BitTorrent, an Internet technology company based in San Francisco, has been bought by a blockchain-focused startup Tron headed by Justin Sun for $140 million.
BitTorrent Inc. is a pioneer of peer-to-peer file sharing.The company designs distributed technologies that scale efficiently, keep intelligence at the edge, and keep creators and consumers in control of their content and data. More than 170 million people use its products every month. BitTorrent protocols move as much as 40% of the world’s Internet traffic on a daily basis.
Tron (TRX) is a blockchain-based decentralized protocol that aims to construct a worldwide free content entertainment system with the blockchain and distributed storage technology. The protocol allows each user to freely publish, store and own data, and in the decentralized autonomous form, decides the distribution, subscription and push of contents and enables content creators by releasing, circulating and dealing with digital assets, thus forming a decentralized content entertainment ecosystem.
Tron CEO Justin Sun first started talking to BitTorrent in September of last year, and signed a letter of intent to acquire it in January. The deal was briefly held up as BitTorrent started negotiating with other bidders, which led to Sun filing for a temporary restraining order, arguing that BitTorrent agreed to not pursue any other offers.
Nevertheless, Sun ultimately dropped its lawsuit, and registered a company called Rainberry Acquisition Inc. At the beginning of last year, BitTorrent had renamed its corporate entity to Rainberry Inc.
Last week, Sun’s Rainberry Acquisition changed status with the California Secretary of State due to a merger. Rainberry Inc., BitTorrent owner, also filed for a merger that day, strongly suggesting that the two companies had merged.
Acquiring BitTorrent, Sun informed the BitTorrent staff about the deal last week. Financial details about the acquisition weren’t immediately available, but Sun does have enough pocket change to pick up BitTorrent and its assets. The total market cap of his TRX cryptocurrency is currently around $3.102 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. Yesterday TRX price hiked by 20% in 24 hours, today the increase has made up 3% by the moment of writing.
Neither Tron nor BitTorrent representatives were very forthcoming about what Tron’s exact plans for the future of BitTorrent’s technology. Probably, Tron’s mission is the creation of a decentralised internet computing platform aimed at entertainment using blockchain technology. The company’s also wants to go beyond just the entertainment sector and hopes to become a real-life Pied Piper and creating a truly decentralised internet.
According to BitTorrent blog, BitTorrent has no plans to change what they do or charge for the services they provide. The company has no plans to enable mining of cryptocurrency now or in the future. The message also reads:
“BitTorrent has been a pioneer of peer-to-peer file sharing and we believe our vision of democratizing the Web by enabling decentralized, resilient access to information remains as relevant as it was when we started.”
Anyway, the BitTorrent acquisition does make a lot of sense. Lots of questions are still remaining, but they are expected to be brought to light soon.