BitTorrent Courted EOS, Filecoin Crypto Creators Before Tron Sale


A number of well-known encrypted startups have set their sights on BitTorrent prior to its acquisition by Tron, Justin Sun.

CoinDesk has learned that in addition to Tron and Neo, the project focused on the governance of the Icon and Protocol Labs blockchain, the Filecoin developers, has also initiated talks with BitTorrent to explore a purchase.

People familiar with the negotiations state that there were two other parts – both in the blockchain space – that were interested in the peer-to-peer file sharing company. Sources did not indicate that companies or people who were not in the blockchain space showed interest.

Justin Sun, the creator of Tron, eventually prevailed in the acquisition of BitTorrent, as Variety reported for the first time in June.

BitTorrent software in many ways has paved the way for today's efforts towards a decentralized Internet, but even in this case the company has historically struggled to create a profitable business. At the end of 2017, the company lost the founder and inventor of its most important technologies, Bram Cohen, who continued to found Chia, hoping to develop a more environmentally friendly encryption process.

According to internal documents obtained by CoinDesk, BitTorrent started the acquisition negotiations when the founder of Tron turned to the main shareholder of BitTorrent, the venture capital company DCM. In particular, Justin Sun contacted David Chao, a BitTorrent board member who controlled most of the company's shares and proposed to purchase preferred shares of DCM in order to obtain a controlling stake.

However, Chao pushed Sun to buy even BitTorrent common stock to ensure that common shareholders were not left empty-handed.

As previously reported by CoinDesk, Sun's most significant rival in the operation was Neo Global Capital, the investment vehicle of NEO, a blockchain project called "China & # 39; s ethereum". Neo Global Capital had launched a $ 50 million higher offering than Sun's, but for various reasons, the deal did not go ahead.

The BitTorrent documents also state that, in addition to Sun, there were a further six parties in the negotiations around the acquisition. Three parties made offers while three others left.

CoinDesk has learned that BitTorrent has also contacted, the creator of the EOS protocol, to check if it was interested in acquiring the company. As previously reported, has raised $ 4 billion through an initial one-year supply of coins (ICO).

Once the comment was reached, CEO Brendan Blumer told CoinDesk in an email: "They contacted us and solicited the organization, but we were not interested".

The charm of BitTorrent

Tron has not yet explained publicly why he acquired BitTorrent, although observers have surmised that Sun saw its 100 million users a month as a value worth having.

However, more information is known about why the other suitors were interested in the acquisition.

Neo Global Capital, for example, told CoinDesk that it thought BitTorrent could develop a decentralized file storage protocol that could be useful for decentralized applications (dapps) within its blockchain ecosystem.

According to people familiar with the issue, Protocol Labs saw the value in the BitTorrent user base, while sources familiar with Icon's negotiations said the project was intrigued by the potential to create BitTorrent software in its blockchain.

Yet neither Protocol Labs nor Icon have made BitTorrent an offer, a result that sources have attributed to concerns related to copyright violations associated with the protocol, monetization and the effective integration of technology, and to the price tag dell & # 39; company.

Based on the CoinDesk survey, it is not clear whether the other parties involved in the negotiations, with the exception of Tron and Neo Global Capital, could be characterized by serious buyers.

BitTorrent and DCM have refused a request for comment from CoinDesk. Tron did not respond to a request for comment.

For Ben Lebeau, responsible for cryptography of Sandwich Video – one of Silicon Valley's most sought-after content production companies – it's not hard to see why BitTorrent was so desirable.

As an important disruptor in online content distribution, BitTorrent's business model and ethos align with that of the cryptocurrency community.

"Peer-to-peer networks have always pushed this idea that the power to share information should be in the hands of the individual," wrote CoinDesk, adding:

"I think it would be hard to find anyone who doubts the impact BitTorrent had on file sharing before decent content delivery networks and other centralized alternatives existed."

He also acknowledged the idea that acquiring the company was a way for Tron to establish a presence in the United States – a theory advanced by other observers.

"On the other hand, it's an exceptionally clever way to migrate more people to the decentralized ecosystem," Lebeau continued, before concluding:

"If Tron can find a way to exploit this network, this could push us closer to creating a real value internet."

Darts on an image of darts via Shutterstock

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