Sunset: Tron Founder Justin Sun calls it quits as leader

For the past two-plus years, it felt like this might happen … didn’t it? No “announcement of an announcement” that he was famous for. Just a quick-hit notice that Justin Sun – the once tireless promoter of Tron and himself (and not always in that order) – was leaving Tron.

Sun’s career change to a diplomat on behalf of Grenada (…er…what?) is a move that leaves unsettling new questions and little to stand on right now for die-hard supporters of Tron who never wanted to believe or consider they had been sold a bold vision that perhaps stood a chance at materializing at one point but fell well short under Sun’s leadership.

Justin Sun’s announcement he is bolting Tron.

It makes me think back to sometime about 2017, when I first entered the crypto and blockchain world.

Transaction speed, and the lack thereof, was a core issue. So, too, was transaction cost. Sun’s project, launched in 2018, seemed to address both in a hurry in a way that ushered in one of the first tangible hopes that everyday services and products might feasibly conduct business via blockchain and crypto.

There were daily watches on where Tron nodes were established. There were endless theories about this major business or that one establishing a partnership or strategy to employ Tron. None of those theories ventured very far without dropping in Sun’s purported relationship with legendary businessman and Alibaba founder Jack Ma.

And while daydreams rumors of what a Ma-fueled Tron might look like in the marketplace, other additional juicy tidbits floated to the surface from time to time, including items and names such as Tron’s acquiring BitTorrent in 2018, and Oracle, Steemit, Aurora, Pantera getting listed as partners in 2019.

Not long after, however, Ma irritated China and disappeared.

Around the same time, and continuing to this day, perhaps coincidentally, Sun’s once bombastic style in constantly teasing announcements, roadmaps, and big-picture next steps became noticeably demure by comparison – at least from the Tron/TRX promotion perspective.

Maybe it was a case of the many Tron splinters becoming too much to manage from a promotional standpoint. Maybe it was a gradual lack of interest from Sun. But, the tangible “future of Tron” energy Sun brought to Twitter took on a general staleness over the past 18 months leading up to his resignation.

Pleas for continued development and support from faithful Tron-based projects, which had been in the mix for years by 2020, went unanswered to the point that it felt awkward watching those projects beg for a social media shout-out of support from Sun, whose Twitter business persona devolved into more of a personal account that at times resembled something more suited for Instagram.

None of that speaks to the Twitter scandal Sun and Tron faced earlier this year, where the company was accused of quietly paying influential celebrities including Lindsay Lohan and NE-YO for “organic” tweets about Tron. Nor does it speak to why Sun ironically announced he was going “Off Twitter for a while.” only a couple of weeks later.

In any case, where from here for Tron, right? Well, since Sun announced he was leaving and the Tron Foundation would be dissolved, the waters are already churning, probably as much as some nervous stomachs.

It didn’t take long for questions to be raised regarding the Tron Foundation’s reserve announcement, which as of Dec. 12, 2021, didn’t match the original amount reported by the Foundation itself in 2018 and didn’t provide a clear trail on where those funds are…or were.

Questions over the Tron Foundation’s reserve came immediately after Sun’s departure announcement.

At the same time, suspicious news items, and that’s all they are, have come up involving Sun’s recent very expensive exploits – including his spending more than $100 million on art and winning a $28 million seat to space on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin.

Sigh … it all feels so … well … I’ll let you fill in your own word here, but I’m somewhere around “gross”, “icky”, and “ugh”.

Still, there are dedicated folks choosing to stay in the weeds and believe Sun’s departure from Tron is exactly what is needed at this time and proof that Tron is truly decentralized and ready to move forward.

As with all things, time will tell. But, I don’t think anyone would disagree with the statement that Tron, as of today, is not where they thought it would be, and definitely not without its creator.

Where Tron goes from here is anyone’s guess.

If you ever want to slide into my Twitter DM’s with crypto and blockchain industry tips, thoughts, etc., please do @curtiskitchen.

Curtis entered the crypto space as a blockchain and crypto enthusiast in 2017. He holds KLV in his portfolio and, while he loves discussing “what’s out there”, he does not provide financial nor investment advice. We’re just here for the discussion!