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.
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.
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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