TRON to be the ‘Theranos of Crypto’: An Ugly Resignation, Fraud and Theft Allegations
Fatir Malik May 15, 2019
4 minutes read
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TRON to be the 'Theranos of Crypto' An Ugly Resignation, Fraud and Theft Allegations
Lucien Chen, ex CTO of TRON, left the very project he built from scratch and decided to launch his own project to enforce complete decentralization. Chen announced to quit the very promising tech startup he co-founded, on the basis that TRON has deviated from its founding principle of decentralizing the web as he also garnered up differences with TRON’s CEO and co-founder Justin Sun.
According to TRON representatives, Lucien Chen was actually fired months ago, in January 2019, and the reason being;
Suspicion of misappropriation of funds, bribery, competitive infringement, and theft of trade secrets and intellectual property.
A reported response from @Tronfoundation on the dismissal of CTO Lucien Chen, J. Zhu & X. Xie in Jan 2019 due to suspicion of misappropriation of funds, bribery, competitive infringement, & theft of trade secrets & intellectual property#TRON Reddit link:https://t.co/LeotF31NsS pic.twitter.com/RYMsn2J9rw
— Misha Lederman (@mishalederman) May 11, 2019
TRON’s Reddit community member started a thread that gave details on this developing situation and it said;
“According to the inspection department of TRON, former employees Z. Chen, J. Zhu, and X. Xie are suspected of misappropriation of funds, bribery, competitive infringement, and theft of trade secrets and intellectual property. Chen, Zhu, and Xie were dismissed in January, 2019 for violation of corporate policies and the law. Relevant documents and materials have been handed over to the judiciary. Z. Chen joined TRON in October, 2017 not as a co-founder but rather a technical leader.”
Chen has come a long way while working at TRON, that is ranked at 11 among other cryptos on the basis of market capitalization. During his time, TRON started as an open source platform and later went through the stages of testnet launch, followed by mainnet. Failing to come on the same page with the founder, Chen has firmly decided to depart ways. He has explained several reasons that account for his departure.
Out of top 127 candidates, known as Super Representative Candidates, on TRON’s network, top 27 candidates selected after every six hours through voting are Super Representatives (SR). These SRs, governing the TRON community by ensuring functions such as block generation and bookkeeping, are awarded 32 TRX after every three seconds whereas candidates, also elected after every six hours, are awarded 115,200 TRX once in every six-hour period. Chen outlined flaws in TRON’s Delegated Proof-of-Stake [DPoS] consensus mechanism and Super Representative node. He explained that despite having fewer voters, some nodes possessed over 90% votes which later determined SRs and candidates of the network.
To vote, TRON Power (TP) is required which is calculated on a voter’s frozen assets (TRX) as 1 TP is earned against 1 TRX. Chen added that although 100 billion TRX existed, less than 8 billion votes for the SR’s existed. This shows that control of network rested with influentials with most votes therefore exhibiting behavior common in centralized networks.
In addition to this, Chen is of the view that TRON network lacked qualities to cater commercialization meaning, TRON network couldn’t be utilized or applied for real internet applications. TRON, formed with the vision of innovating the web, was found failing to abide by its founding principle, Chen realized that TRON didn’t fulfill its purpose at all.
Justin Sun is often criticized by blockchain enthusiasts for not being a technologists at heart. And in the announcement, Chen seems to be the one overlooking the technological aspects of the platform as he said;
The technology platform of TRON was built by me. I certainly know that the real Internet applications cannot function in TRON network at all currently. The TRON ecosystem is still far from commercial applications that users can really apply to.
He confessed that TRON is not fully decentralized anymore. Besides SR, code development, token distribution and organization of TRON community have also turned out to be centralized. After mentioning how hard it has been for him to leave a platform that he set to achieve goals set in the past, Chen revealed his plans of building a new TRON.
While talking about his new project, Volume Network (VOL) Project, Chen pointed some features that will be present in his new project. He stated that as mining blockchain defines the true essence of a blockchain, he hopes to scale down the threshold required for achieving true decentralization by making VOL mineable on a hard disk. By doing so, he aims to eradicate prerequisites such as ASICs and the high priced GPUs that restrain people, especially latecomers, from mining i.e., participating in the block production process.
Chen also expressed on making use of his experience at TRON for his new project. After expressing his thoughts on the widely used consensus algorithm, PoW (Proof of Work) that requires high energy consumption and centralized calculations, Chen proposed to opt Innovative Proof of Space and Time (PoST) consensus mechanism for VOL. Moreover, he clarified that PoST based on hard disk is well suited for VOL. Further revealing features of his blockchain network that used PoST, Chen talked about environment friendliness, energy efficiency and resistance to attacks as the core attributes of VOL.
Claiming VOL to be community driven, Chen has decided to only issue 3% tokens in the ICO at BISS.com, while mining the remaining 97% tokens. He criticized Sun for compromising on decentralized nature of TRON and making money with the project. Opposed to Sun’s approach, Chen is not aiming at generating huge profits with Volume Network. Instead, he is willing to introduce a blockchain project that is truly decentralized, community-based and has an innovative consensus mechanism.
With a total value of $1 million and a circulation market value of $30,000, Chen is all set to offer a community-driven project like bitcoin created by Satoshi Nakamoto. Though Chen, the former CTO who is now the CEO of VOL, compared his motives with that of Satoshi’s, however, it remains to be seen if his project also carves a place for itself along with bitcoin.