A 2019 study by analytics firm Dapp Review showed the world that $1.6 billion in activity went through the Tron network thanks to the 432,000 users with a wallet address exchanging value amongst one another. What’s even more telling is the fact that 64% of all the decentralized applications existing on the Tron network at the time only exist to facilitate gambling. Some games are as simple as allowing users to bet on digital dog races. Others involve many more features, storylines and gameplay elements and promise 100 times a gambler’s initial wager.
How Other Altcoins Stack Up
Although Ethereum is the second most valuable blockchain in the world according to market capitalization, gamblers began to move away from it at the end of 2018 because of high transaction fees. That’s why throughout most of 2019, Ethereum lagged behind both Tron and EOS in terms of the transaction volume that passed through the network related to decentralized applications specific to gambling was very low. Just $4 million in daily volume related to wagers went through the Ethereum blockchain in the first quarter of last year.
Compare that to the EOS blockchain, dubbed a third generation blockchain meant to improve on scalability and transaction speed issues plaguing other blockchains, all at a lower cost. EOS was generating close to $15 million in daily volume related to gambling transactions, which is nearly four times more what the Ethereum blockchain was processing, yet still well behind the $102 million that went through the Tron network.
The Technical Reason Tron Is Gaining Steam
Tron prides itself on being fast, but creating a top level blockchain is about more than just transaction speed and transaction fees. It’s about making the idea of building decentralized applications on your blockchain more lucrative than it would be on other blockchains. The Tron Foundation recognized an opportunity early on in the development of the Tron network.
The foundation decided to make it really enticing to get Ethereum developers to switch over to the Tron network. They launched an accelerator program for developers that got them used to the nuances of Tron and showed everybody how profitable building on the network could be in the future. Many decided to make the switch and now the top decentralized applications for gambling on the Tron network regularly bring in millions of dollars a day worth in transaction volume.
Increasing transaction volume is a big deal for any non-profit foundation supporting a network because in the eyes of retail investors it proves a blockchain’s literal value or use case to be perfectly valid.
More and more gamblers are using Tron because the games are secure, they give players a fair chance to win, and ultimately the network is doing a great job serving developers.
Will Ethereum’s 2.0 Upgrade Be Enough To Take The Number One Spot?
Ethereum’s network is scheduled for an upgrade to be completed sometime in July of this year. The upside to that is that the upgrade will introduce the concept of staking. Anybody with a significant amount of ETH tokens can stake coins back to the network to help secure it in exchange for a dividend. Individuals who choose to stake coins will certainly have to weigh risk versus reward in deciding whether or not to participate. In exchange for taking on the risk associated with owning ETH tokens and committing to staking the network, investors will earn a dividend and return, paid out in ETH tokens.
In this way the upgrade certainly benefits users. That said, a robust staking platform doesn’t necessarily guarantee that developers currently working on the Tron network will decide to switch back and bring the transaction volume associated with their gaming ideas back to Ethereum. If Ethereum wants to challenge Tron specifically on gambling volume, the games need to be more rewarding for players, more of those games need to exist and ultimately more and more developers need to start choosing to go back to Ethereum.
Whether or not all of those things actually happen remain to be seen. What is for certain though is that as long as gambling serves as a viable use case for decentralized technologies, the war between blockchain networks will continue to heat up, and that’s ultimately good for gamblers.