“Flash-in-the pan is something that is common,” cryptocurrency expert Amanda B. Johnson tells Inverse. “There is on average at least one new cryptocurrency released every 24 hours.”
The Tron subreddit’s description makes big promises about its potential:
The protocol allows each user to freely publish, store and own data, and in the decentralized autonomous form, decides the distribution, subscription, and push of contents and enables content creators by releasing, circulating and dealing with digital assets, thus forming a decentralized content entertainment ecosystem.
Investors are clearly excited about Tron’s prospects, buying up the TRX token since its September initial coin offering on the back of promised future rewards. On Thursday, the token was the second-best performing on the CoinMarketCap rankings of 100 largest cryptocurrencies, nearly doubling in value over the space of 24 hours. At its latest peak, TRX hit a value of 11 cents per token and an overall market cap of $7.3 billion. Not bad for a market that saw major price drops on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“The primary reason someone would buy TRX is if they believe that it has long-term growth potential as a currency to be used to pay for digital content,” Trevor Gerszt, CEO of crypto investment service CoinIRA, tells Inverse. “Given China’s increasing consumption of digital content, there could be a strong market there, but it will likely take some time to develop.”
There is good reason to believe Tron can pull off its claims. Although it’s still under development, the project’s GitHub page has received regular updates since its December 28 announcement. Sun touts impressive team members like former Alibaba chief data mining expert Zhao Hong and former bank security expert Zhang Anwen. The company has received support from internet firms like Peiwo Odyssey Foundation and Baofeng, even if Sun has perhaps overhyped some of those connections. Later this month, Tron plans to open an office in San Francisco. Quelling fears the project is a crypto cash-in, Sun has described Tron as a “project for 10 years” that’s aimed at the “long-term investor.”
It’s all very impressive, but question marks still linger over the project’s viability. One of the most important parts of a cryptocurrency is its white paper, which investors use to decide whether an offering is just hype or if it has technical merit.