Category Archives: BitTorrent

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Tron Reportedly Claims Stake in BitTorrent Inventor Project

Recent reports have revealed that the recent acquisition of BitTorrent by Tron has gone a step further with news of Tron getting a stake in the BitTorrent’s ex-owner’s latest cryptocurrency project, the Chia Network.

Latest information

Bram Cohen, BitTorrent’s inventor, was reported to have officially stepped away from the company in mid-August and has continued to pursue his own cryptocurrency project named Chia. However, it appears as though Tron is still interested in Cohen’s works.

The Chia project dates back to 2017; Cohen had already left BitTorrent to work on it though he had remained a board member.

Information obtained by CoinDesk indicates that Tron’s Justin Sun has also acquired a stake in the Chia Network, although this information has not been publicly disclosed by either company.

The acquisition deal between BitTorrent and Tron apparently also included a “full release” of some of its intellectual property (IP) with the right for Tron to invest USD 50,000 in Chia under a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE).

With regards to what IP had been exchanged and what exactly this implies, a Chia Network spokesperson told CoinDesk, “There has been no license or assignment of rights from BitTorrent to Bram [Cohen] or Chia. All software and related intellectual property rights used internally or distributed by Chia was either developed by Chia employees or contractors, licensed from third parties or was available in the public domain. Chia has committed to open source.”

Prior to this, the merger documents show that at the time of acquisition, Cohen owned 31% of BitTorrent’s common stock; holders received USD 29,343,986 of the USD $199 million sale.

Internal affairs

In June, Tron acquired the peer-to-peer sharing platform for an undisclosed amount. Later on in July, Justin Sun wrote positive sentiments in the official announcement from BitTorrent, describing BitTorrent as the embodiment of Tron’s digital strategy and touting it as the “genesis of the decentralized movement”.

A month later, reports emerged describing something of a walkout on the part of existing BitTorrent staff members. Sources at BitTorrent described a situation in which some of the staff, including upper-level management, had been leaving the company. Other senior members of staff are bound to an 18-month lock-in period contract.

It was speculated that Cohen’s departure had created a concern amongst employees who did not see eye-to-eye with the future direction Tron wishes to take BitTorrent, as well as the plans to expand the team by almost double.

 

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More Staff Exits Follow BitTorrent Inventor’s Departure After TRON Acquisition

Staff departures appear to be picking up at the world’s largest peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing network BitTorrent after a publicized takeover in July by blockchain company TRON.

BitTorrent was acquired for USD 140 million by TRON, a blockchain-based entertainment content sharing platform that also utilizes P2P network technology.

Inventor’s quiet departure

In late July, a BitTorrent blog post announced the TRON acquisition. The coupling appeared to be a match made in heaven, especially according to TRON founder Justin Sun who at the time wrote a letter to the community, giving high praise to BitTorrent as being the “genesis of the decentralization movement”.

He added, “The BitTorrent acquisition embodies TRON’s “All-In Decentralization” strategy. TRON and BitTorrent share the same vision for a decentralized Web.”

In under a month, internal affairs that appear to be related to the acquisition are causing quite a stir. On 19 August 19, TorrentFreak exchanged emails with BitTorrent inventor Bram Cohen, who confirmed he had stepped away from TRON and BitTorrent.

His resignation had come in a quiet fashion, causing speculation of whether or not Cohen had been forced out, or for another matter that all parties concerned would rather not announce.

Domino effect?

Following this, recent headlines have reported further developments since Cohen’s exit and according to “multiple sources”, at least five employees have left the company. According to the source, those who left were positioned in management positions and were key players in their departments.

Reportedly, three employees quit outright and two were fired. The source indicated that the departures were in relation to the acquisition as well as the future plans for BitTorrent under TRON’s leadership.

Additionally, the source speculated that there could be more leaving if there wasn’t an 18-month lock-in period contracted for the senior management team. Accordingly, the chief executive officer, chief product officer, chief revenue officer and the chief financial officer can’t quit their roles until the end of their contracts.

Looking at BitTorrent’s company profile on LinkedIn, there are 35 positions open which indicate that TRON is expanding the approximately 49-strong staff at BitTorrent. Jobs posted include a number of senior titles such as Senior Director of Product Management and Senior Software Engineer, as well as many other software and marketing roles.

Sources claim that employees “fear” the expansion will cause a shift in the companies existing working culture; furthermore, these sources also cite TRON’s “marketing techniques and messaging” as other concerning factors.

A TRON representative told CoinDesk, “Tron is committed to the BitTorrent product and user community. We have been growing rapidly since the acquisition, as one family, to meet our vision for a decentralized future.”

 

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TRON Founder Buys BitTorrent for Undisclosed Sum

The founder of the TRON cryptocurrency, Justin Sun, has acquired the peer-to-peer file sharing platform BitTorrent for an unknown amount of money.

TRON aims to build a decentralized entertainment ecosystem where content creators can freely publish, store, and sell their content while directly interacting with consumers via issuing and trading digital assets. The peer-to-peer file sharing protocol of BitTorrent would naturally fit into TRON’s goals since BitTorrent’s protocol can make the storage and distribution of entertainment content far more efficient.

The timing of the BitTorrent acquisition is quite interesting since the launch of TRON’s native blockchain and platform is on 24 June 2018, less than two weeks from now. The deal has been in the works since September 2017, however, and Justin Sun signed a letter of intent to purchase BitTorrent in January 2018. There was a no-shop clause on the letter of intent, which means BitTorrent was not allowed to look for higher bidders, but BitTorrent violated this clause and a legal battle ensued. The lawsuit was recently dropped to make way for the acquisition.

TRON (TRX) is the 10th most valuable cryptocurrency with a market cap of USD 2.9 billion and daily volume in excess of USD 100 million. The TRON Foundation controls USD 1.65 billion worth of TRX. It is unknown whether Justin Sun used TRX from the foundation’s funds for the BitTorrent acquisition. An official announcement is expected soon which should clarify this.

BitTorrent was one of the most popular torrenting sites on the internet in the past, with tens of millions of active users that consumed over 3% of global bandwidth, more than half of the 6% of global bandwidth allotted for file sharing. BitTorrent has declined in popularity since then and lost most of its user base.

The acquisition might save BitTorrent, which has now been renamed as Rainberry. The file-sharing technology behind BitTorrent is still efficient and useful regardless of the company’s struggles and could be put to good use if integrated into the TRON platform.

 

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