Justin Sun, the 26-year-old founder of the Tron crypto-currency. Photo: Twitter
When self-acclaimed crypto pioneer Justin Sun canceled a charity lunch with Warren Buffet, Chinese media assumed he had been arrested. Photo: Twitter

The Tron (TRX) crypto-currency, that has established itself in the top trading echelons of coins with an estimated market capitalization of US$2.56 billion, has now migrated to an independent public blockchain. On June 4, Tron founder Justin Sun tweeted “#TRON Independence Day… starts now, join us to be part of the free, decentralized internet”.

The Tron team followed this up with a June 6 blog post declaring the “Start of A Great Journey” that sees the coin transition away from the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain. “People say that one day in blockchain is one year in the real world. Well, one year in TRON is ten years in the real world,” the Tron Foundation wrote in the blog post.

However, Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin has been highly critical of Tron in the media. In an April 6 Twitter spat with Sun, Buterin sarcastically wrote that Tron has “Better white paper writing capability (Ctrl+C + Ctrl+V much higher efficiency than keyboard typing new content),” referencing industry insiders who say Tron has plagiarised parts of its whitepaper.

The controversy only increased as Digital Asset Research, which promotes independent, rigorous, credible cryptocurrency research, said Tron’s benefits were “far outweighed by accusations of plagiarism, petty feuds, and technical concerns.”

In a June 19 blog post, the Digital Asset Research also said it “found several instances of code that was copied verbatim or slightly modified from EthereumJ, still without appropriate reference” and added: “while copying code without attribution opens the project up to some legal risks, they pale in comparison to the technical risks that the project faces. EthereumJ is known to be unreliable and has issues like memory leakage. Moreover, the Tron Virtual Machine is a direct copy of the Ethereum Virtual Machine, but with changes that may increase the network’s attack surface.”

Twenty-six-year-old Justin Sun, who is from China and was reportedly hand-picked by Jack Ma to study on an elite entrepreneurs program at Hupan University, is also the founder of the video-sharing Peiwo App, that boasts more than 10 million users.

Tron also recently acquired peer-to-peer service BitTorrent and immediately had to refute claims the purchase was related to crypto-currency. “We wish to reiterate that BitTorrent has no plans to change what we do or charge for the services we provide. We have no plans to enable mining of cryptocurrency now or in the future,” the newly acquired company wrote in a June 19 blog post.

Still, it’s not all doom and gloom for Tron, as Pornhub announced it would accept its crypto-currency. The site, which claims to have over 80 million daily visits, already accepts Verge and ZenCash.

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