Lucien Chen — the former chief technical officer (CTO) and co-founder of blockchain protocol Tron (TRX) — has announced he is leaving the project, claiming it has become excessively centralized and strayed from its founding principles. Chen revealed his decision in a Medium blog post published on May 10.
Tron Co-Founder and CTO Leaves Project, Alleging Excessive Centralization
In his announcement, Chen recounts the history of the Tron project and TRX’s successful growth to become the 11th largest cryptocurrency by market cap globally.
Yet the former CTO said that notwitstanding this success, irreconcilable contradictions between himself and co-founder Justin Sun have prompted him to choose to leave the project.
Foremost among his concerns, Chen argued that the project is no longer faithful to its founding principle of decentralizing the web — becoming ostensibly excessively centralized, as well as neglecting to foster internet-focused commercial applications in its ecosystem.
He critiqued Tron’s delegated proof-of-stake [DPoS] consensus mechanism and Super Representative governance and block production nodes, arguing that:
“The DPOS mechanism of Tron is pseudo-decentralized. The top 27 SR nodes (block nodes) have more than 170 million TRX votes, and most of them are controlled by Tron. It’s hard for other latecomers to become block nodes, so they cannot participate in the process of block production.”
Chen continued to claim that some nodes have “more than 90% of the votes with only a few voters,” and that the vote of the ordinary retail investor has thus been ostensibly sidelined. “The total number of TRX in Tron is 100 billion, while the total number of votes for the super representatives is just less than 8 billion,” he added, stating in summary that:
“Token distribution is centralized, Super Representatives are centralized, code development is centralized. Even the community is organized under centralization.”
In addition to his concerns over centralization, Chen also said that as the former CTO who helped build the platform, he knows that real internet applications currently can’t function in the Tron network.
Having left Tron, Chen is now launching his own decentralized blockchain project, dubbed “Volume Network.” He claims that the new venture will stay more faithful to his ideological principles and focus on mining-based decentralization — in particular by enabling users to mine using non-specialist hardware in order to lower the participation threshold.
As reported earlier this month, the Tron Foundation recently fixed a critical vulnerability which could have crashed its blockchain, awarding the cybersecurity research who identified it with a $1,500 bounty and disclosing the findings after the bug had been fixed.