Tron Rewards have been the talk of the town the last few weeks. Up to this point in the Tron Super Representative elections, everyone believed in the decentralization fairy godmother. Unfortunately, the alarm sounded in vigorous fashion on November 9th. On that day, I woke up in the morning to see Tron Spark drop a good 10 slots to number 22 on the list. I thought to myself “What in the world is going on?”.  There were 9 or 10 SRs who got an additional 30-50 million votes all at the same time. Coincidentally, all these votes were coming from several big wallets. I always knew this would happen at some point, but I never thought it would happen so soon. Not when TRX is at 2 cents.

Before I go any further, I want to tell my readers that this is probably the most important article I will ever write for Tron Spark. Also, I am not writing this with Tron Spark in mind. I am writing this because it is what I firmly believe. But don’t get me wrong, I am also guilty of playing along with everyone else and pretending that everything is fine and dandy. It is not. The last few weeks have assured me that serious discussions need to take place in order for Tron to evolve and mature. As a long-term TRX investor, and a believer in decentralization, I know that the only way to improve the flaws in a decentralized system is by getting the community involved. On the other hand, the ones benefiting from this current layout will not be jumping in joy.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

From an investment perspective, it is a no-brainer. With $2.7 Million dollars you can place yourself as a Tron Super Representative and get paid rewards. We can easily call that buying your SR position. Is that fair to say? SRs in the bottom range are getting over 42,000 TRX daily. That’s 15.3 million TRX yearly. So you put in $2.7 million dollars and get back $291,000 at $0.019 per TRX.  Not a bad deal. In fact, it’s one of the best deals out there.

Now, the counterargument for that is what? The response I usually get is that the community will vote them out. Really? Please tell me how. I would like to hit that little red button. The next thing that is said is that the community can vote others in. Yes, that is true. Unfortunately, only 10% of the circulating supply is being used to vote. So swinging that many votes is almost impossible. To give an example, in order to outvote the #5 SR, you would need 690 million votes spread out over the next 22 SRs. That’s never going to happen. One thing is for sure, the more votes, the harder it is for the system to be gamed as the price of entry becomes large. So go out and vote! And don’t forget to get every TRX owner you know to do the same. Have them vote for their favorite SR.

Tron ROI

 

The Race to Zero Rewards

People are not seeing the big picture. So what if CryptoGirls and Team Tronics get knocked out? CryptoGirls and Team Tronics are pioneers in helping the Tron Community! We all know that. Do they deserve to be an SR more than the rich guy who has never even traded crypto? I think so. But what do I know. I guarantee you that many more community SRs will be knocked out sooner or later if something isn’t done. This is set in stone based purely on math and human behavior. If the rules are created to favor the wealthy, the wealthy will prevail. That is not what I had in mind when I bought into the decentralized internet. Sorry, but that’s the truth.

So what can the community Super Representatives do to stay in the game to fight another day? Well, they can raise rewards to 100%. Guys, do you think that is sustainable? Of course not! That is just a temporary fix to do exactly what I stated. Just fight another day. But that is a losing proposition to 100% certainty. Servers need to be paid, Tron meets need to be funded, and projects need capital. So while 8 of the top 10 SRs give 100% rewards or more, their operations are hindered. At the end of the day, the way things are going, the Super Representatives will be made up of nothing but hungry whales. What rewards will you be getting? Don’t hold your breath.

 

At the end of the day, the way things are going, the Super Representatives will be made up of nothing but hungry whales.

 

The Canary in the Coal Mine

CryptoGirls has fallen. Team Tronics is fighting for dear life trying to make voters realize the importance of community driven projects. Other SRs are now pondering what  to do in order to stay in the game, but at the same time, have enough funds to pay for servers. Some are even asking themselves if it is worth paying to work. Would you pay to work? Probably not. Well, this is where we are right now. We all like to give back to the community and be a part of building something big. You all know I love dropping TRX on Guildchat. But at any moment, the whales can step in and take that all away. Imagine if instead of increasing 50 million votes they increased 200 million votes. See ya later alligator! And that is with a TRX price of $0.019. What do you think will happen when TRX is at 10c? We’ll be a bunch of sardines meeting our predetermined fate.

Can voters help out? Sure they can. The more votes are placed, the harder it is to manipulate the system. Tron voting is one thing that intrigues me. Why is only 10% of the TRX circulating supply voting? EOS is close to 40%. This is something that the Tron community needs to get serious about in order to improve the health of the system. Tell your friends to vote. Voting is the key for the success of a decentralized platform like Tron.

Ideas for Change

Tron wants to rival large companies like Facebook, Google, and Apple. With only $125 million, they can buy all 27 SR positions. @TronSpark #TRX #TRON #TronSR Click to Tweet

Tron wants to rival large companies like Facebook, Google, and Apple. Well, each of these companies is worth at least $400 billion per market cap. Apple is close to $1 trillion. With only $125 million, they can buy all 27 SR positions. Do you see a problem with this? There needs to be another thing in place to prevent things like this from happening. So what can be done? That is a question that really needs a lot of discussion. Here are a few things that community members have mentioned:

  • Impose a system where there is an option to remove an SR based on either SR votes or popular votes(all votes in the community). My take: This can also be easily manipulated to the opposite effect. For example, a few whales can vote an SR out as they control most votes. So I am not too keen on this idea.
  • Limit how many votes a wallet can cast. My take: This just creates work for the person trying to game the system. They’ll have to sit down once and wash their tokens through an exchange and redeposit them in a bunch of different wallets. At least they have to do something. But for money, some people do whatever it takes.
  • Make elections less frequent. Let’s say once a week or once a month. My take: I don’t see this solving much. May even instill complacency.
  • Impose more stringent requirements to be an SR. My take: This, I definitely agree. I think SRs should get together and make requirements for candidates. A candidate needs to be ready to produce blocks and have certain community requirements in place to represent the community. After all, that’s the whole point of a delegated proof of stake system.

You don’t have to agree with these ideas nor with my take on them. In fact, please provide your own idea to your current Tron Super Representative!

Level the Playing Field

Okay, here is where I am going to be ultra blunt. I am sure I’ll get some heat for what I am about to say. But that’s fine. That’s the only way that things will get fixed. We need discussion and involvement from the community. I think it is time to force engagement from both the community as well as Tron itself. Looking the other way is kind of like waiting for a hurricane to hit without putting up your shutters. It all looks nice and dandy outside until it is too late and your roof finds another home.

We all know that this system currently favors the whales. It's that plain and simple. If a whale can come in and buy their SR position, is there really anything else I need to say to prove my point? @TronSpark #TRX… Click to Tweet

We all know that this system currently favors the whales. It’s that plain and simple. If a whale can come in and buy their SR position, is there really anything else I need to say to prove my point? This is the root cause why community SRs are now forced to give 100% just to remain alive. Like I said, pretty soon, the community SRs which are the ones working on a daily basis to educate the public, create dapps for the network, give TRX back, and market the hell out of Tron will soon be gone. If that’s what Tron wants, then let this party continue. It will happen. The writing is on the wall.

I find it funny when SRs state that other SRs shouldn’t be giving 100% rewards, as if those SRs are creating the problem. Do they actually think we like to give the house away? That’s not the root cause of the issue. That is the consequence of the root cause. Just a week ago, after the whales applied their pressure, we had an emergency meeting to discuss rewards. Based on SR rankings, and seeing who were the players at #28 and #29 and the players between #23 and #27, I knew a domino effect was coming. That is why we decided to increase our rewards to 100% in anticipation for this event that surely did take place as expected. Unfortunately, rewards are like interest rates for the Federal Reserve. That is the only tool we have that has immediate impact. And just like current interest rates, we can’t go any further.

Is this a Possible Solution?

Based on the root cause that has been identified, here is what I am thinking will get us closer to a solution. In term of rewards, I do think that they are important in order to keep the community involved. So I would not remove rewards altogether. But I do believe that every SR should pay out to the community the same percentage. Yes, I said EVERY SR. That includes the whales.

So I would not remove rewards altogether. But I do believe that every SR should pay out to the community the same percentage. Yes, I said EVERY SR. That includes the whales. @TronSpark #Tron #TronSR #TRX… Click to Tweet

The initial problem here is that the whale SRs will just pay themselves. So how about if requirements are implemented where an SR that has less than 200 50k TRX voters has to deposit 70% of their rewards, or whatever percentage is agreed upon, into a third party fund which then gets distributed to SR candidates. This will incentivize more nodes on the Tron network. Will the whales not want to help out the Tron network? Let’s find out. Most community SRs easily have that many voters who hold that minimum requirement. We can also create a system where the 27 SRs can audit each other. Blockchain transactions are pretty easy to follow nowadays. If SRs feel someone is gaming the system, show the proof and we can all vote for removal, fine, or suspension. This also disincentivizes whales from monetizing their SR position. By the way, exchanges should not be allowed to be SRs. They can possibly be voting with their clients’ funds. But I’ll leave that for another day. With that said, if I go missing, you know where to start looking.

Community Needs to Act!

Everything that I have mentioned is by no means conclusive. Tron Super Representatives need the community to step in and get involved in these serious topics. How can you help? Community members need to tweet and share this in order to raise awareness and so that everyone, including the Tron Foundation, can take the necessary actions to resolve these issues. The future of Tron is at stake. We also need for the the community to vote. That is very important. This is how Tron becomes the premiere blockchain in the world.  Feel free to reach out to your Tron Super Representative and provide your point of view. I am sure all community SRs will be eager to see what ideas you can bring to the table. This is the whole point of being an SR. We are here to listen to the community and to act in their best interest. And we feel that having community representation is definitely in the best interest of a delegated proof of stake platform like Tron.

 

Click to Tweet:

The Tron Community is Concerned. Something Should Be Done @TronFoundation @JustinSunTron @TronSpark #TRX #Tron #Tronsr #tronics Click to Tweet

 

 

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This article was written by the Tron Spark team. Tron Spark is a digital content platform currently serving as a Tron Super Representative. We believe that with the help of the Tron community, we can inform and educate the masses on the exciting evolution of the Tron Protocol.

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George Rodriguez

Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering with 16 years experience in a Fortune 500 company. Ten years of which were in a real-time operations leadership role. An early investor in TRX and an avid blockchain enthusiast. Currently, handling Tronspark digital operations and residing in Miami, Florida.