Blockchain startup Tron has acquired one of leading torrent based company BitTorrent for $140 M .Tron is a blockchain startup which aims to build decentralized infrastructure for internet.
Tron is led by Justin Sun who was previously involved in Ripple, one of the popular blokchain projects which is a real-time gross settlement system, currency exchange and remittance network.
Tron is building its own cryptocurrency known as TRX which will be used to pay the content creators on it’s network and currently has market cap of $4.6 billion. Buying BitTorrent will give certain amount of legitimacy to Tron which is compared to other filesharing blockchain players such as Filecoin .
There was some legal tussle involved between Justin Sun and BitTorrent for this acquisition to materialise. Justin Sun had initiated acquisition talks with BitTorrent in September last year which was followed by a letter of intent signed between the two parties in January 2018. But then BitTorrent initiated talks with other bidders for which Sun moved to court to sue BitTorrent with a temporary restraining order. Eventually Sun dismissed the lawsuit and both the parties went ahead with the acquisition.
BitTorrent has total of more than 170 million users across its network of products and torrent clients including its main client and Torrent Now which is focused on video, music and creative content. Torrent company claims its products and services moves as much as 40% of internet’s traffic on a usual day.
BitTorrent was started in 2004 by Bram Cohen and Ashwin Navin to commercialise peer-to-peer networking technology as a way to share and store files and built a business around decentralised computing architecture to distribute and store data. BitTorrent popularised the use of decentralised network architectures using all the machines in a network as nodes which is opposite to the server-based architectures that dominate the tech world currently.
BitTorrent was marred with controversy as Torrents are responsible for illegal content distribution and often lie in the grey areas of copyright law. Company built a range of products on the p2p tech and also spun off it’s enterprise product suite as part of separate company called Resilio to grow the market ecosystem.