Many Employees Bid Farewell to BitTorrent as Justin Sun’s Tron Acquisition Underway
BitTorrent was recently acquired by Tron’s founder, Justin Sun. While this step for the peer-to-peer network could mean progress for the company, it seems that there are many employees that would like to let the new man in charge go on without them.
Sun has quite a resume, with his most popular claim to fame being his founding of Tron, which was in 2017. The goal of the company was to eliminate centralization in the market, and he managed to help generate $70 million in their ICO the same year. Eventually, when China banned ICOs from their part of the world, Sun chose to return the funds that were collected from investors within the country.
There are multiple sources that have spoken about the acquisition, and that have direct knowledge of the concerns that surrounded it. After learning the behind-the-scenes plans for where the Tron founder plans to take the company, there were three employees that quit, based on those details. Subsequently, two others were dismissed from the company. Of the five people that left, there were at least two individuals that held positions of leadership, which were specifically a general manager and the head of marketing.
It does not seem like many other employees even have the option to leave at all. Senior-level workers, which include the chief executive, the chief financial officer, the chief product officer, and chief revenue officer, presently have an 18-month contract that requires them to remain involved. Still, the fast growth of the 49-person company is one of the main causes of concern.
All of these drastic changes came after the BitTorrent purchase, which was referred to as the Rainberry Acquisition and cost Sun $120 million. Rainberry Acquisition itself is a company of Sun as well, who also formerly represented Ripple for a while. Even though the acquisition is still new, the company is now hiring 30 new positions, which includes everyone from software engineers to recruiters. Based on how Sun has run his company in the past, the workers worry that their laid-back ambiance at the company will soon be a thing of the past.
One of the other issues that sources have said is concerning is the way that Sun has marketed Tron in the past, along with their messaging system. The employees seem to be openly against the way that Tron holds node elections on the blockchain, with are controlled by different entities. With Tron, there are 27 elected nodes, and multiple entities control them.
There are some observers that believe that Sun’s ultimate goal is to leverage the user network, which boasts an impressive 100 million users monthly, which he may use for his own projects. Other theorists believe that his acquisition was to add more credibility to Tron, since it has not had much steady ground in its history. The issue that these individuals are probably referring to has to do with the accusation that Tron was plagiarizing their popular protocol and also their entire whitepaper.
The acquisition for Sun was announced around the same time that his $1 billion blockchain was launched, though the technology is not quite operational. In an email to CoinDesk, a representative at Tron said:
“Tron is committed to the BitTorrent product and user community. We have been growing rapidly since the acquisition, as one family, to meet our vision for a decentralized future.”
This is far from the first time that the turnover rate for BitTorrent has been tested. In 2008, the company let go 12 different employees at the failure of the online media store, while a 2015 reorganization let to a cut of 40 more people. Time will tell how this new venture and acquisition will direct BitTorrent in the future.