The man who invented BitTorrent wants nothing to do with Tronix

Bram Cohen has apparently permanently parted company with the BitTorrent in the wake of its buyout by the creator of the Tronix cryptocurrency, Justin Sun, and is working on his own.

The purchase of peer-to-peer filesharing’s own version of Hoover, BitTorrent, by the creator of Tronix was big news a few weeks back. Since then, more details have emerged regarding Justin Sun’s plans to integrate his two major business concerns.

Apparently, though, the man behind BitTorrent will not be involved.

According to TorrentFreak, Bram Cohen – who created the BitTorrent Protocol in 2001 – will play no part in the company’s next chapter. Instead, the site states, Cohen is working on his own “groundbreaking” environmentally friendly crypto, which goes by the name of Chia. It’s self-stated aim is “to make a cryptocurrency that is less wasteful, more decentralized, and more secure.”

Bram Cohen By Ijon (CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0), from Wikimedia Commons

Cohen first revealed the code behind the controversial Torrent filesharing method back in 2001, only to see it become one of the main drivers of internet traffic and a cause célèbre in the entertainment industry through the early years of the new millennium and beyond. He parlayed that infamy, and respect for his obvious talents and vision as a coder, into the company BitTorrent Inc. from 2004 onwards.

That was an attempt to take his idea overground and court legitimate use cases for BitTorrent as a means of digital distribution. It raised extensive VC funding, and seemed to have massive potential, but ultimately faltered – despite his extensive and innovative work on a live-streaming system using the protocol.

Cast as a person more interested in tech than profit, Cohen appears to have become already disillusioned with BitTorrent under its previous management structures, and – when approached by TorrentFreak – gave what appear to be curt answers on his role under Sun’s leadership.

Having discovered his @bittorrent email address to be inactive, TorrentFreak reached out via another channel and were told simply told “I have no involvement with Tron,” by Cohen. When asked to confirm that this meant he was no longer involved in BitTorrent Inc., he went no further than to say “That is correct.”

He then, apparently, had no further comment.

While Tronix, like all altcoins, has struggled in terms of their value during 2018, Sun’s expansion of its ecosystem has continued unabated – with his purchase of BitTorrent something of a big move towards creating a decentralised incarnation of the internet.

He recently told Forbes that “Now that TRON is well established as a major public chain, we are looking beyond just incentivizing content and more toward building a healthy ecosystem…Essentially, we are working to achieve our dream of ‘decentralizing the web'”.

The major driver of this appears to be a platform for developers Sun is calling Project Atlas. In the same interview, he described it as “a major step toward a fairer Internet.”

“The project,” he went on to say, “is in collaboration with BitTorrent, and will extend the lifespan of their torrents’ swarms, offer rewards to peers who seed torrents [presumably using Tronix], infuse resources into the torrent ecosystem, and establish financial rewards in return. The project will transform the way people share and consume content, helping to re-shape the industry for the better.”

Main Image: Pixabay