TRON (TRX)–For those interested in entrepreneurship and business building, co-founder of PayPal and creator of the Founders Fund (which invested 10-20 million USD in BTC in 2017) Peter Thiel is a figure worth following. Not only is he worth 2.5 billion USD, but he has been the catalyst for the successful development of some household name companies, including being one of the first investors in Facebook (a 500,000 USD angel investment that netted him a 10.2% stake in a company now worth over 500 billion USD).
Thiel has long been held up as a world leader both in terms of his philosophy in business and also recognizing how companies are able to compete within an industry against previously established powers. Consider the domain of internet search organizations. At this point, no company is going to be able to compete with Google. Despite the tens of billions that Microsoft has poured into growing Bing adoption, Google still holds over two-thirds of market share, with most Bing users coming from the default setting of Windows installed PCs. Why has no company been able to challenge Google, despite the potential billions (or trillions) to be made in owning the search engine space?
It comes from a lack of competitive advantage.
In his book Zero to One, Peter Thiel outlines that new companies have two choices for entering a market. They can avoid competition all together, thereby establishing themselves in a new field or as a category of one (Google was essentially the only search engine tool at the time it gained traction). Or, they can compete within an established industry by having a product that offers a 10x advantage. While 10x may not be the sort of algorithmic elegance economics and MBA professors can point to in college courses, it does offer an easy paradigm for consideration: if you can’t be 10x better than your competition, customers have little incentive to switch to your product. Most people consider the market to be efficient enough to sniff out even a 10% or 50% advantage. Which means, if a product is even slightly ahead of its competition, users will vote in that direction with their dollars.
However, the reality has been something that deviates from the “perfect” consumer market. Instead, people become entrenched in the product and services they are familiar with, and only make the switch when an overwhelming advantage presents itself. Thiel, in his writing, gives the frequent example of the failure of the solar energy industry to take off as most economists predicted by the second decade of the 2000’s. No company within the space has managed to distinguish itself as significantly better or cheaper option than its competition, which, overall, has failed to draw consumers away in droves from the reliance upon cheap gas and power plant driven electricity.
TRON’s 10x Advantage over the Market
Founder Justin Sun and the TRON Foundation have molded their currency lockstep under the principles outlined in Thiel’s Zero to One. To begin, TRON has created a category of one. While the technology still exists within the space of cryptocurrency, it is tackling a far different issue from that of other industry figureheads such as Bitcoin and Ripple. Instead, TRON is building a network to disrupt the digital entertainment industry, with little talk directed towards the banking system or government fiat. Because of that, TRON exists in a sphere similar to Ethereum and other network based currencies: less of a threat to Bitcoin, and more of an interesting project to invest in for long-term production.
— Justin Sun (@justinsuntron) May 17, 2018
However, Main Net is creating the conditions for TRON to have a 10x advantage over its competition in addition to existing in a category of one space. Let’s look at some of the more important features coming at the end of the month:
- Cost. Average Bitcoin fees have spent most of 2018 above 1 USD, reaching as high as 30 USD for the first two weeks of the year. This has created downward pressure on BTC usability and growth, and most merchants view accepting the cryptocurrency as a dead-end at present. TRON’s Main Net is going to charge users 0.00001 TRX per transaction, which paves the way for micropayments and all sorts of new monetary innovations. To put the fee into perspective, a single TRX purchased today for under 10 cents would give a user access to 100,000 TRX transactions.
- Ability to Scale. The original outline for Main Net included a network load that allowed for 1000 transactions per second. Justin Sun subsequently announced that the technology would be able to handle 10,000+ tps, catapulting the currency to the top of the industry. Ripple has long been held up as the gold-standard for scale, capable of processing 1500+ transactions–almost a tenth of what TRON’s Main Net is promising.
While TRON’s Main Net has yet to prove a successful launch, the promised features alone position TRX as an industry leader in terms of functionality. If we were to apply the principles of 10x advantage to the landscape of cryptocurrency, TRON is one of the few coins that is actively eclipsing the competition.