8 Best Tron DApps 2023: Top Projects on TRX!
The Tron ecosystem is one of the largest in the cryptocurrency space and is rapidly expanding. It's also one of the most talked-about blockchains in the crypto community, not so much the blockchain itself but from the actions of Justin Sun, its founder. Whether it is announcing a new algorithmic stablecoin after the LUNA collapse, or pitching in funds to help Michael Egorov with backstopping his AAVE loan when CRV got attacked, Justin is one of the most recognized names in the crypto space. His fame may, at times, eclipse that of the Tron blockchain he founded.
However, what we are going to do today is to bring our focus back to the blockchain itself, specifically to the 8 Best Tron DApps together with some background information on them. The article will explore the following topics:
- What is Tron?
- Tron Coin (TRX)
- The Tron Protocol Ecosystem
- Top 8 DApps on Tron
- Where to buy and store TRX
It's time for Justin to step aside and let the dApps built on the blockchain take the limelight for this article.
Understanding Tron: What is TRX?
Tron is a layer-one blockchain network that serves as a foundation for developers to build a variety of dApps on its blockchain. Its transaction speed of 2000 TPS is one of the fastest among other layer-one networks. Tron uses the account-based model like most of the other ETH killers that it is lumped into together with low transaction fees.
The consensus mechanism it uses is known as Delegated Proof of Stake (DPos), which is slightly different from the other layer-1 platforms. It is also one of the top blockchains used for moving USDT in the space.
The mission of Tron is to be the go-to decentralised platform for all manners of entertainment-typed services. Content creators and consumers can interact directly with each other without fear of being censored by the hosting platform. To find out more about Tron, we have a dedicated Tron review to satisfy your curiosity about the project.
The Impact and Benefits of Tron
The biggest impact I know that Tron has brought to the crypto ecosystem thus far are low transaction costs and high-speed transactions with little to no downtime for the network. This is a bit strange because the initial mission of the Tron project was to be the decentralised platform for content creators to connect with their audiences directly without intervention (or assistance) from intermediaries and centralised platforms such as YouTube, TikTok etc.
Ostensibly, creators can then have more control over the content and profits they can generate in this manner. That was supposed to be the game-changer that Tron promised to bring to everyone.
However, I've yet to see any kind of dApp built on the network that allows content creators to upload their creations (aside from NFTs), reach their audience, and get paid directly from them using TRX or any kind of TRC20 token currently on the platform. I also wonder how the content creators go about looking for their target audience to come and support their efforts. If there's one thing good about centralised platforms is that they are able to bring in new consumers to content creators, even when they aren't looking, through those algorithms that everyone loves and hates.
Perhaps this is still the stage where the foundation is being prepared for that grand vision. Some of the core infrastructure is certainly there now.
There's the native coin TRX for facilitating payments on the network, we've already mentioned the very cheap transaction costs (about $0.000005 on average per transaction), very fast block production (a new block every few minutes), and ease-of-scalability due to the adoption of the Delegated-Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) consensus mechanism.
The way it works is that users stake their TRX to vote for Super Representatives (max of 5) at every election. These representatives approve transactions and maintain the network. It's a tad bit more centralised than regular Proof-of-Stake but it is heaps faster. It's also a much more energy-saving measure than traditional Proof-of-Work (PoW) systems.
Other than those benefits, Tron is pretty much like most layer-one blockchain platforms these days. It needs more builders to build a variety of dApps in order to have a thriving ecosystem, the dApps themselves need to go find users to use them so that they can evolve to their own fullest potential, and the core team, which is managed by the Tron Foundation, need to keep innovating on the platform to keep up with newcomers while fighting to maintain their share of market dominance.
Oddly enough, Tron is better known these days as the go-to platform for moving USDT. Together with the launch of USDD (algorithmic stablecoin) and TUSD (dollar-pegged stablecoin), DeFi seems to be the low-hanging fruit that is bringing the platform to the forefront of the public's mind. Maybe this is a way to keep the blockchain alive and growing as it works towards its ultimate goal of being the no. 1 decentralised entertainment network and ready to knock a peg or two off from the YouTubes and Twitters of the day.
Tron DeFi Ecosystem
Despite starting out as more of a blockchain for entertainment and gaming, Tron has successfully merged DeFi into its fold. One of the key success factors for the DeFi side is stablecoins, a proven commodity for being a key economic driver in network adoption.
Usually dollar-pegged, these tokens represent a bridge of sorts between fiat and crypto, giving holders some sense of security while allowing easy conversion to the crypto native assets. Leveraging heavily on the Tron benefits mentioned above, Tron is one of the most favoured networks for moving USDT by both retailers and institutions alike. TUSD, its native stablecoin launched in April 2021, gives holders an alternative to USDT for swapping crypto. Evidence of this is seen in Messari's Q2 2023 report of Tron. It shows that Tron's hold on the stablecoin market cap is only behind Ethereum, but far ahead of the rest of the pack.
The ecosystem also features a number of prominent dApps such as JustLend, SUN, JustStables, and JustMoney, which has seen increased network activity in Q2 2023. Messari mentioned in the same report that “TVL grew 7% when denominated in dollars, but the underlying amount of TRX fell by 7.9%”. This is on the back of positive network growth, up by 11.6% when denominated in TRX and 22.2% if viewed in USD terms.
Tron's position in terms of crypto dominance is best understood with the graph below, ranking #2 in TVL against other fierce competitors such as BSC, Arbitrum, and Polygon. Despite having fewer protocols than any of them, the TVL on the Tron network beats the rest by a mile (except Ethereum). It also has the most number of active users, beating even Ethereum in this regard.
Tron NFT Ecosystem
The Tron network announced its intention to make inroads into the NFT domain by launching its own version of an ERC-721 token, called TRC-721 on the network in March 2021. The Tron NFTs are stored on the BitTorrent decentralised storage, BitTorrent being one of the acquisitions by Justin back in 2020, in his plans to expand the Tron empire.
These NFTs are traded on ApeNFT, the sole NFT marketplace on Tron. A quick browse around the webpage shows the BAYCTron collection, plus a few smaller collections gracing the pages. Users can also create their own NFTs on it. Tron also has a partnership with a social NFT platform, DeFine, to award badges to NFT users and source for NFTs to feature on the ApeNFT marketplace.
Features of Tron DApps
Having scoured through a whole bunch of dApps to bring you some decent picks, here's what I realised about most of the dApps on Tron:
Not enough dApps - there is no comparison when looking at the sheer quantity of dApps on other blockchains like Ethereum and Solana. Tron needs to incentivise more builders to build on its blockchain.
Limited dApp types - Most of the dApps are DeFi-related ones like swaps. There are a few gaming ones that might be interesting but not enough. Perhaps it is connected to the issue of quantity mentioned above.
Early-stage formation - the majority of dApps aren't anywhere near being full-fledged dApps. There could be loads of potential ahead, but without continued evolvement, it's hard to tell. Here is where the user network effect plays an important role. The more users there are, the more feedback given to builders, and the more building will happen. Tron dApps still have quite a ways to go in this area.
Low adoption rate - this is related to the above where the dApps need to have more users in order to be better.
Best TRON DApps
Tron positioned itself to be the blockchain for entertainment and gaming in its early days, but a quick peek at DappRadar shows that the top dApps on Tron are actually more on the DeFi side. We're going to save you time by giving you an overview of these top dApps so you don't have to start your research from scratch. Feel free to explore any of the ones that tickle your fancy. Let's go!
Want to make some extra cash doing some trading but don't want to spend the time to learn how to trade? Copy-trading is the way to go these days and Zilant is the top trading bot on the Tron ecosystem. With a minimum investment of 200 TRX, you can earn anywhere from 0.5% to 4% ROI daily. While the initial investment amount is the same, the way to get higher ROI is to have your capital locked up on the platform for as long as possible, which can be as short as 1 second to 60 days.
This is a fully decentralised trading bot created with smart contracts on the Tron network. Interacting with this dApp requires a Web3 wallet, feel free to check out our picks for the Top Tron Wallets.
If you do want to give this a try, be sure to leave just a bit extra in the wallet to pay for the transaction fees that may incur along the way. You can also refer friends through their referral program but it does have a whiff of a pyramid scheme. This is because the more friends you refer to and the more they put into the platform, the higher amount of commission you get.
! Note that this is a High-Risk dApp, so only put in play money that you can afford to lose.
Another “money-making” dApp on Tron is Degree Crypto. The platform bills itself as “a safe and conducive profitable investment… is set to revolutionize the way and investor will earn passive income…”, according to its whitepaper. Having gone through all 11 slides of the whitepaper, other than using the term “staking”, I can't tell where the yield they are giving you comes from, as in what do they do with the money you put in to generate the yield they are giving you? The only way for income to appear is through deposits from other people.
Yet, on CoinGecko, the Degree Crypto Token (DCT) has a value of $70.29 and has risen in value substantially, quite high for something that is not on the top 100 list. The whitepaper doesn't say how this token fits into the ecosystem either. Participation requires a minimum of 1000 TRX and there are both minimums and maximums for deposits and withdrawals. The amount of rewards given are solely based on how long you don't withdraw from the platform, either as an individual or as a community.
This is a real head-scratcher of a project as I cannot tell whether it is truly legit or not. I would highly suggest advancing with the greatest caution if you should even want to consider venturing into this. As for me, I'm staying away for now.
Transit Swap is a popular dApp on the Tron ecosystem for swapping one type of token to another. It is one of the functionalities of Transit Finance, a multi-chain DEX aggregator. Users can freely swap tokens amongst different blockchains. After specifying which two assets you want to swap with, Transit Swap will hunt behind the scenes and give you the cheapest and best route to do so. This might include splitting up your tokens into different chains so that you get a much better price in the end.
Not having any crypto to get started is not a problem as the platform also offers you the ability to buy crypto through third-party payment providers such as Simplex, Banxa, and Moonpay to name a few. AlchemyPay recently integrated with Transit Finance and became one of the options on offer too.
JustLend DAO is one of the most popular lending and borrowing DeFi app on the Tron network. The mechanism of the platform is largely similar to most platforms using over-collateralization for borrowing and getting jTokens in return. Lenders, known as Suppliers, get jTokens that can be redeemed for the underlying asset when they want their capital back together with any interest accrued during the lending period. Borrowers get auto-liquidated if the assets fall below the liquidation threshold. When borrowing, be sure to pay attention to the Risk Value. The higher the number, the likelier it will hit the threshold.
Lenders can also opt to stake their TRX or USDT for higher yield than supplying liquidity. Please note that some of the “hot” assets in the image below have higher lending than borrowing rates. One likelihood is that the platform is subsidizing the difference. If that is the case, it would be interesting to find out why. For those assets, things could change very quickly, so please beware.
There are two distinct features on the Tron network: Energy and Bandwidth. Bandwidth is a resource users get by staking or freezing their TRX tokens on the blockchain. It lets users perform transactions without gas fees and is a necessary resource to have when interacting with dApps, especially those that have numerous small transactions.
Bandwidth is also needed to cast votes when electing Tron Super Representatives. Energy is another type of resource that is also obtained through freezing TRX tokens. It is a unit of measure for CPU resource consumption on the Tron network. Both Bandwidth and Energy are involved in the creation and execution of smart contracts.
Now that you understand the importance of these resources, you can see where TronNRG fits in. This dApp is a popular one for renting and providing Energy to the Tron community. Here is the breakdown of the proceeds from each sale:
- 60% to energy providers, aka TRX stakers
- 10% to the DAO (coming soon)
- 10% to TronNinjas for staking purposes
- 20% to the NRG team for future development
TRX users need to swap their TRX for NRG tokens on a 1:1 basis in order to earn the revenue mentioned above. There's also a basic calculator showing you how much you could potentially earn based on the amount of TRX deposited. TRX is valued at around $0.078 at the time of writing. With 10,000 TRX which is about $780, you could be getting a yearly profit of up to 2000 TRX (worth around $156.00 based on current value).
Tron Ninja bills itself as the first GameFi dApp on Tron, riding on the Play-2-Earn wave that was popular a while back. Users connect their TronLink wallet to play the arcade games on the webpage and earn TNT tokens. With these tokens, you can use them to spend on game upgrades such as extra life etc. to gain an edge. This could be useful if you're planning on participating in the Tournaments held periodically for different games. You can also choose to stake the TNT to receive yield. Current rates are 35% of the total Ninja pool proportional to the amount staked.
Another way to get more TNT is to play using a Tron Ninja NFT that can be minted on the platform for 1250 TRX. This gives you an extra 5% per Ninja in your wallet. As with most gaming features, more ninjas net you more TNT as you play. However, there is a cap of 100% for 20 NFTs held, while a max of 20 TNT is set per game.
Without a Ninja, your earning rate is around 0.1 TNT per 500 rating level, dependent on the game. You can also opt to stake your Ninja NFT to get 50% of the total Ninja pool. This is one of the few places where you can stake an NFT and earn yield, so that's a nice twist rather than just trading NFTs.
It's worth noting that both Tron Ninja and TronNRG are developed by the same team, just in case you're wondering about all those Energy rental ads on the webpage.
SocialSwap is an AMM-based DEX on Tron that allows asset-swapping with ease. Users can seamlessly swap from one TRC20 token to another, including the TRC20 version of wrapped BTC and ETH. A key advantage the protocol leverages by being on the Tron network is the low transaction cost that the network is known for. Currently, only key TRC20 tokens are available plus BTC, ETH, USDT, USDC, LTC, and DOGE that are not native to the platform.
The platform also has its own native token, SocialSwapToken (SST) that can be swapped against the other tokens. This token allows holders to participate in liquidity pools and earn yield in the process, vote on governance issues, and trade. Liquidity pools renew every 10 days for the following pairings: BTC/SST, ETH/SST, TRX/SST, and USDT/SST. SST has a total supply of 1 billion and there are also special Buy-Back and Hold-Back Pools.
These are used to stabilise the price of SST by using them to buy or sell the token. While the intentions may be good, this mechanism is very susceptible to price manipulation of sorts, just saying. Feel free to give their whitepaper a thorough read before making any decisions about the platform.
We can't have an article without talking about a gaming dApp on Tron, as that was the raison d'etre for the blockchain when it started. In that aspect, Tron Bull Club can be a good one to get into the Tron gaming world. Unlike other gaming dApps that were built elsewhere and expanded to Tron, Tron Bull Club is a native-born Tron gaming dApp, created with Tron money. The team, TronVerse, participated in Season 3 of the Tron Hackathon as a budding project with some big ideas.
The team's vision is to build a gaming platform that attracts gamers to Web3 gaming. Players can mint Tron Bull NFTs and use them as their player-character to play the games on TronVerse. There is also the option to play without an NFT. Aside from using them in games, there are also plans for the ability to stake the NFTs and earn more tokens on the platform.
While busy building the first-person shooter full-version of the game, the team has created a mini-game to whet the appetite of fans as they patiently wait for the main game to be finished. Unfortunately, the mini-game is undergoing maintenance at the time of writing. The Android version on mobile is an early-access app so your feedback will be automatically collected by Google on behalf of the game developers.
Where to Buy Tron
The Tron (TRX) coin can easily be obtained through most cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase, Kraken, OKX, and Bitget to name a few. Some of them allow for purchases of TRX using fiat currency which needs to be deposited on the exchange first. Others, such as decentralised exchanges like Uniswap, let you swap stablecoins (USDT, USDC etc) for TRX on their platform.
Whichever you choose, go for the one that fits your needs. A quick note here: decentralised exchanges require no KYC but you will need to have some level of understanding about crypto to interact with them. If you are completely new to the crypto scene, a centralised exchange could be a good choice but you will need to give up just a bit of your privacy in order to use them.
Best Tron Wallets for Storing TRX
Most of the dApps mentioned above suggest using TronLink wallet. This is a web wallet, aka hot wallet, that is always connected to the ‘net. It's convenient for interacting with the dApps but not always the safest one for storing TRX or any tokens that you're not using. Another thing that sets TronLink apart from most hot wallets is the variety of formats it supports. The wallet comes in browser extension mode, Android, iOS, and even a paper wallet.
We always recommend using cold, aka hardware wallets, to keep your crypto secure. Wallets like Trezor that come with a hardware component represent one of the most secure ways to store your crypto. However, they are not always the easiest to use when you have to interact with dApps a lot. Whether to go hot or cold, you can get the lowdown on which are the best wallets to use from our in-depth Tron Wallet article. It'll answer most of your burning questions about the best way to store your TRX.
My one-sentence summary about Tron is that it still has a long way to go, not even comparing it to Ethereum, the industry leader of smart contracts, but to second-banana blockchains like Solana. The Tron ecosystem needs more adoption and solid dApp usage for the industry to take it more seriously. Granted that the blockchain has a lot of growing to do, there is already enough hot air going around, raising expectations to be higher than necessary. What I'd like to see are more partnerships with industry leaders, like what Solana is doing with Shopify and Visa, to gain traction and pull in more builders and users onto its platform.
Justin Sun is still the best spokesperson for the Tron network and his role is the most difficult one. It is to keep people enthusiastic and optimistic about the network's prospects, both now and its potential in the future. Yet the blockchain needs more strong advocates like him so that it can be bigger and stronger than the strength and influence of its founder. That is what keeps both companies and networks alive. The decentralisation is in the distribution of the content, but it's the spokesperson or customer-facing team that has the biggest impact in the users' minds.
Frequently Asked Questions
DappRadar shows that there are hundreds of dApps on the Tron network, but only about 25 of them have active usage. This is measured by the number of Unique Active Wallets (UAW) associated with the dApp.
Tron is used for DeFi purposes such as transferring USDT from one wallet to another, casino-type gaming apps, and NFT-trading through its APENFT marketplace. Other dApps are slowly being built and which we showcased a few of those in this article.
A number of DeFi projects are built on Tron such as JustLend and SocialSwap.io Gaming dApps are also making their presence on the blockchain, whether it's MegaWorld from Ethereum or Tron's own TronVerse.
Tron has got as good a future as most blockchain projects that are out on the market. It has a thriving DeFi sector and the second-highest TVL aside from Ethereum. However, it still needs to attract more builders to build more dApps because a lot of the TVL is due to attractive yield, which may not be sustainable in the long run.
Tron is a decentralised blockchain network, similar to Ethereum. TRC20 is a type of token that is created on the blockchain network and can be used freely on it. The token type is based on the ERC20 token standard first unveiled on the Ethereum network.
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.