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Huge deal in the decentralized sphere of rogue internet startups. On the acquiring side we have TRON, the Blockchain startup behind the notable cryptocurrency TRX; and on the acquired side we have BitTorrent, the famous file sharing service. A match made in decentralized heaven indeed.
BitTorrent, which boasts to have over 100 million users, was developed in 2001 and is the operator of the renowned (and notorious) torrent client software, uTorrent. TRON is an ambitious project (by its own definition) that aims to create and promote the vision of a decentralized internet. The two are kind of like Beyoncé and Jay-Z of internet mischiefs.
Justin Sun, TRON founder, was first to announce the nuptials:
I am proud to officially announce that TRON has successfully acquired BitTorrent and all BitTorrent products. From this day on, BitTorrent, whose software has been installed on billions of user devices, will become part of the TRON ecosystem, making TRON the largest decentralized Internet ecosystem in the world.
Usually whenever a large acquisition transpires, alongside the excitement there’s also an intrinsic sense of apprehension, emanating from a concern that the services to which we got used and love will take a turn for the worse. In its official announcement, BitTorrent attempts to ensure that such dire fate will not occur:
With this acquisition, BitTorrent will continue to provide high quality services for over 100M users around the world. We believe that joining the TRON network will further enhance BitTorrent and accelerate our mission of creating an Internet of options, not rules.
Even though neither companies disclosed specific details about the deal, TechCrunch reports that TRON paid about $126 million in cash (!), exhibiting once again that crypto companies not only have the fortitude and mettle to make such bold business moves, but also possess the actual financial means to execute them.
Not long ago, in October 2017, BitTorrent seemed to be in a state of utter disarray – dismissal of its two co-CEOs, layoffs, shutdown of its production studio and cessation of its video streaming services – but since then the company stabilized, managing to retain its humongous user base. Evidently, bringing the company back to a state of relative equilibrium paid off – literally.
According to CoinMarketCap, TRON (TRX) is ranked as the 11th largest cryptocurrency with a market capitalization of around $2.5B (yup, that’s two and a half billion dollars). Looks like crypto investors are quite happy about the acquisition – since the news broke, TRX has jumped by over 6% and is currently trading at about $0.03722.