Rainberry, the company previously known as BitTorrent Inc behind and the creator of the popular file-sharing client uTorrent, is set to be acquired by Justin Sun. TechCrunch is reporting that the deal $140 million.
Sun is the founder of a cryptocurrency called TRON; in the TechCrunch story, a shareholder revealed that BitTorrent will in part be used to “legitimize” TRON’s business. But the legitimacy of that statement, since, after the news started swirling, Rainberry released a statement in which it stressed that its existing services will not change, and, more importantly, that the company has no “plans to enable mining of cryptocurrency now or in the future”. It read:
“Our attention has been drawn to the news items that have appeared in the past few weeks speculating about a change in BitTorrent’s business model.
We wish to reiterate that BitTorrent has no plans to change what we do or charge for the services we provide. We have no plans to enable mining of cryptocurrency now or in the future.
BitTorrent has been a pioneer of peer-to-peer file sharing and we believe our vision of democratizing the Web by enabling decentralized, resilient access to information remains as relevant as it was when we started.
We reiterate that we are committed to our hundreds of million users worldwide and will continue to invest and innovate in the BitTorrent and uTorrent products.”
TRON itself has a questionable reputation, but so does Rainberry. The latter was implicated in an investigation that sought to link between uTorrent usage and images of child exploitation less than a month ago.
In addition to the investigation, about a year ago, BitTorrent was involved in a management scandal when BitTorrent inventor and founder lashed out at company employees that he believes nearly destroyed it.
BitTorrent’s past also includes some not so rosy stories. Accel, one of its earlier investors, had decided to step away in 2015, getting rid of the company at a loss.
What’s also interesting is that Torrentfreak spotted that the company has begun hiring new personnel, including a senior iOS Engineer. The article also notes that BitTorrent is working on a new iOS app that will allow users to play videos on their mobile devices.