TRON (TRX) Mainnet Launch and Token Migration: Everything You Need to Know

Siamak Masnavi

On May 31st, TRON (TRX) will launch its own blockchain (or "Mainnet") and begin its "Odyssey" (v 2.0) phase of development. The countdown clock is currently on display on the TRON Foundation website. In this article, we try to answer the most important questions about TRON's blockchain upgrade and the migration of its tokens to this new blockchain from the current Ethereum blockchain.

What Is Happening on May 31st?

Currently, Tron does not use its own blockchain; instead, it runs on the Ethereum blockchain and its TRX tokens are based on the ERC20 standard. The "Exodus" in Tron's development roadmap started on March 31st, when a test version of Tron's native blockchain ("Testnet") was launched. And on May 31st, it will be time to launch the production version of Tron's native blockchain ("Mainnet").

What Will Happen After the Mainnet Launches?

Starting on June 1st, the Mainnet will undergo intensive testing for the next three weeks. One thing users will be encouraged to help with during this period is testing of the voting functionality. Another is testing of the Tron network wallet. 

What Is Going to Happen to My TRX Tokens?

If your TRX tokens are currently held on a wallet at a crypto exchange such as Bitfinex or Binance, you don't need to do anything; the exchange will take care of migrating your ERC20-based TRX tokens to native TRX tokens (or coins) on June 25th, and these will be available to you on June 26th.

The following exchanges have already promised support for Tron's blockchain upgrade and token migration: 

  • Cayman Islands: Gate.io
  • China: BixinIM
  • Dubai: RightBTC
  • Estonia: Bibox
  • Hong Kong: Bitfinex (with operations center in Taiwan)
  • India: Zebpay 
  • Malta: Binance
  • New Zealand: Cryptopia
  • Singapore: DragonEx (with operations center in Thailand)
  • South Korea: Bithumb; Coinnest; Coinrail; Upbit
  • Taiwan: Bitfinex
  • Ukraine: Liqui Exchange

If, however, your TRX tokens are stored on any other wallet -- for example, a mobile wallet such as Trust, a web-based wallet such as MyEtherWallet, or a hardware wallet such as the Ledger Nano S -- you MUST move your TRX tokens to one of the many crypto exchanges that are supporting Tron's blockchain upgrade and token migration.

According to a blog post titled "Guidance for users after TRON mainnet launch" on 23 May 2018 by the Tron Labs, this must be done before 24 June 2018. However, this advice may be incorrect since there are exchanges that have an earlier deadline.

For example, according to another blog post by Tron Labs titled "DragonEx will support TRON blockchain upgrade and token migration", for the DragonEx exchange, users need to "deposit TRX’s ERC-20 tokens to DragonEx before June 20, 2018 23:59 (UTC+8)."

So, please try to play it really safe and transfer your tokens to one of the crypto exchanges that has promised support for the token migration BEFORE 20 June 2018 00:00 (UTC).

Between 21 June 2018 and 24 June 2018, TRX withdrawals will be suspended on all exchanges.

On 25 June 2018, there will be no TRX deposits/withdrawals allowed on any exchanges.

And finally, on 26 June 2018, since exchanges will have completed token migration by now, there will only be native TRX coins on the Mainnet. TRX deposits and withdrawals will resume. Users will need to withdraw TRX to a wallet if they want to vote. 

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Issued Assets: Blockstream’s Game Changing Tokenization Solution

Siamak Masnavi

On Monday (2 July 2018), Blockstream officially introduced an asset tokenization feature called "Issued Assets" (IA) that allows Liquid users (crypto exchanges) to issue custom tokenized assets that can be transferred between users quickly, securely, and confidentially.

Liquid, which was Bitcoin's first production sidechain, was launched by Blockstream on 12 October 2015. The original mission was to allow users of the Liquid network—exchanges, brokerages, and major institutional traders—to quickly transfer bitcoin (in under two minutes). 

Using Liquid for bitcoin transfers has these advantages compared to ordinary bitcoin transfers (i.e. without using a 2nd layer solution):

  • Faster Trading (high speed transfers allow users to more easily take advantage of arbitrage opportunities)
  • Enhanced Efficiency (since it allows market makers to reduce the balances they hold across multiple exchanges)
  • Better Privacy (since the Confidential Transactions feature allows bitcoin transfers that hide the amounts being transferred)

Although this new Issued Assets feature was demoed around Mid May at the Consensus 2018 conference in New York City, it was not officially announced at that time. Now, via its latest blog post, Blockstream is saying that this feature will go into production within the next few weeks.

According to Blockstream, the assets you can tokenize with IA "can represent existing financial instruments like tokenized fiat, crypto assets, attested assets (e.g. gold coins), or completely new assets." What's more, using Liquid's concept of Confidential Assets ("a scheme in which a single blockchain-based ledger may track multiple asset types" and which extends the concept of Confidential Transactions to hide not only amount but asset type from everyone except the sender and receiver), it is possible for users to transact privately/confidentially.

For Consensus 2018, what Blockstream did to show off the power of IA was to create five separate Issued Asset types representing gifts such as Blockstream t-shirts, stickers, and hoodies. It issued each of these asset types in a quantity that matched the real world inventory equivalent. These assets were then randomly sent out to hundreds of paper wallets that had been distributed to the conference attendees. Each transfer to one of these paper wallets could be used for gifting to the owner of that wallet one or more asset types, e.g. just a t-shirt, or a t-shirt and a hoodie. Owners of these paper wallets would then  come forward to claim the real world assets represented by the tokens, which would cause the digital asset to be destroyed since its physical representation had been redeemed.

Blockstream says that this demo showcased several interesting features of Issued Assets on Liquid:

  • "Issuing a new asset in any quantity"
  • "Sending a single transaction with several assets"
  • "Transacting privately using Confidential Transactions"
  • "Destroying quantities of an asset"

Using these features, one could tokenize fiat, reward points, virtual collectibles, and many other asset types.

Since Liquid also supports atomic swaps, users can "trade one asset for another without the need for a trusted third party." Because "Issued Assets and bitcoin can each be inputs and outputs of a Liquid transaction", "a bitcoin/asset swap can be completed in a single transaction." Of course, if you have Issued Assets representing other cryptocurrencies, you could create a single Liquid transaction that can contain several different cryptocurrencies.

Blockstream believes that although there are other asset tokenization solutions in the market, Liquid's Issued Assets offer several benefits over them:

  • "Built on a secure, Bitcoin-backed sidechain"
  • "Ability to transact with amounts and asset types hidden"
  • "Transaction finality in under 2 minutes"
  • "Ability to transact with amounts and asset types hidden"
  • "Easier technical integration with one platform containing all digital asset representations"

On Twitter, user "patmillertime", a Bitcoin miner and HODLer, expressed his excitement about Issued Assets with the following tweet:

Twitter user "brucefenton", the CEO of Chainstone Labs, was also impressed:

Featured Image Credit: via the Blockstream website