There are not many people who are truly believed to be the ‘next Jack Ma’, founder and executive chairman of Alibaba. Enter, stage right, Justin Sun, an ingenious visionary with the determination to make his businesses global game changers. Now could he really be the next Jack Ma in the making?
Sun is the founder and CEO of TRON, a blockchain-based and open-source platform for the global digital entertainment industry, with an upcoming Initial Coin Offering (ICO) scheduled for this September.
TRON has already transcended Bitcoin and Ethereum to become the first smart contract blockchain protocol with over 10 million (m) wallet users in the world.
As a decentralized digital entertainment protocol based on the blockchain, TRON enhances digital entertainment platforms around the world, including live shows, social networks, online casinos and games as well as mobile games, by providing functions of payment, development, storage and credit sharing.
And, there was me thinking of the 1982 sci-fi action film ‘Tron’ starring Jeff Bridges as a computer programme transported inside the software world of a mainframe computer, where he interacts with programs in his effort to escape.
Fast forward and now for the first time in history, TRON introduces the concept of the shared economy into the digital entertainment. It puts texts, pictures, videos and live broadcasts in distributed storage with the users on the platform being content producers.
The protocol used by TRON currently enables the digital entertainment content providers to interact with ordinary users to what is touted as an unprecedented level – without having to pay a high price for Google Play, Apple Store and other distribution platforms.
Interest in TRON is running on high as it is already showing the same magnitude and growth path as Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, gaining the financial backing and seals of approval from some of the biggest business names in the world. Well, in China to be precise.
The list of protagonists include Tang Binsen, the founder of Clash of Kings; Dai Wei, the founder and CEO of OFO bike, one of the largest sharing economy companies in China; Chaoyong Wang, founder of China Equity Group, one of the largest investment groups in China with market value of over $2 billion (bn); Yin Mingshan, LiFan group founder and one of the largest motor manufacturers in China; Yang Linke, the founder of BTCC.com.
They are joined by Xue Manzi, one of the most famous Angel Investors in China, Huobi.com and Jubi.com amongst others.
The global market for digital entertainment products has been estimated according to various sources to be worth approximately $1 trillion, split between lifestyle ($200bn), online betting ($500bn), online gaming (c.$100bn) and information sharing ($100bn).
Sun, who has appeared among the ranks of the Forbes China ‘30 under 30’ in both 2015 and 2017 plus Forbes Asia ‘30 under 30’ this year, was personally invited to become one of the first students of Hupan University. Located in Hangzhou in eastern China’s Zhejiang Province, the university was founded by Chinese business magnate Jack Ma who has net worth of around $36.4bn.
There were less than forty students lucky enough to be enrolled in this ‘life-changing’ course, where one of the lecturers was none other former English lecturer Mr Ma himself.
Sun, a 26-year old who is based in the Haidian District of Beijing and hails originally from Shandong Province on the coast by the Bohai Sea, became part of the cryptocurrency community back in 2012 with his first purchases of Bitcoin.
A year later he joined Ripple and worked as the chief representative of Greater China. He helped Ripple with the successful completion of their first-round financing, which totaled $30m and subsequently it them becoming one of the world’s top three virtual currency systems.
Peiwo App & Smart Contract Protocol
In 2015, Sun, who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Masters Degree after studying for a Bachelor’s at Peking University, started a project called Peiwo, an app that is now one of the largest audio-based live show platforms in China, with over 10m registered users and around 1m monthly active users.
This September the Peiwo app will become the first TRON-compatible entertainment app and the first live show software in the world to support a ‘smart contract protocol’ of virtual currency, allowing those 10m registered users to benefit from the additional functions of virtual currency.
Commenting on developments, Sun said: “This is only the first move of TRON. Next, we will provide the infrastructure construction for entertainment systems around the world, including online casino and games. Additionally API access will be provided to facilitate robust settlement services. Our first move, though, is for TRON to make the Peiwo app benefit from its blockchain network.”
What TRON provides is a shared platform for the whole entertainment market to maintain user information and share it between systems, and is claiming that in so doing it is “breaking down information barriers” between apps.
It is explained that in this way users can significantly reduce information input efforts in specific apps, while developers can realize highly effective interactions in the realm of user identification, reducing duplicate identification costs, and preventing the risk of user information being stolen and leaked by intermediate agencies.
The token of the TRON platform, TRONIX (‘TRX’), tracks users’ entertainment behaviors and shares credit data with apps within the TRON network.
TRX has additional values of information storage and identification, with records about user acquisition and TRX spending stored in the blockchain. Core information will be accessed by all TRON apps, acting as the only credential for users to play in the global entertainment system.
While TRON will support all kinds of virtual currencies, as the official currency of the platform, TRX will be used for the conversion and circulation of the entire world’s virtual currencies in TRON.
Sun boldly added: “We are very confident that TRON will reach a target of one million wallets registered within a year. The first million registered users will be rewarded with considerable TRX tokens by registering on the TRON platform.”
Information, Credit Sharing & Global Payments
Nowadays, as entertainment apps and systems have short monetization cycles and lifecycles, individual developers cannot store or maintain users’ credit information in a particular entertainment system, so every entertainment system is almost like an information silo.
Before TRON, a global digital entertainment system would be faced with various problems with respect to payments. For example, if an Iranian wants to buy digital product from Japan, it is a problem for the user to pay the Japanese company in question. The payment chain and procedure are prolonged as it is impossible for a user to open a bank account in Japan only for this purpose. Through this platform, global payments are much more simplified.
Removing Barriers & Reducing Costs
The traditional online entertainment industry features high gross profits and high transaction volumes on a global scale. However, each entertainment system has its inherent token barrier. As a result, a user of a particular system using a different sub-system or app will incur a high transaction fee, so making it more difficult for users to switch between systems and apps.
Based on the TRON network, token barriers will be removed – or at least that is the theory. In the entertainment network, a payment settlement interface between systems will be created, realizing a trustworthy transaction information flow. This way, trust between people in numerous social and gaming links will evolve into trust between humans and technology.
The TRON network has built an entire set of consensus mechanisms, which uses minimum costs to solve identification and personal credit issues in online transactions. It uses ‘point-to-point’ transactions to avoid traditional centralized settlement structure.
Furthermore, the network can play the host role between users and developers, to ensure authenticity and compliance of credit information. These advantages are being held up as “significantly improving” the efficiency of the global entertainment economy.
A decentralized economy is itself a typical feature of a market economy. Reduction in transaction costs will stimulate great increases in consumer demand, ushering in a new, vibrant growth of the global entertainment economy.
Blockchain Networks & Smart Contract Systems
TRON supports various kinds of blockchain networks and smart contract systems including Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS, Qtum, and provides developers with multi-protocol infrastructure for entertainment app development and allows users to benefit from what it is described as “smooth” multi-protocol smart networks.
The TRON protocol has brought forth the new era in autonomous and trustworthy gambling, solving the issues of trust and providing developers the best environment for gambling game development.
Gaming companies are allowed to issue any platform-specific gaming currency and trade freely with the other game publishers within the TRON protocol, which will offer an intelligent contract guarantee system for the trades of different gaming currencies.
This is trumpeted as ensuring that all transactions are complete and smooth, thereby laying the foundation for a globalized and deregulated gaming environment.
In terms of the timeline for TRON going forward between now and December 2018, there are plans for the protocol preparation, the APP release and protocol go-live. Completed development of TRON’s first betting APP is set for early next month (September 7).
Justin Sun believes the future is bright. “I believe TRON will bring some major changes to today’s online entertainment industry and will endow the entire digital entertainment industry with a sense of globalization.”
He added: “Previously, as laws and regulations vary in different countries, there is not a universal digital currency system for the digital entertainment industry. With our current and future developments, we would like to think that we are set to shake the global, digital entertainment sector to the core.”
Given that Sun is half the age of Jack Ma he has many years ahead of him to emulate the Chinese billionaire, succeed and also make a few mistakes along the way. As Ma himself has revealed he was rejected from every job he applied for after college – including KFC – and in 2015 told journalist and talk show host Charlie Rose that he was rejected by Harvard ten times. So, get used to failure and learn lessons from it.
But no doubt his protégé will have gleaned some pearls of wisdom from the tycoon during his time at Hupan University. We could all do with some of that.
The forthcoming Initial Coin Offering (ICO) for TRON, which is being advised by Hai Liu, CEO and co-founder of Beico and partner at GSR Values, together with angel investors Weixing Chen and Charles Xue, is scheduled to commence on September 9, 2017.
More Info: www.forbes.com