TRON is one of the most ballyhooed and belittled cryptocurrencies in the market today. Since its meteoric rise into the top 20 last year, TRON’s leadership has been at turns sensational and sloppy. Nowhere will you find a more ambitious media company (or a more rabid bunch of fans), but many crypto folks have called into question the legitimacy of the project. Is TRON all hype? Could it be…gasp…a scam?
Despite this sort of derision, TRON is looking ever more legitimate. As of July 23, 2018, the company has officially acquired BitTorrent, the world’s leading peer-to-peer onion file sharing network. BitTorrent has over 100 million users, across various services and platforms. As a torrent service, the network has operated in something of a grey market. BitTorrent is useful for many legitimate purposes, but countless terabytes of pirated Game of Thrones episodes have also been distributed this way.
While controversial, this latter function speaks to the utility of the BitTorrent network. BitTorrent is a killer app. People use it. For better or worse, it’s a model of what a decentralized content network can be.
With the acquisition, BitTorrent moves to TRON’s San Francisco headquarters. According to BitTorrent, “We believe that joining the TRON network will further enhance BitTorrent and accelerate our mission of creating an Internet of options, not rules.”
The TRON mainnet launched nearly a month ago. It did so alongside the much publicized EOS launch, to which it lost a fair amount of attention. Nonetheless, TRON appears to be making moves to position itself alongside decentralized blockchain networks like Ethereum (and EOS), not to mention conventional networks like Youtube.
Only time will tell if TRON can make good on its big promises. The BitTorrent acquisition, though, may represent TRON’s true introduction into the modern media landscape.
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This writer is not invested in TRON, but does watch it with some interest.