BitTorrent Inventor No Longer Involved Following Tron Acquisition

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BitTorrent inventor Bram Cohen has called it quits at the project he started nearly two decades ago following its acquisition by Justin Sun, creator of the Tron cryptocurrency.

Industry publication TorrentFreak reports that Cohen, who created the peer-to-peer BitTorrent protocol in 2001 and founded BitTorrent Inc. in 2004, has cut ties with the project.

“I have no involvement with Tron,” he told the publication.

Cohen had already stepped aside from BitTorrent’s day-to-day operations last year to focus on a new project, TechCrunch reported at the time, though he told the publication he was still on the company’s board of directors.

Now, though, Cohen has confirmed that he no longer has an official role at BitTorrent Inc., which was acquired by the Sun-owned Rainberry Acquisition Inc. in July for $120 million.

That’s not necessarily because he is opposed to cryptocurrency, however. Though on record as a bitcoin skeptic, the project Cohen is currently working on is an “eco-friendly” cryptocurrency called Chia Network. When he announced the project last year, he said that it would be fully-launched by the end of 2018, though it’s not clear whether that timetable is still intact.

Cohen isn’t the only member of the BitTorrent team to head for the exits following the acquisition, despite the fact that Tron wants to ramp up hiring at the company.

According to an official company Twitter post, five employees have “left the team to pursue other paths like further education or new opportunities” since the acquisition.

However, citing multiple sources, CoinDesk reports that those departures have been less than amicable and that many other current employees are fearful of the changes that Sun will bring to BitTorrent and uncomfortable being associated with Tron, which is quite controversial within cryptocurrency circles. The report also suggested that senior-level employees could leave the firm following the expiration of 18-month lock-in agreements that are written into their contracts.

Update 8/22: A Tron/BitTorrent representative told CCN that Cohen left the project “way before” the acquisition.

Featured Image from Shutterstock

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Josiah is an assistant editor at CCN. A former ancient and medieval literature teacher, he has been reporting on cryptocurrency since 2014. He lives in rural North Carolina with his wife and children. He holds investment positions in bitcoin and other large-cap cryptocurrencies. Follow him on Twitter @Y3llowb1ackbird or email him directly at josiah.wilmoth(at)ccn.com.