaper from Filecoin and IPFS. Some key elements of tron wallpaper were indeed suspiciously similar to what the other two coins had in theirs. Twitter user @juanbennet compiled the full list of Tron’s whitepaper alleged wrongdoings in the picture below.
In reaction, Tron team went into radio silence about Ethereum and this issue, apparently focusing on the project at hand. However Justin, seemingly encouraged by the mainnet launching, just recently (June 1) posted a similar graphic to the one from April. The new graphic still presented the “anti ETH, pro TRX” sentiment of the original one, except some numbers have been slightly adjusted. Take a look:
The most eye-gouging fact is that Tron had to revise their early predictions of 10000 txps and introduce a much lower estimate of 2000 txps. This screams “we came up with the original number on the fly to garner hype for our project”. With the mainnet launched and in beta, it remains to be seen how will it perform, but one has to wonder if the currently suggested 2000 txps are also an exaggeration of networks actual capabilities. As for the Ethereum and its 25 txps, Vitalik and his team are working to implement the sharding technology into their project, which should significantly raise this limit and bring the coin closer to commercially acceptable throughputs. Even with its current limitations, Ethereum network manages to process nearly a million transactions each day. Tron’s level of activity is nowhere near that.
Another issue here is the “100 million dApp users” claim that Justin points out. Apparently most of these users come from Justin’s previous work on the Peiwo chat app, with some other external partnerships also increasing the user base. However, the estimate of 100 million is most likely an extreme exaggeration and flat-out untrue. Redditor Fogdogbogfrog offers his view on this embellishment and says:
Where I’m from we call that “lying”.
At the same time Justin compares his platform’s number of users with Ethereum, claiming how Ethereum currently has “thousands of users”. This is an understatement to say the least, as just recently IDEX became the most popular Ethereum based dApp with over 150 thousand users. Doesn’t exactly scream “commercial adoption” but considering the fact that Ethereum has hundreds of working dApps, it’s fair to suggest that the platform has more than a few thousand users.
Finally we should mention the “developer rewards” being raised from 1 billion dollars to 2 billion dollars. That’s 1 billion extra American dollars that Justin Sun had lying around and simply decided to redirect into prizes for developers. The entire thing seems very fishy and designed to attract naïve developers to work for a promise of possibly becoming multimillionaires. The strategy seems to be working, as Tron Odyssey has “accumulated 2153 commits, merged 547 forks, released 15 software iterations and added 102 new features”, taking the crown as the project with most github commits in Q2. While some form of payment will most likely be given to outside developers, I sincerely doubt even the original billion dollars will be paid out.
Justin Sun, the Great Leader
No cult can function without a strong personality behind it. Justin Sun, the “leader” of “Tronics” is an excellent example of that. A smart and talented web developer indeed, Justin graduated from Hupan University (founded by Jack Ma of Alibaba fame). Since then, he founded Peiwo, Chinese Snapchat clone which indeed managed to garner millions of users, allowing Justin to enter the Asian Forbes list of 30 under 30 for three years in a row. He has since left Peiwo and founded the Tron Foundation which handles the development of TRX.
Therefore Justin Sun is definitely a successful person, one that many Asian and non-Asian web developers look up to and hope to become like one day. It would also seem that Justin has mastered the art of hype marketing, something that goes pretty well in the modern society. Apart from his Ethereum bashing twitter posts, he regularly updates his twitter profile with news regarding the Tron project. And boy oh boy are those updates full of, well lets call it over-enthusiasm. Just recently he posted the following tweet:
While the tweet clearly implies that the famous NASDAQ stock market started trading TRX, the truth is far from that. The tweet came with the picture below, bringing the context of Justin’s statement to light.
Tron indeed “hit the NASDAQ”, but only the massive advertising panel installed on top of the NASDAQ building. Clearly Justin Sun paid for a few hours of advertising on said panel and spun that into something that it wasn’t.
Also I must mention this public livestream that went down alongside the mainnet launch, where Justin Sun and his team spent over an hour talking (in bad English) mostly about why their product is better than Ethereum and spreading buzzwords about changing the world. The entire event was held in a badly-lit office in front of a crowd uniformly dressed in Tron t-shirts. This livestream had the “dictator speaks to his adoring people who clearly aren’t there by force” vibe that Kim Jong Un would have been proud of.
Moves like these only cement the bad image that Tron holds among serious crypto people. A reddit user drstrangerub offers an interesting insight into why Justin keeps insisting on marketing the Tron project the way he does:
“He may know appealing to eastern investors is his short term goal and will do anything to secure those, even at the sacrifice of his western image. This possibility seems all the more likely since his Asian following seems to increase (or at least hold steady) while the seemingly English speaking one is becoming disheartened with the whole ordeal.
Everything Tron is doing seems to be on point, EXCEPT for the western appeal.“
And he does raise a good point in there. Asian markets seem to be more accepting of the exuberant optimism-slash-blatant exaggeration style of marketing that Justin Sun and the Tron team are currently forcing. While that does turn off most of western crypto experts away from the project, it would seem that the western market in total isn’t that hostile towards Tron. The project remains a top 10 cryptocurrency in the world and if it manages to deliver a walk that will justify the talk, only Bitcoin is the limit. Most level-headed folks who haven’t completely quit on Tron due to its shady marketing practices will probably wait and see if the mainnet performs well before falling for the hype.
CaptainAltcoin's writers and guest post authors may or may not have a vested interest in any of the mentioned projects and businesses. None of the content on CaptainAltcoin is investment advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified financial planner. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CaptainAltcoin.com