Sources working at file-sharing company BitTorrent have said that there has been negative turn in the working environment since Tron took over, with five people having either resigned or been sacked, according to CoinDesk.
No longer relaxed
Justin Sun, the creator of the Tron blockchain platform, purchased BitTorrent in June, following a ten-month negotiation process. The news was officially announced in July. As part of the terms of the acquisition, the BitTorrent office moved to Tron’s premises in San Francisco.
Sources at BitTorrent told CoinDesk that the atmosphere at the company is no longer as relaxed as it once was. Two employees have been fired, and three have resigned. Two of the departed employees were in senior management, and the sources suggest that other members of management would like to leave but cannot due to 18-month contracts.
Notably, one of the departures is Bram Cohen, the man who created BitTorrent back in 2004. Cohen told TorrentFreak, a blog that reports news about BitTorrent, that he no longer has an official role at the company, adding: “I have no involvement with Tron.”
Step inside the computer world
Tron is a blockchain platform that intends to compete with Ethereum. It was created on the Ethereum blockchain by a Chinese national called Justin Sun, raised $70 million in its ICO, and began migrating to its own network in May. Tron’s cryptocurrency, TRX, has a market cap of $1.3 billion, according to coinmarketcap.com, nowhere near Ethereum’s $28.5 billion, but Sun told Forbes recently that the network already has over 200,000 active accounts.
According to TorrentFreak, Sun has intimated that he intends to improve the BitTorrent file-sharing process by financially rewarding users that ‘seed’, which means leaving downloaded files open so that others can download it too.
Said Sun: “By integrating the TRON network into Bittorrent, we aim to improve on the currently existing altruism. At this point, there are no incentives for peers who have completed downloading to continue to seed. We intend to extend rewards to peers who seed torrents, infusing more resources into the torrent ecosystem.”
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The benefit for Tron is clear – BitTorrent claims approximately 100 million users. The former appears to be aggressively expanding the latter’s operations – BitTorrent’s LinkedIn page shows no fewer than 29 new job ads, including two for senior recruiters.
Issues with Tron
TorrentFreak suggests that Cohen left because he was unhappy with the change in ownership.
Tron has its controversies. There were allegations that its white paper was plagiarised, and worries about centralisation because of its use of elected delegates to govern the system. Among those standing for the as-yet-uncompleted elections are Justin Sun and BitTorrent themselves.
Our team just got elected as one of the 27 #TRON Super Representatives! We are looking forward to playing our role in the network stability and reliability. Thanks for your support! @tronfoundation @justinsuntron $TRX pic.twitter.com/2v9qLubR7y
— BitTorrent Inc. (@BitTorrent) August 14, 2018
On a more positive note, TRX was recently accepted for trading on Bitbox, the exchange operated by Line, which is the company behind Japan’s most popular messaging application. Tron is giving away 9 million TRX to users of that exchange as a promotion.