The downturn in crypto markets has a lot of people feeling edgy. With a 73 percent drop in value since the opening of 2018, bitcoin is on track for its biggest yearly loss on record. Ethereum has suffered a similar fate: From an opening price of around $800 at the start of 2018, it is now trading at less than $90 at time of press.
This wipeout in market value has had pronounced effects on startups funded by cryptocurrency holdings, resulting in a wave of layoffs across the blockchain industry in recent weeks. Among these, blockchain giant ConsenSys has announced that it will be cutting 13 percent of its staff, hot on the heels of a Forbes report which estimated that almost all ConsenSys projects were making a net loss.
Against this backdrop, one company founder is trying to tempt developers onto his platform with the promise of a paycheck. Justin Sun, CEO of Tron—a decentralized application platform similar to Ethereum—tweeted that Tron would build a fund to “rescue” Ethereum and EOS developers from the “collapse” of their platforms, provided that they migrated dapps onto Tron instead.
A few days previously, Sun also quoted a tweet from CoinDesk about the ConsenSys layoffs with the addition: “Plz leave #ethereum and join #TRON! We are hiring and expanding!”
Beyond the tweet there are few details about what exactly the “rescue fund” would entail. Data from Coinmarketcap.com shows that Tron has suffered similar losses to Ethereum and EOS this year, with the TRX token falling from a high of $0.25 USD in January to $0.013 today.
As for hiring, according to its careers page Tron is taking on a modest number of staff in both its Beijing offices and in San Francisco (with 10 and 12 open positions, respectively), but this handful of new jobs will by no means absorb the 150-plus employees who will be let go from ConsenSys—not to mention the wider job losses across the industry.
It wouldn’t be the first time that Sun had mischaracterized something on Twitter. In October, he was strongly criticized after tweeting that Tron was partnering with an industry giant worth tens of billions of dollars. The company in question was Baidu, but the “partnership” only extended to running applications on Baidu’s cloud computing platform, with no meaningful collaboration on blockchain technology.
“Thanks but no thanks, EOS has by far the greatest network of devs/apps … Jumping ship is exactly what has brought this crypto market to a standstill. It’s about building applications that have real world use.”
However, we do know that the team behind at least one dapp has decided to make the switch. BitGuild, a gaming platform initially developed on the Ethereum blockchain, will be migrated onto the Tron network, according to CEO Jared Psigoda.
Psigoda cited Tron’s capability to process more transactions per second (a reported 2000 TPS versus Ethereum’s 15) as a main factor in the migration. For all the talk of new hires and rescue funds, it’s this difference in capacity that could prove to be the carrot that lures new developers into the fold.