Blockchain startup TRON acquires BitTorrent

BitTorrent and TRON logos

BitTorrent Inc says that it has been acquired by TRON, a blockchain startup, to create "the world's largest decentralized ecosystem".

There have been rumors about the acquisition for a few weeks now, but the news has now been confirmed. TRON is thought to have paid $126 million in cash for company, and the two teams will merge and pool their talent resources.

TRON shares BitTorrent's vision of a decentralized web, saying that the file sharing giant's pioneering technology "is the foundation of an open, transparent, shared Internet protocol". The acquisition means that TRON now owns the BitTorrent company as well as all of its products, and by adding this to its existing portfolio, TRON says that it is now "the largest decentralized Internet ecosystem in the world".

In a message posted on its website, BitTorrent says:

We are excited to announce that TRON has officially closed its acquisition of BitTorrent. BitTorrent has more than 100 million active users worldwide, and has one of the top-rated apps on Google Play and other products, including BitTorrent Play (iOS), uTorrent Web, and desktop clients for PC and Mac.

BitTorrent will continue operating from TRON's new San Francisco location, which is now the center of operations for the company's global market expansion. The division will provide robust support for TRON's global business development and partnerships, while pursuing its vision for the world’s largest decentralized ecosystem.

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.

TRON says that its purchase of BitTorrent is a democratizing move:

With the integration of BitTorrent, TRON aims to liberate the Internet from the stranglehold of large corporations, give data rights back to the individual, and reignite the early 21st century vision of a free, transparent, decentralized network to connect the world, because the internet belongs to the people.

When rumors of the acquisition were circulating last month, BitTorrent went out its way to say that it had no plans to change the way it works, to introduce charges, or to start mining for cryptocurrency as some people have suggested.

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