The once-obscure Tron (TRX) token has been getting lots of attention lately, but is it all it claims to be? TRX rose by over 12,000 percent in the last month alone, putting it among the world’s top six digital assets by market cap. It has since dropped back to 12th spot, however, amid skepticism over its plans and whether its “partnerships” are genuine enough to take it to the big time.
Early December saw TRX trading for approximately $0.00215 USD on most exchanges (from one-tenth of a penny in September). The coin jumped to nearly $0.30 in early January 2018, joining many of its crypto-cousins (i.e. ether, XRP, etc.) in a game of which currency could jump the fastest. Since then, it was ETH that surge higher while some of Ripple’s novelty wore off, and Tron fell back to around $0.11 (at press time).
The leap occurred right after the company’s announcement that it would reveal a partnership with “a very prestigious public company next week,” and that the news would come in a live stream event on January 6th, 2018 at 10 AM GMT+8 Beijing time. Who or what this company would be led to many discussions, and the price rose quickly as a result.
But the announcement has also sparked skepticism among crypto-enthusiasts, as Tron’s history has often placed it “on the verge” of announcements that never seem to amount to much. One source even labels creator Justin Sun as someone who consistently makes “something from nothing.”
Tron’s PR material seems to suggest and play up connections between its founder and China’s most famous entrepreneur, Alibaba founder Jack Ma. Some even suggested Sun may even be a kind of protege. However no formal links have been ascertained, and Bitsonline‘s questions to Alibaba’s official PR firm on the matter went unanswered.
January 6th came and went, with no earth-shattering news about major partnerships — and one relatively minor one. However, on January 10th, Sun was at it again:
— Justin Sun (@justinsuntron) January 10, 2018
Tron supposedly allows customers to publish, store and own data at no charge. The company says it gives users the opportunity to undercut centralized competitors like Apple’s App Store and Google Play.
It the hype is real, TRX may even hit greater heights in the coming months. Sun’s legion of Twitter followers seem to think so, anyway.
Saturday saw an announcement that a “sibling social media company” known as Peiwo APP is receiving recognition from the Chinese government despite signs that China was allegedly seeking an exit from the crypto arena.
That recognition took the form of a “National High-Tech Enterprise” qualification — for Peiwo. The insinuation was that the endorsement could provide Tron with the funding it needs to build its technology and research staff, although it’s not clear what the specific connection to Tron actually is.
Both Tron and Peiwo are part of the “Tron Union”, owned by… Justin Sun. At the same time, the recently announced partnership of Justin’s company Peiwo Huanle and an Asian exchange is likely due to Tron potentially paying them over 10 percent of ICO proceeds, thus suggesting that TRX’s rise to fame is at least somewhat questionable.
In addition, the company has also been blasted for whitepaper plagiarism by Litecoin creator Charlie Lee.
Speaking about TRX and several other currencies’ respective surges, Token Summit conference organizer William Mougayar explained:
“We are seeing the beginnings of renewed speculative fever driven by fears of missing out on the big gains that have recently happened in the crypto space. Although there were some cryptocurrencies that were under-valued a month ago and they deserved the run-up, things are getting a little over-heated right now.”
One instantly noticed the concern in his statement. While some cryptocurrencies may have deserved their sudden bursts of fame, others remain in a more speculative category, suggesting that many users are simply entering the crypto-arena because it’s popular or “the thing to do,” and aren’t necessarily educating themselves before investing their hard-earned cash.
Behavior like this could potentially put a damper on the digital currency market and cause inherent drops and losses.
Mougayar isn’t the only one worried. His words are backed by a recent statement released by the Finance Ministry, which explains, “Consumers need to be alert and extremely cautious as to avoid getting trapped in such Ponzi schemes.”
The organization also warns investors that as digital currencies are stored online, they are consistently vulnerable to hackings and malware attacks, which could lead to permanent financial losses.
Is TRX worth our time, or will it sink into oblivion? Post your comments below.
Images via Forbes, Twitter, Pixabay