By CCN: Earlier this week the Chief Technical Officer of TRON (TRX) announced his departure from the project. Lucien Chen, who had been with TRON since 2017, laid out a three-point explanation of why ‘TRON is no longer TRON’:
But in the days following his announcement, TRON PR sprung into action. According to official TRON representatives, Lucien Chen was actually fired months ago, in January 2019. The reason:
“Suspicion of misappropriation of funds, bribery, competitive infringement, and theft of trade secrets and intellectual property.”
A reported response from @Tronfoundation on the dismissal of CTO Lucien Chen, J. Zhu & X. Xie in Jan 2019 due to suspicion of misappropriation of funds, bribery, competitive infringement, & theft of trade secrets & intellectual property#TRON Reddit link:https://t.co/LeotF31NsS pic.twitter.com/RYMsn2J9rw
— Misha Lederman (@mishalederman) May 11, 2019
But as early as two days ago, Lucien (Zhiqiang) Chen was still listed as the TRON CTO on LinkedIn (now updated). No official announcement was made concerning this apparently huge corporate crime back in January, and TRX developers and investors appear to have been left in the dark this whole time.
Former CTO Sets Fire to TRX On His Way Out
Indeed, the first time Chen’s alleged crimes were mentioned was shortly after he began speaking out against TRON. This has led more than one community member to suspect this amounts to little more than an attempt to divert attention away from Chen’s criticisms of the project - of which there are many.
When Chen announced his departure earlier this week, he called out Justin Sun for diluting TRON’s vision.
I assume this is why $TRX is (especially) dropping like a brick.
— Loma (@LomaCrypto) May 12, 2019
Chen said TRON is nowhere near decentralized; is not capable of running internet applications; and that it has abandoned the ‘spirit of blockchain’. He added:
“The whole project has developed into a monetary tool without any “decentralize the web” spirit.”
Justin Sun has often been accused of lacking technical acumen. Chen, who appears to have been the technical brains behind the project, said:
“The technology platform of TRON was built by me. I certainly know that the real Internet applications cannot function in TRON network at all currently. The TRON ecosystem is still far from commercial applications that users can really apply to.”
Chen said irreconcilable differences between he and Justin Sun forced him to leave, adding that the idea he was sold by Justin Sun in 2017 is not the project which exists today.
Justin Sun Silent for Months on Corporate Crimes?
The only source of the claims against Chen come from this reddit thread in the r/Tronix subreddit. A moderator on the sub, u/pochacod, appears to be the only person in existence to have received any information regarding Chen’s alleged crimes.
The post details the accusations made against the former CTO, including claims of bribery, misappropriation of funds, and theft of trade secrets and intellectual property. It adds that Chen, and others, are under investigation:
“Chen, Zhu, and Xie were dismissed in January, 2019 for violation of corporate policies and the law. Relevant documents and materials have been handed over to the judiciary.”
If the CTO of a major company is fired on suspicion of the crimes mentioned above, surely it would be something developers, speculators and investors would like to know about. Yet, despite the severity of the crimes, no mention of them were made in January when Chen was supposedly fired.
Another Fine Mess for TRON
All of this amounts to yet another crazy chapter in the tragi-comedy that is TRON. It comes in the same week that Justin Sun made the ridiculous claim that he single-handedly saved the crypto market by offering Binance $40 million to cover their hack.
Tron’s Justin Sun Offers to Deposit 7,000 BTC into Hacked Binance https://t.co/auGjKPfn3u
— CCN Markets (@CCNMarkets) May 8, 2019
Speaking on-stage at the TWN2019 conference in Amsterdam, Sun said:
“I definitely know I have a great impact on the community and the cryptocurrency price. When Binance got hacked the other day, the Bitcoin price dropped from $5900 to $5700. Then I posted a tweet in which I said that I would send $40 million in USDT to support Binance. And the price went back up right away.”
At this point, Justin Sun’s word carries very little weight. Conspiracies are flying around on both sides as people try to determine who the real criminal is - Lucien Chen or Justin Sun.
One thing that should be noted is that Chen’s crippling appraisal of TRON came just as he was announcing his new blockchain project - Volume Network (VOL). With this in mind, perhaps his words were chosen to draw as many eyes as possible to his new project, and should not be taken at face value.
Chen did not respond to comment requests by the time this article was written.