Tron Whitepaper Summary: Blueprint for a Global, Free Content Entertainment System

A relentless pursuit has marked the digital age for a decentralized web, a concept that has captured the collective imagination of the tech community worldwide. Tron is at the forefront of this movement, charting a course toward a new horizon where the internet operates on the principles of decentralization. The strategic document that outlines this vision is the Tron whitepaper, a critical read for anyone looking to grasp the mechanics and aspirations of the Tron ecosystem.

Released in late 2018, the second edition of the Tron whitepaper marks a significant milestone in the platform’s development, showcasing its dedication to creating a robust environment for decentralized applications. Tron’s blueprint for a global, free content entertainment system is grounded in distributed storage technology, which promises to democratize content sharing at reduced costs.

Tron’s Vision and Background

At the heart of Tron’s inception is a bold ambition: to forge a decentralized internet that returns data ownership to the individual. This vision is rooted in the belief that a handful of corporations control data and user information, leading to a concentration of power and a loss of user privacy. Tron proposes a paradigm shift where users are in control, empowered to create, share, and consume without intermediaries, fostering an environment where digital content is free and unbounded by the constraints of traditional internet infrastructure.

The whitepaper situates Tron within the broader narrative of blockchain‘s evolution, which gained significant attention as a byproduct of the financial instability of the late 2000s. In the wake of the Great Recession, blockchain emerged as a beacon of decentralization and transparency, offering a new way to establish trust in a trustless environment. Tron is positioned as the next step in this evolution, building on the distributed ledger’s promise to revolutionize not just finance but also how digital content and services are exchanged and consumed.

Tron’s Architecture

Tron’s architecture comprises three interconnected layers, each serving a unique purpose in the blockchain’s function:

Storage Layer: This foundational layer stores data. It is robust and scalable, ensuring that the vast amounts of data the network generates are stored securely and efficiently.

Core Layer: At the heart of Tron’s functionality is the core layer, which handles operations such as smart contracts execution, account management, and consensus among network participants.

Application Layer: Developers interact with the Tron network at the application layer, where they can build and deploy their decentralized applications (DApps) and custom wallets.

The core layer is the engine room of Tron’s blockchain, comprising several critical components:

Smart Contracts: Tron’s smart contracts are automated contracts that run on predetermined conditions. They are executed on the Tron Virtual Machine (TVM), compatible with Ethereum‘s EVM, allowing for a seamless migration of Ethereum DApps to Tron.

Account Management: Tron’s account system features a hierarchical structure with transparent and multi-signature support, providing a secure and flexible management system for digital assets.

Consensus Mechanism: The consensus mechanism is a democratic system known as Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS), where 27 Super Representatives (SRs) elected by the community validate transactions and create blocks.

The storage layer is where Tron’s data storage capabilities come into play, consisting of two parts:

Blockchain Storage: This component is responsible for storing the actual blockchain data, including the history of transactions and smart contract data, in a way that ensures stability and retrievability.

State Storage: State storage is crucial for maintaining the state of all accounts on the network. It allows for quick and efficient data retrieval to ensure the smooth operation of the blockchain.

The application layer is where the potential of Tron’s architecture truly shines. It provides developers with a suite of tools and a supportive framework to create and deploy a variety of DApps. This layer is highly scalable and user-friendly, offering a range of APIs and other resources to support the development of sophisticated applications that can scale to meet the needs of a growing user base.

Consensus Mechanism

The consensus mechanism is a fundamental aspect of any blockchain technology, determining how transactions are verified and how the network achieves agreement.  Tron’s adoption of DPoS marks a significant evolution in blockchain consensus mechanisms. While PoW, utilized by Bitcoin, has been instrumental in the initial stages of blockchain development, it has high energy consumption and slower transaction speeds. Tron’s shift to DPoS responds to these criticisms, aiming to create a more energy-efficient and faster blockchain.

DPoS offers several advantages over the PoW mechanism:

Energy Efficiency: DPoS eliminates the need for energy-intensive mining activities, making it a more sustainable option for the environment.

Increased Transaction Speeds: With DPoS, Tron achieves a higher transaction throughput, reportedly capable of processing 2,000 transactions per second (TPS), compared to Bitcoin’s 3 TPS and Ethereum’s 15 TPS.

Democratized Participation: In DPoS, token holders participate in the network by voting for a group of delegates—Super Representatives (SRs)—responsible for validating transactions and creating new blocks. This system encourages a more democratic and decentralized ecosystem.

The consensus process in Tron involves several steps:

Voting System: TRX account holders who freeze their accounts can vote for SR candidates every six hours—the top 27 candidates with the most votes are the SRs.

Block Production: SRs take turns producing blocks round-robin, each taking approximately three seconds to produce.

Transaction as Proof of Stake (TaPoS): Tron uses TaPoS, which requires each transaction to include part of the hash of a recent block header. This method ensures the main blockchain confirms transactions and prevents the possibility of counterfeit chains.

Transaction Confirmation: After a transaction broadcast, it is included in a future block and confirmed after the production of 19 subsequent blocks.

Tron’s DPoS system protects the network against attacks such as Denial of Service, 51% attacks, selfish mining, and double-spend attacks, ensuring a secure and robust platform for users and developers alike.

Account System in Tron

The Tron network features a sophisticated account system designed to cater to the diverse needs of its users. This system is pivotal for the platform’s operations, including transactions, smart contract execution, and participation in the network’s governance through voting. The whitepaper delineates the types of accounts, the account creation process, and the security measures in place to protect user assets.

Tron’s network accommodates three distinct types of accounts:

Regular Accounts: These are standard user accounts for performing transactions. They are the most common account type on the Tron network and are used primarily for sending and receiving TRX, Tron’s native cryptocurrency.

Token Accounts: Specifically designed for storing TRC-10 tokens, token accounts are integral to the network’s token economy, enabling users to manage the tokens operating on the Tron blockchain.

Contract Accounts: Created by regular accounts, contract accounts are associated with smart contracts on the Tron network. Regular accounts can trigger them and are essential for the decentralized application ecosystem within Tron.

Creating an account on the Tron network can be accomplished through several methods:

Via API: Users can create a new account using the Tron network’s API, allowing integration with various applications and services.

By Transferring TRX: Sending TRX to a new account address automatically initiates the creation of an account.

By Transferring TRC-10 Tokens: Similarly, transferring any TRC-10 token to a new account address will result in the creation of an account.

Additionally, users can generate an offline key pair, which is not recorded by the Tron network, ensuring a higher level of security as the private key remains with the user.

Account Structure and Security

A hierarchical structure and the cryptographic algorithms used for key generation underpin the security of the Tron network. The account address generation algorithm involves creating a key pair and extracting the public key, which hashed using the SHA3-256 function to produce an address. This address is prefixed with a 41 to denote a Tron account and is 21 bytes long.

For added security, the network employs a dual-layer system where transactions require a part of the hash of a recent block header, known as Transaction as Proof of Stake (TaPoS). This measure prevents replicating transactions on alternative chains and signals the network about the user’s stake on a particular fork. It confirms transactions after producing 19 subsequent blocks, ensuring the transaction is irrevocably recorded on the blockchain.

Block and Transaction Mechanics

A block on the Tron network is a package of data that contains records of transactions. According to the whitepaper, a complete block in Tron consists of several elements:

  • Magic Number: A unique identifier that marks the beginning of a block.
  • Block Size: The size of the block in bytes.
  • Block Header: This includes the previous block’s hash, the timestamp, version, witness address, and the Merkle root, a summary of all the transactions in the block.
  • Transaction Counter: A tally of the number of transactions within the block.
  • Transaction Data: The actual transaction records, which include details such as sender, receiver, amount, and any other relevant information.

Tron supports various transaction types, each with its own set of properties:

  • Normal Transactions: These involve the transfer of TRX and TRC-10 tokens and consume BP.
  • Smart Contract Transactions: These transactions, which include smart contract deployment and execution, consume both BP and another resource called Energy.
  • Account Creation Transactions: A new account created due to a transaction incurs a cost in BP.

The whitepaper details the transaction signing process using the ECDSA cryptographic algorithm and the SECP256K1 curve, ensuring the security and authenticity of transactions on the network.

Bandwidth Points are a unique resource in Tron that represents the network bandwidth allocated to each account. They play a critical role in transaction processing:

  • Free BP Allocation: Each account receives 5,000 free BP daily, which you can use for transactions. If more BP is needed, users can obtain it by freezing TRX.
  • BP Consumption: The number of BP consumed in a transaction is calculated based on the byte size. For example, a transaction with a byte array length 200 would consume 200 BP.
  • BP and TRX: If an account’s BP is insufficient for a transaction, the network will deduct a fee directly from the account’s TRX balance.

The whitepaper explains that the BP system ensures fairness and system sustainability while facilitating free transactions for most users. It also outlines the fixed fees for certain types of transactions, such as creating new accounts or issuing tokens.

Tron Virtual Machine (TVM)

The TVM is a lightweight, Turing complete virtual machine developed for the Tron ecosystem, aiming to provide a custom-built blockchain system that is efficient, convenient, stable, secure, and scalable. Launched in October 2018, TVM represents a full suite of developer tools and a support system that integrates seamlessly with the existing development ecosystem, enabling millions of global developers to participate in Tron’s growth.

TVM boasts several performance and compatibility features that make it stand out:

Lightweight Architecture: TVM’s architecture reduces resource consumption, which guarantees system performance and allows for the execution of smart contracts without incurring high costs.

Robust and Secure: Using Bandwidth Points for transactions, TVM ensures that smart contract execution is free from TRX consumption, protecting the network from potential attacks and making development cost-effective.

High Compatibility: Initially forked from the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), TVM is highly compatible with EVM, meaning that all smart contracts executable on EVM can run on TVM. This compatibility extends to Ethereum’s Solidity programming language, with Tron Solidity being a modified version that supports TRX and SUN units, ensuring a smooth transition for developers from Ethereum to Tron.

When compared to other virtual machines, such as EVM, TVM offers several advantages:

Cost-Efficiency: Unlike EVM, which uses Gas to execute transactions and smart contracts, TVM operates on a bandwidth model. This model allows for free transactions within the network, provided that the user has enough Bandwidth Points.

Energy Model: TVM employs the concept of Energy to differentiate from the Gas mechanism used by EVM. The Energy helps process the computational steps in smart contracts, which helps manage the network’s computational resources more effectively.

Developer-Friendly: With all-in-one interfaces for contract deployment, triggering, and viewing, TVM provides convenience for developers, further supported by comprehensive documentation and community channels for developer interaction.

Smart Contracts on Tron

Tron’s smart contracts are protocols that digitally facilitate, verify or enforce the negotiation or performance of a contract. They are in Solidity, a language originally designed for Ethereum, and are compiled into bytecode for execution by the Tron Virtual Machine (TVM). Once deployed, these contracts can interact with the blockchain, execute transactions, and perform various functions based on predefined conditions.

The energy model is a distinctive feature of Tron’s smart contract platform. It determines the maximum energy limit for deploying and triggering smart contracts based on several variables, including dynamic energy obtained from freezing TRX. Energy acts as a resource separate from TRX, allowing for the execution of smart contracts without the need for spending the native currency directly. This system prevents network abuse and ensures that developers can predict and manage the costs associated with smart contract operations.

Deployment of smart contracts on Tron involves compiling Solidity code into bytecode, which the TVM reads and executes. The deployment process includes running the constructor function of the contract and setting up initial storage variables. The bytecode for deployment includes a section for the contract code and Auxdata, which serves as a cryptographic fingerprint for verification.

Triggering a smart contract function is executing its code following deployment. Users can achieve this through TronStudio or API calls. State-changing functions require energy, while read-only functions do not consume energy. The ABI, or Application Binary Interface, is a JSON file that describes the smart contract’s functions, including their names, payability, return values, and state mutability.

Token System on Tron

The Tron blockchain supports a robust token system with two main token standards: TRC-10 and TRC-20. These standards facilitate the issuance, management, and transfer of digital assets on the Tron network. 

TRC-10: A technical standard for tokens that do not require executing a Tron Virtual Machine (TVM) smart contract. These tokens are simpler and have a lower transfer cost, making them a popular choice for simpler applications and transactions.

TRC-20: A more complex standard that allows tokens to interact with smart contracts and is fully compatible with Ethereum’s ERC-20 standard. TRC-20 tokens enable more complex and functional possibilities for DApps on the Tron network, including interface customization and programmable token transfers.

Issuing a token on the Tron network involves setting parameters such as the token’s name, total supply, exchange rate to TRX, and bandwidth consumption. For TRC-10 tokens, the issuance costs 1024 TRX and allows for configuring transaction bandwidth points. For TRC-20 tokens, the process is more involved, requiring smart contract deployment and adherence to the TRC-20 interface, which includes transfer functions, handling balances, and managing allowances for decentralized trading.

The whitepaper suggests that Tron’s token economy will expand with the potential for new token standards and increased functionality. The compatibility with Ethereum’s Solidity language and the existing development tools positions Tron as a platform ready to adopt and integrate a wide range of token-based applications and services. The network’s design encourages innovation and could lead to the adoption of more advanced token functionalities as the ecosystem grows.

Governance on the Tron Network

Governance on the Tron network is a critical aspect that ensures the blockchain’s operation is democratic, transparent, and aligned with the community’s interest. 

Super Representatives (SRs) are the elected authority figures on the Tron network. They are responsible for generating blocks and making important decisions for the network. Every account on the Tron network can apply to become an SR, provided they burn 9999 TRX as a commitment against malicious intentions. The top 27 vote-receiving candidates are elected SRs every six hours, reflecting the community’s choice in real-time. Tron Power (TP), obtained by freezing TRX for bandwidth or energy, powers the election process. Votes are recalculated, and SR positions are updated every six hours to ensure continuous representation of the community’s will.

The Tron Committee comprises the 27 SRs and governs the network’s dynamic parameters, such as block generation rewards and transaction fees. Any SR can propose and require a majority of 19 votes to pass. The voting process is open for three days, allowing SRs to deliberate and decide on the proposed changes. This structure ensures that the network adapts to the evolving needs of the ecosystem while preventing any single entity from having disproportionate influence.

Proposals for network changes are a vital part of Tron’s governance. Only SRs have the right to propose changes, which are then subject to a vote by the committee. The proposal mechanism is flexible yet secure, with the ability to cancel proposals before they become effective. The reward system for SRs is transparent, with precise calculations for both vote rewards and block rewards, ensuring that SRs receive rewards for acting in the network’s best interest.

DApp Development on Tron

Tron’s ecosystem is rich with tools and resources aimed at fostering a vibrant community of developers and a diverse range of decentralized applications (DApps). 

Tron provides developers with a suite of APIs and tools that streamline the process of DApp creation. TronBox is a framework for testing and deploying smart contracts, while TronWeb offers a set of JavaScript API calls to interact with the Tron network. TronStudio is an integrated development environment (IDE) with an internal full node for testing smart contracts. These tools work in unison, providing a comprehensive development experience from testing to deployment.

Developers can access the Shasta testnet and the Tron mainnet for deploying and testing their applications. The TronGrid service offers a scalable solution for handling increased API traffic by providing a load-balanced cluster of nodes hosted on AWS servers worldwide. The Tron Developer Hub is a central documentation repository that guides developers through node setup, smart contract interaction, and API usage.

Decentralized Exchange (DEX) Capabilities

Tron’s blockchain natively accommodates the functions of a decentralized exchange, which is a pivotal feature for fostering a robust trading environment within its ecosystem. The DEX on Tron allows for creating multiple trading pairs, including TRC-10 tokens or a pairing between a TRC-10 token and TRX, Tron’s native cryptocurrency. This flexibility empowers any account holder to establish a trading pair with any tokens, even if the same pair already exists on the network, promoting a diverse and competitive market landscape.

Creating trading pairs on Tron’s DEX is user-driven, meaning that any participant in the network can initiate a new trading pair; this democratizes the market creation process and allows for various trading options. The trading dynamics and price fluctuations of these pairs adhere to the Bancor Protocol, which maintains the liquidity and stability of prices through a mathematical algorithm.

The Bancor Protocol is utilized within Tron’s DEX to manage liquidity and pricing. In this system, the weights of the two tokens in all trading pairs are equal, ensuring that the ratio of their balances determines the price between them. For instance, if a trading pair consists of tokens ABC and DEF, with a balance of 10 million ABC and 1 million DEF, the price ratio would be 10 ABC for every 1 DEF, based on their equal weight within the Bancor system.


The Tron whitepaper presents a compelling vision for a truly decentralized internet underpinned by an innovative blockchain architecture designed for scale, efficiency, and widespread adoption. With its user-centric account system, democratic governance model, and robust smart contract capabilities, Tron is poised to challenge the status quo of internet centralization. The network’s native support for a decentralized exchange and a dual-token design further enhance its ecosystem, providing a versatile platform for developers and users alike. As Tron continues to evolve, it stands as a testament to the transformative potential of blockchain technology, promising to usher in a new era of internet sovereignty and digital democracy.


Can anyone participate in the Tron network's governance?

Yes, any TRX holder can participate in Tron's governance by freezing their TRX to gain Tron Power, which allows them to vote for Super Representatives.

Are transactions on Tron free?

Transactions on Tron are not entirely free but are low-cost. Users receive a free Bandwidth allowance for transactions, and additional Bandwidth can be obtained by freezing TRX.

How does Tron ensure the security of its blockchain?

Tron employs multiple security measures, including a delegated proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, transaction as proof of stake (TaPoS), and a robust cryptographic algorithm for account security.

Is Tron compatible with other cryptocurrencies?

Tron is compatible with other cryptocurrencies through its token system, supporting the seamless exchange and creation of new tokens on its platform.

What programming language do developers use to write smart contracts on Tron?

Developers use Solidity, the same programming language used for Ethereum smart contracts, to write smart contracts on Tron.

Can new tokens created on Tron be traded immediately?

Yes, users can create new tokens on Tron and trade them immediately if they follow the TRC-10 or TRC-20 token standards and if there's a demand for them on Tron's decentralized exchange.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Micah Abiodun

Micah is a crypto enthusiast with a strong understanding of the crypto industry and its potential for shaping the future. A result-driven Chemical Engineer (with a specialization in the field of process engineering and piping design), Micah visualizes and articulates the intricate details of blockchain ecosystems. In his free time, he explores various interests, including sports and music.

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