Justin Sun, the founder of blockchain-focused startup Tron, has purchased BitTorrent, the owner of the file-sharing client MuTorrent, for $140 million, according to The Hacker News. Tron is a decentralized entertainment and content-sharing platform, and of course BitTorrent was a pioneer in the world of distributed file-sharing, and Sun said he hopes to use BitTorrent’s recognizable brand in the course of building out his own company’s content sharing system.
Tron is hoping to build a platform where users can publish content without ceding any control to a third-party like one would with YouTube or Facebook.
As TechCrunch explains, Tron is a relatively new entry into the world of cryptocurrency.
The company was founded by Sun, who previously worked for rival crypto Ripple, and is one of a handful of ICO products that’s hoping to build a “truly decentralized Internet and its infrastructure.” To do this, the company launched its own cryptocurrency, the TRX.
The coin is supposed to allow payment of creators for hosting content on Tron’s platform (because so many Internet users are used to paying for the content they consume on the Internet).
Though BitTorrent has become irrevocably associated with the file sharing movement, the company has been earning revenue, and hasn’t needed to raise money in a decade. However, it’s plan to build a bigger business on top of its core technology never really took off (though its enterprise services segment was eventually spun off).
Tron is hoping the acquisition will “legitimize” its business after Tron has been accused of ripping off other ICOs, like FileCoin and Ethereum. BitTorrent recently said it has about 170 million users. Its protocols move around roughly 40% of the world’s Internet traffic on a typical day, making it the world’s largest decentralized application – many times larger than bitcoin.