As 2018 proved to be a rollercoaster ride for the crypto industry, 2019 brings with it a breath of fresh air as most of the projects look to go beyond the ideation phase towards delivering working products and services. For the most part, the initial coin offering (ICO) days are well over for startups in the nascent industry, and a polished whitepaper can no longer cut it. In 2019, investors in the crypto industry want real use cases, and if TRON’s recent developments are something to go by, it would seem the TRX community isn’t shying away from giving the market a new trajectory.
Could 2019 Be TRON’s Year?
Compared to other major projects like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, TRON started the year with a major head start. On the back of their $126 million acquisition of popular peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing client BitTorrent in June 2018 , the TRON ecosystem continues to expand its arsenal of offerings.
A recent example of TRON’s ever-expanding services is the launch of BitTorrent’s TRX-based native token BTT (BitTorrent Token). The P2P file-sharing protocol BitTorrent announced on January 3, 2018, the launch of BTT which would help users experience faster downloads.
Substantiating on the launch of the BTT Token, the CEO of BitTorrent and founder of TRON protocol, Justin Sun described the token as the first in a series of steps to support a decentralized version of the internet. He highlighted BitTorrent as a gateway to introduce blockchain technology to hundreds of millions of users at once. He added that it could empower a new generation of content creators to share their material on the internet without any hindrance.
What Does The BTT Token Do?
After the announcement of the BTT token, many people questioned whether such a token is really necessary. Many accused Sun of launching a totally non-required product in the form of the BTT token, claiming that the sole reason behind its launch is to make up for the lack of funds in the TRON project.
However, Sun appears to be very bullish on the future prospects of the BTT token.
First and foremost, BTT token will run on the TRON network and allow BitTorrent users to use BTT to pay for high torrent download speeds. However, the token will not change the fundamental dynamics of the popular torrent platform.
At present, anyone can download torrent files using clients such as BitTorrent and uTorrent, both of which will continue to be free to download and use, even after the launch of BTT. The only difference being that the token will be used as an incentive for users to share more data on the client and increase download speeds for peers to enjoy.
In a nutshell, users who are willing to pay for faster download speeds will reward BTT to users who share data files on the internet. As per the token’s white paper, this incentivizing mechanism leverages BTT to help improve the quality, speed, and content of torrent files market through the collective benefit of the people involved.
BTT Airdrop and Exchanges Supporting It
In tandem with the launch of BTT, the BitTorrent team announced BTT airdrops for TRON (TRX) holders.
According to the post, BitTorrent Foundation will initiate its first airdrop of BTT to TRX holders on February 11, 2019. The team will take a snapshot of the TRX blockchain at block height 6.6 million. During the first airdrop, 1.1 percent of the total supply or 10,890,000,000 BTT tokens will be rewarded to TRX holders.
Notably, the ratio of BT airdrop on February 11, 2019, will be 1 TRX = 0.11 BTT. However, the final ratio might differ from this figure in lieu of the uncertainty of the TRX block rewards and coin burn.
A number of exchanges have come forward to announce their support for the BTT token airdrop. On January 21, 2019, cryptocurrency exchange platform OKEx announced support for the airdrop. Other exchanges like Binance, Huobi, India’s WazirX, and Koinex have also announced support for the airdrop.
Skeptics Stick with Their Opinion on TRON
TRON’s charismatic leader Justin Sun is often compared to multi-billionaire mogul Jack Ma. Sun graduated from Hupan University in China, launched by Alibaba’s executive chairman, and is touted as Ma’s protégé. After graduation, Sun ventured straight into the world of blockchain technology and founded what is now a $1.9 billion enterprise.
However, for all the loyalists the TRX project possesses, it equally vocal critics; on January 21, Cornell University professor Emin Gun Sirer refuted claims that painted TRON as one of the largest blockchain-based operating systems. Sirer tweeted that TRON is not an OS at all. He went on to add that anything dubbed as a blockchain operating-system is “an embarrassing mess.”
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin also pitched in his thoughts on Sirer’s tweet. He took a subtle jab at Tron through his own tweet:
In fact, this was not the first instance that Buterin locked horns with Sun on a social media platform. On December 2, 2018, Sun tweeted that ETH lead the 2017 bull run purely based on hype and speculation. Buterin retorted to this, saying that Sun is a “self-identified shill and not worth listening to.”