Justin Sun, the 26-year-old founder of the Tron crypto-currency. Photo: Twitter
When self-acclaimed crypto pioneer Justin Sun canceled a charity lunch with Warren Buffet, Chinese media assumed he had been arrested. Photo: Twitter

Never one to shy from a battle, Justin Sun, the founder of Chinese blockchain platform Tron, has confirmed the acquisition of the BitTorrent peer-to-peer file sharing communications protocol, declaring it “the largest decentralized Internet ecosystem in the world.”

“Even today, the BitTorrent protocol retains its status as the world’s largest decentralized protocol, once transmitting 40% of daily Internet traffic. BitTorrent created and shaped the protocol, with 70% of BitTorrent users using the product. The company aims to decentralize the Web by promoting and further developing the BitTorrent protocol,” Sun wrote in a blog post.

But things have not been so smooth for the TRON founder of late. A Twitter user hacked the official account of discontinued TV show @AlmostHumanFOX to impersonate Sun, resulting in tweets reportedly offering crypto-currency giveaways to the account’s almost 19,000 users.

Others, including Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin, have been publicly critical of Sun’s plans. In an April Twitter spat with Sun, Buterin was scathing in his comments on reports from industry insiders who say Tron has plagiarised parts of its whitepaper.

The controversy only increased as Digital Asset Research, which promotes independent, rigorous, credible cryptocurrency research, said Tron’s benefits were “far outweighed by accusations of plagiarism, petty feuds, and technical concerns.”

In a June 19 blog post, Digital Asset Research said “we found several instances of code that was copied verbatim or slightly modified from EthereumJ, still without appropriate reference… While copying code without attribution opens the project up to some legal risks, they pale in comparison to the technical risks that the project faces. EthereumJ is known to be unreliable and has issues like memory leakage. Moreover, the Tron Virtual Machine is a direct copy of the Ethereum Virtual Machine, but with changes that may increase the network’s attack surface.”

However, none of this has stopped Sun, who has never been shy about his links with Alibaba’s Jack Ma, proudly declaring his grand ambitions. “With the integration of BitTorrent,” said Sun, “TRON aims to liberate the Internet from the stranglehold of large corporations, give data rights back to the individual, and reignite the early 21st century vision of a free, transparent, decentralized network to connect the world, because the internet belongs to the people.”

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