An unconventional candidate has triumphed in tron’s ongoing blockchain elections: the project’s founder Justin Sun.
After announcing his candidacy to become a tron “super representative” (a node on the software elected by token holders to validate transactions, create blocks in the network and compete for its rewards) just one day ago, Sun has successfully garnered enough votes to run one of 27 nodes that will operate the $2.5 billion tron network.
As previously reported by CoinDesk, tron kicked off its election in June as part of the launch of its own proprietary blockchain. The project was originally meant to run on ethereum, and is currently in the process of migrating its TRX tokens from ethereum to its new platform.
Sun wrote in his Wednesday announcement on Twitter:
“I hope that my candidacy will make all the TRX holders, supporters and believers see the significance embedded in voting. I hope it will enable all of us to contribute to the establishment of a truly democratic, decentralized tron community.”
Though some members of tron community forums expressed surprise at the announcement, Sun’s decision was not wholly unexpected, as it was foreshadowed in an April Medium post in which he wrote, “I myself will participate in the tron super representative election along with all other candidates.”
Sun clarified in his statement that his candidacy was “a completely personal action” and will not represent the tron Foundation, of which he is the CEO. He previously promised that the foundation would not use its 34 billion tokens to vote in the election, though he did not disclose his personal TRX holdings in the announcement.
At the time, Sun largely sought to downplay the potential impact that his influence in the community could have on the election. “I am determined to go through the selection process like everyone else, which displays tron’s inclusiveness and openness as a decentralized and autonomous community,” he said.
As of press time, Sun had acquired over 120 million votes according to tron’s Tronscan feature. Candidates must receive over 100 million votes to be elected as one of the network’s 27 super representatives, with each TRX counting for one vote. (For context, it took other candidates several days to a week to be elected, and only 11 representatives have been elected thus far.)
Unlike other super representative candidates, Sun did not publish an election “manifesto,” which typically contains information on the candidates and the hardware they plan to use to run the node. He advised the Tron community to follow his personal Twitter account for updates on his campaign.
Still, it’s important to recall that tron’s ongoing election is part of a broader trend among public blockchains, ones that find them experimenting with novel ways to coordinate stakeholders to update the software.
Most recently, neo, the 12th largest blockchain by total value, saw one of its major non-profits play an almost exclusive role in its election, despite claims the process was decentralized or democratic.
As such, Sun’s announcement was greeted with some skepticism. “Hey Justin that’s not good for us, this is unprofessional,” one Twitter user commented on Sun’s post.
A reddit user questioned Sun’s rhetoric of democracy, commenting,
“Create democracy. People love it. Huge media presence and influence. People love you. Run for head office. Everyone follows. Easy win. Now in control of said democracy. Seem strange? No? I give up.”
Others suggested that Sun’s candidacy would bolster criticism of the project, which was previously accused of plagiarizing its white paper and failing to properly attribute code in its Github repository.
“People who are on the outside and maybe rethinking that TRX is not really a scam, will see this as a self enrichment scheme for Justin,” another reddit user suggested.
However, it remains to be seen whether the move will have any lasting impact.
The Tron Foundation and Justin Sun did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Justin Sun image via Tron Foundation Facebook