Timing is everything.
Back in May 2019 Lucien Chen, the former CTO, and Co-Founder of Tron abandoned Tron to build the oft forgotten “Volume Network”.
Despite the promise of sticking to the original intention of a decentralized blockchain the Volume network is currently ranked 1331 on Coin Gecko. VOL has a market cap of 139k with a price of only $0.00052424. What a shame. However, we are getting ahead of ourselves.
Back in May of 2019 Lucien Chen wrote a somewhat exhaustive piece outlining the issues within Tron and why he felt it was necessary to leave Tron to build something better. Within his write up (which he posted on Medium) Lucien took issue with nearly the exact items many users of Tron found concerning. Even strong advocates of Tron would read his piece and find themselves, for the most part, in agreement with Lucien. Lucien made it clear – “Tron is no longer decentralized.” He outlined the problem where many of the SR’s are centralized, not truly democratized. Lucien blasted Tron for abandoning the original intention of the blockchain. Calling out everything from code development, community organization, and the lack of diverse voices. Lucien capped off one paragraph by saying ‘the project has developed into a monetary tool without any “decentralized web” spirit.’
Lucien, tell us how you really feel.
From that point, Lucien made it clear that the internet needs a truly decentralized blockchain. A blockchain where organizations like the Tron Foundation cannot control or manipulate SR positions. He went on to outline his project and how it will work and differ from Tron.
Lucien plugged away, and even got their mainnet active, but there is no doubt that the project has withered over the past several months. Other than a quick update (we will get to that) their last real Medium post was on June 3. Their last Facebook post was on June 23 outlining an emergency fix to their network – seen by 9 people. One of their twitter pages has been suspended, the other restricted. Consequently, the USD price of VOL has dropped 99.4% since mid July of 2019. Lucien reached out to members on August 31 via Medium beginning the message with “We know the last couple of months have been difficult for you”. He went on to outline some changes to the network vowing to work hard.
Regardless of all the issues that Lucien pointed out, The Volume Network has stumbled. Even though many have read his May 2019 post and find themselves in agreement with Lucien, VOL has more or less failed.
What can we learn from this?
How on earth can one of the the core architects of TRON fail at recreating TRON? Let us consider the following points.
Let us consider the fact that the Volume Network never marketed their product. Beyond the May 2019 Medium post that Lucien wrote, many in the Tron community simply forgot about Lucien. They forgot about the Volume Network and, as a result, VOL became a blockchain nobody used because nobody cared.
Lucien wanted to build a “new Tron”. Although a laudable goal, there was a massive error in communication. Lucien unintentionally limited his already dwindling audience to only Tron fans. Beyond that, what he built did not even look like Tron. Significant aspects of the blockchain were changed. Instead of simply getting rid of the massive Tron Foundation reserve he changed the way the entire algorithm worked. Tron users could not relate.
Everyone wants decentralization. However, they want it with a touch of centralization. They want to know that if there is an issue there is someone to fix the problem. They want to know that if something needs to be re-coded there is someone employed to deal with it. (And fast!) DAPP interaction requires nimble responses to ongoing issues and technological developments. Consequently, the terrible truth is that such a thing requires a level of centralization. This requires reading between the lines and understanding your market and what people really mean when they say that they want decentralization.
Timing is Everything.
The Volume network launched in what seemed like the perfect time. The three months preceding the Volume Networks Launch BTC rose from $3500 to hover around $8000 during it’s launch. It seemed as though the bull was back but it was not back for long. The crypto market gained strength during the launch of Volume but all that energy quickly dissipated which was followed by a year of stagnation where investors pulled back their level of speculation. Even though Tron users were looking for something new, they were not ready to abandon the usability and ease of the Tron network.
The Volume network could have been something great. The introspective qualities of Lucien Chen perfectly placed him to build something truly remarkable. However, introspection was not good enough. The realization that something was wrong within Tron was not good enough. Even though the Tron community in general has legitimate issues with Justin Sun, it seems as though everyone wants a little bit of Justin Sun in their investment.
Not So Fast – The Fork of Tron
Lucien Chen was not able to Accomplish what he set out to accomplish. Tron remains overly centralized.
There is a project in the works that aims to Fork Tron in some capacity.
Here is what I know:
-This new project will have no CEO but rather a board.
-This new project will run on a Decentralized Proof of Stake consensus algorithm.
-The organization will have limited say in the governance of the network.
Time will tell if this new network will be able to get past the road blocks that the Volume Network ran into. However, one thing is certain, it is sure to catch the ire of Justin Sun as they attempt to develop the original vision of Tron – A decentralized, democratized blockchain.