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An Introduction to TRON Smart Contract Development

Red Tron Pamphlet

When it comes to blockchain development, the community has bifurcated into assorted categories in terms of philosophy, preference, and tools. Among the various choices that companies have offered for developing and launching exclusive projects that can integrate blockchain technology, smart contracts have attained top-tier status when it comes to the go-to choice of connecting centralized systems directly to a blockchain.

While Ethereum remains one of the more common mainstream options as a platform for developing smart contracts and decentralized technologies, TRON, the blockchain with a goal to decentralize the internet, has crept up to attain the status of a viable option and framework for developing decentralized products.

TRON has developed a framework that is easily integrable and adaptable for all types of developers. The audience-aim that the TRON team has seemingly targeted remains existing blockchain developers. They have openly stated they believe they are Ethereum’s main competitor in the decentralized technology space, and the development side of the project has subsequently reached browsers, apps, and more.

TRON Development: Overview and First Steps

Developing on the TRON blockchain can be a seamless task for an experienced developer, however, for newcomers, especially to blockchain development, it can be a bit tricky to get the hang of things right away.

The TRON project has a dedicated developer portal available to the public. After all, the project is only as good insofar as its back-end and development framework allows it to be. Developing on TRON offers a variety of different advantages compared to any other blockchain. Through recently announced partnerships and launches, it has also enabled a newfound sense of confidence in blockchain. Primarily, developers reportedly enjoy the TRON framework because it can enable a higher level of throughput than other projects. It also offers the potential for scalability.

Regardless of whether users want to develop dApps, smart contracts, or simply play with code, developers will have to download the code behind Tron through the command line by cloning their repository.

TRON supports Java development and operates via a customized version of Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS), an emerging mechanism in the development atmosphere that is also famously pursued by the EOS blockchain.

In the process of developing for the Tron ecosystem, developers will come across the Tron Virtual Machine (TVM) concept, which is the parallel higher-view concept as the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). If Ethereum can be considered one giant computer with EVM at the heart, serving as the sector that compiles customized input code, then Tron is also another, uniquely configured computer, and the TVM is at the center of this computer enabling compilation of different complex user input.

Getting started with TRON development is actually not as complex as it might appear at first. TRON smart contracts can be deployed on the TRON blockchain if they’re coded in Solidity, Ethereum’s internal development language and the primary tool used to create most existing smart contracts. If a developer knows how to program in Solidity, theoretically they’re able to work on the TRON blockchain immediately. The method is traditionally done through conversions.

Establishing a TRON Development Environment

Prospective Tron developers will be happy to know that there is a recently deployed IDE for Tron that takes on a very easy to use GUI named “Tron Studio,” with the compilation instructions on the previously mentioned developer portal.

The interface maintains the same style as Ethereum’s Remix IDE encompasses, which is an easy to use framework. Tron Studio is technically not necessary to create and establish smart contracts on the Tron ecosystem, however, it’s definitely useful for beginners of blockchain development and can save a lot of work on the command line. Otherwise, users are free to use any other prospective text/code editor and configure it with the correct Tron dev environment settings such as “Atom” or “Sublime Text Editor.”

Once an input environment has been established, “Tron Box” would more than likely be the next step in creating a fully-comprehensive development environment. Tron Box acts similarly to how “Truffle” works for Ethereum, by creating a testable environment for a Tron blockchain project. The Tron Box environment is built using the Tron Virtual Machine (TVM).

Converting an Ethereum Smart Contract to the TRON Blockchain

While learning an entirely new framework can often be very tedious, TRON has enabled a quick switch to their own ecosystem for users that wish to pursue the TRON blockchain instead of Ethereum. It’s important to note that each chain has their own advantages and disadvantages and that should be researched by a developer to determine which one better suits their unique development style. Regardless, TRON has developed a framework for switching programmed contracts on Ethereum to TRON.

Instead of deploying the contract and having it function exclusively in the Ethereum network where ether and subsequent “Gas/Gwei” is utilized to power the functionality in the contracts, the TRON protocol is employed. Switching the contracts to the TRON ecosystem typically requires replacing of parameters such as “ether/Gas” to “TRX/Sun.” In the same way that ether serves as the main currency and Gas is a mere fractions worth of Ether, TRX (standing for Tronix) serves as the main currency and Sun is representative of fractions worth of TRX.

As a side note, contracts that exist on the Ethereum blockchain do not have to be entirely reprogrammed to function in the TRON ecosystem. In fact, only minor changes are required as specified within the documentation where developers are essentially letting the contract know where it will function. In this case, a user wants it to function in the TRON ecosystem. With all of this in mind, Solidity contracts are, following minor modifications, used to program TRON smart contracts.

dApps and Tron Web

As the Tron ecosystem advances and begins to reach more developers and potential users, the frameworks for its integration are following closely behind. This is particularly true for “online” systems. While computers, websites, apps, and so on may not inherently be exposed to decentralized technology, smart contracts on Tron can create a bridge from these centralized systems to a distributed framework.

Tron Web is an example of this for applications. Through proper knowledge of JavaScript, Tron Web is an easily interactable framework for advanced decentralization processes for existing applications.

Tron enables the creation and deployment of decentralized applications (dApps), and Tron Web makes the bridging in that process easier. Despite some controversy, only time will tell whether the future of Tron dApps and regular utilization is available for mainstream adoption.

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