The TRON Foundation is currently completing a mainnet upgrade of the TRON blockchain, which includes TRON Virtual Machine (TVM) and its smart contract functionality. Founder Justin Sun tweeted his anticipations for the platform yesterday, telling Dapp developers that TRON would be for them.
After achieving community support for the Odyssey 3.1 mainnet upgrade, the update is progressing, appearing to go smoothly so far. It includes the launch of TVM, an application environment that will allow developers to create and test applications and smart contract functionality before going live on the TRON mainnet. TVM is compatible with the Ethereum blockchain and will also allow developers to code in Solidity, the Ethereum-developed programming language. The TRON Foundation has plans to make TVM compatible with EOS and other blockchain networks.
Sun sees TRON as a potential competitor to Ethereum and EOS and is aiming to answer the issue of compatibility between blockchains. Sun said in his tweet yesterday that TRON will be 200 times faster than Ethereum and 100 times cheaper than EOS, already billed as a low-cost blockchain.
Faster than Ethereum?
Is TRON faster than the Ethereum blockchain?
TRON launched its mainnet in June 2018, after moving from its roots as an ERC20 token on the Ethereum network. That same month, the TRON Foundation said internal tests had hit 2,000 transactions per second. Sun has previously predicted at least 10,000 transactions per second for TRON in the future. In contrast, Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin says Ethereum, which logs about 15 transactions per second, will likely reach millions of transactions per second once it answers issues of scalability.
TRON's structure may give it an edge over Ethereum in terms of speed, at least in the short term. TRON has a small number of high-performance nodes on its blockchain, which are managed by an elect group of "super representatives." In contrast, all Ethereum nodes work to process a single transaction; the blockchain currently has upwards of 14,000 nodes. Of course, TRON's structure has potential drawbacks that might rankle security maximalists.
Cheaper than EOS?
In a recent interview with Investopedia, Sun answered in more detail the question as to whether the TRON blockchain is cheaper for developers than the EOS blockchain. In his view:
"It costs a fraction of one TRX to support smart contracts on the TVM and to create TRON accounts. Because the cost is so minuscule, we say 'almost free'. By comparison, creating and supporting contracts on Ethereum and EOS can cost a user more than $10."
EOS, aware that cost is an issue, has taken steps in recent months to lower it. In July, Dan Larimer, its creator, announced a plan to lower the price of RAM for EOS users. In September, the block producers made a change that they claimed would result in a 25 percent reduction in account cost.
If TRON and its ambitious founder can deliver the promised speed, low-cost, and equivalent functionality to Ethereum and EOS, it may well prove a credible competitor. However, as the ongoing BTC-BCH debate shows, it's not necessarily about technical specs. Instead, adoption and usage is what matters. Moreover, both Ethereum and EOS are evolving to be faster and cheaper, respectively, meaning TRON's envisioned path to blockchain dominance is far from certain.