Justin Sun, the enigmatic head of the aspirational blockchain solution TRON, made waves when Samsung, one of the world’s largest technology brands, added the project to its Blockchain Keystore. This meant that Samsung Galaxy S10 users had access to TRON dApps (decentralized apps)
This was of course big news for TRON, which is one of a bevvy of cryptocurrency and blockchain projects trying to shape the future of the technology, but according to Sun, it is also a big step for the ecosystem and its adoption and involvement in a global audience.
Thus far, blockchain technology has mostly been predicated on cryptocurrency and that is the link that the man in the street has to the space. Outside of that, and on an enterprise level, there is a lot of interest in private blockchain solutions, such as offerings from IBM, Microsoft and AWS. But this step by Samsung and TRON opens up a new doorway that allows individuals to start to explore and benefit from blockchain – through dApps in this case – and appreciate what the world of decentralisation can do through a smartphone.
It is important, according to Sun, as he feels it could be the pioneering of an age where every smartphone manufacturer starts following the blockchain suit, from Apple to Xiaomi to Huawei. If this is to be the case, blockchain applications become far more normalised and their reach can extend to everyone who has a smartphone – which is a large swath of the population.
Only the beginning
I spoke with Sun about the integration of TRON on the Samsung Keystore and what the implications in the greater scheme of things were.
“This is the beginning of a new era. Just imagine: after Samsung and all the phone manufacturers begin to integrate blockchain technology infrastructures, applications that may include blockchain or cryptocurrencies will pop up everywhere,” the 2017 Forbes 30 under 30 entrepreneur said.
“This era is young and not ready for everyone yet which is why we have smaller developers like CryptoKitties now. Now we are partners with Samsung Blockchain, the number 1 brand in technology. Samsung devices are available to almost everyone in the world. They don’t even have to install a wallet anymore. Why shouldn’t Apple, Xiaomi, Huawei, OnePlus follow suit?”
“First, phones, then what? Soon we might partner with any company in the world — no matter the size. This means more people and more countries seeing that we can bring the blockchain to everyone.”
What is TRON trying to accomplish?
For many in the mainstream market, or the enterprise space that is only just discovering blockchain and cryptocurrency, TRON may not be one of the names they are most familiar with. Bitcoin is known all over, but it only provides a digital financial solution. Other blockchain’s like Ethereum as a leader, are trying to achieve more in terms of being a decentralized platform that allows other projects and applications to work. This is also what TRON is trying to do at a basic level. Their work has clearly been noticed with Samsung choosing them as one of a few blockchains to feature on the Keystore.
“This is the most important milestone for blockchain progress so far,” Sun said of the TRON integration with Samsung. “Once Samsung embraces blockchain into its devices and applications, every company in the world has to pay attention.”
“This is why we are integrating the TRON blockchain with BitTorrent’s protocol. With about 100 million monthly active users we have built an incentive system to accelerate download speed and more. If every company and nation knows about blockchain use cases like the ones we are building, they cannot ignore exploring it for themselves with our blockchain. Adoption for all technology companies is about user experience.”
“When TRON was first founded we focused heavily on providing a better user experience with our protocol. This is why TRON is one of the most popular DApp blockchains in the world. Because it is the same for us today, we are always focusing on improving the user experience of blockchain transactions for everyone,” he added.
A competitive space
The blockchain mobile phone space is one that is quickly hot up. Samsung is surely still the leaders in this respect, not in terms of how much they have integrated, but by their sheer size. There are some companies that have gone full blockchain and crypto and have launched devices intended to be entirely blockchain-focused – such as the HTC Exodus 1.
In the hopes of triggering broader adoption, hardware manufacturers, such as Samsung and HTC, have begun rolling out support for blockchain dApps and crypto assets in a bid to dominate blockchain smartphone competition.
HTC’s Phil Chen told CNBC that “For the smartphone category to grow again, we need more adoption of cryptophones.” Similarly, Google has shown interest in the blockchain market by making its “public blockchain data freely available in BigQuery through the Google Cloud Public Datasets Program.”
For TRON, being one of the pioneers for Samsung to prove the worth of chasing this blockchain dream, there is a lot of pressure, and a lot of pride, but only time will tell in the overall growth and adoption of the space through mobile devices.