Chen Leaves Tron!


Breaking news shows that the CTO of Tron, a major blockchain project known for innovations in online gaming and more, is taking off, characterizing the project as “too centralized” and suggesting it has moved away from the traditional blockchain principle of decentralized consensus. Lucien Chen is leveling some pretty explosive criticism at the project he used to help run.

A Medium blog post published yesterday by Chen begins with a citation from Ursula Le Guin and reveals part of Chen’s soul-searching and ultimate decision to go it alone.

“Tron is no longer the original Tron,” Chen writes. “The reason for leaving is very simple. As a technical man, I feel very sad that Tron has departed from the faith of ‘decentralize the web’.”

The broadside also chronicles Tron’s rise to the top to become the 11th largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.

“(Chen) critiqued Tron’s delegated proof-of-stake [DPoS] consensus mechanism and Super Representative governance and block production nodes,” writes Marie Huillet at Cointelegraph today.

Part of Chen’s criticism of the system is that it’s hard for newcomers to get involved.

“The DPOS mechanism of Tron is pseudo-decentralized,” Chen says, according to Huillet’s reporting.  “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.”

Huillet reports Chen will likely start his own blockchain entitled “Volume Network” which he says will go back to old-school mining based decentralization and open networks that allow for more participatory and egalitarian blockchain work.

Analysts looking at this new rift are calling Chen’s words and actions “brutal” in terms of his assessment of Tron.

“It’s the third point, (deviating from the spirit of blockchain) which TRX believers should find more worrying,” writes Greg Thomson at, going over a three-point treatise by Chen about why he left.  “When Chen says the community is organized under centralization, one has to assume he’s talking about Justin Sun.”

If there is a direct response to be had from Justin Sun, it will probably surface on the entrepreneur’s Twitter account. As of press time, the last comment, on the relatively prosaic topic of Bittorrent, was posted 13 hours ago. The day is young, though, and many involved with the Tron project will be looking to see how Sun addresses some pretty scathing assessments.