Jed McCaleb has built a reputation for himself over the years. He founded Ripple Labs, Mt. Gox, e-Donkey and, more recently, Stellar Lumens. Yesterday, he told Yahoo finance that Tron is “just garbage.” He also said his interviewer that, even with the year’s turbulence, the crypto market is going well.
Over the telephonic interview, Mr. McCaleb was asked what he takes away from crypto independently of the price. He answered that the way in which capital is invested in crypto projects is “wild to watch.” He added that a reduction in market capitalizations and token prices things would smooth out.
“One of the nice things that comes with the market calming down—I still say it’s not a bear market—it means there’s less of that. Ninety percent of these projects are B.S. I’m looking forward to that changing. Things like Tron, it’s just garbage. But people dump tons of money into it, these things that just do not technically work.”
It’s anybody’s guess why Mr. McCaleb chose to pick at Tron which is actually an interesting project. Tron has already outperformed Ethereum as a platform for actual smart contracts development and usage, which almost nobody could have predicted a year ago.
That is no mean feat as Ethereum was the blockchain that created the smart contract technology and even Tron came to life as a project running over the Ethereum network. Stellar Lumens itself still has no smart contract development platform that can compete with Ethereum, let alone Tron. Mr. Macaleb did not explain himself about calling Tron “just garbage.” This will probably leave many neutral observers in the cryptosphere scratching their heads.
Stellar’s marketing is poor
Mr. McCaleb had to answer an uncomfortable question. Do people generally know what Stellar Lumens is? He answered he didn’t think so.
“I don’t think they do. We’ve done a pretty poor job of marketing it and telling the world what Stellar is about. I think they have a vague notion that it’s for payments, but I don’t think they know the details and the real power of it. We’re hoping to change that in 2019, but it’s a process.”
It’s quite clear that most people in the world, even technical people with university degrees have little or no idea of what blockchain technology is. They have no idea about how Bitcoin works, not to mention Stellar which is nowhere near as famous.
Majorities have no interest so far in blockchain banking offerings. Most people in the world still prefer to use their credit or debit cards to settle payments using the USD as the mediating fiat currency. So Stellar’s market is still in diapers, maybe even in fetal stages.
Mr. McCaleb is not alone in going against Tron. Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s creator and leader, has also had harsh words for Justin Sun and the Tron network in the past, especially as Tron became an independent blockchain (which previously ran on Ethereum) last May.
Stellar remains on the top ten list of cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. But Tron has recently entered that very same list, in a year that has seen most digital assets lose a lot of value. And Ripple which is very alike to Stellar Lumens in design and functionality (let’s not forget that Stellar came to life as a Ripple fork, which Mr. McCaleb also founded) is already the world’s second largest.
Ripple and Stellar Lumens are considered to be direct competitors because both projects pursue the same markets. Both have scored successes. Ripple has outperformed Stellar in terms of strategic partnerships and integration with banking systems all over the world. But Stellar has secured IBM’s backup, which could end up being critical, as it was for Microsoft 40 years ago.
If we go by transactions, Tron processed 2,845,490 on December 30th. By comparison Stellar did 1,024 over the same time period, and Ripple 396,354.
On hearing Mr. McCaleb’s comment, Justin Sun, Tron’s CEO and founder had this to tweet:
BitTorrent: The OG in P2P, 1B+ users, bringing P2P to mass market. eDonkey, founded by @JedMcCaleb: RIP 2002. Guess we’re doing pretty well for “garbage” 🤷🏻♂️ Prediction for 2019 📣: #TRON vs @StellarOrg will have same results as @BitTorrent vs eDonkey $TRX #XLM https://t.co/HTu5p6Q8g9
— Justin Sun (@justinsuntron) January 1, 2019
Mr. Sun refers in his tweet to e-Donkey which was a decentralized P2P network that became fashionable at the turn of the century (much like Napster) but ultimately failed. That very network and protocol were founded by Mr. McCaleb. Many P2P networks were online at the time, following e-Donkey’s protocols more or less (e-Mule, for instance), and they have all disappeared now.
They were all substituted by another P2P network called BitTorrent a few years later which is still active today and remains the world’s largest decentralized P2P network in the world. So why is Mr. Sun kind of bragging after Mr. McCaleb’s comment?
Because Tron bought the BitTorrent network a few months ago and it plans to merge it into the Tron blockchain. That merging is called “Project Atlas,” and it’s been on the works for several months already. When it’s completed, every single BitTorrent user in the world will become a Tron community member, whether he knows it or not. And that’s more than 100 million monthly users.
While there is little doubt that Mr. McCaleb created the P2P decentralized networks or Ripple, the fact now is that the P2P world belongs now to Justin Sun and Tron.
It’s clear that Stellar Lumens is a solid project with lots of value as attested by the many strategic partnerships it’s managed to secure. But it still lags behind Ripple, which is just too similar, and poking a stick at Tron is probably not the wisest action Mr. McCaleb has ever taken.
Time will tell if this feud remains as an exchange of a couple of tweets or if it becomes more serious.
We have the utmost respect for Mr. McCaleb, but we can’t understand at all why he had to be so vocal about a project like Tron that is actually working and rendering results.
Image courtesy of PixaBay.