Today BitTorrent announced the launch of a new cryptocurrency token to be released through Binance’s Launchpad platform—but the news may be soured by the fact that former CEO and longtime executive Rogelio Choy has stepped down from the company within the past few days, as reported by Variety.
The entertainment magazine quotes a source close to the company suggesting that Choy, a longtime BitTorrent executive and CEO from 2017 until BitTorrent’s acquisition in July 2018, had disagreed with Tron founder and current CEO Justin Sun about the direction of the company.
Tron acquired BitTorrent for $126 million in July, and since the acquisition, has steered the peer-to-peer file-sharing company towards blockchain.
The BitTorrent token (BTT) is part of this move, and is supposed to strengthen the torrent ecosystem by incentivizing users to share files and use faster internet connections.
The BitTorrent protocol, developed by Bram Cohen, was crucial to the golden era of file-sharing in the 2000s, at one point accounting for one third of all internet traffic.
Adding financial incentives to what was previously a free and open source protocol did not sit well with some of the BitTorrent staff, however, and a handful of employees left the company not long after the initial acquisition by Tron.
Until his recent departure, Rogelio Choy had remained at the company as Head of Storage Business Unit at Tron, and at time of publication his Twitter bio still listed him as “CEO @ BitTorrent.” A tweet from earlier today praises BitTorrent and Tron for the launch of BTT.
But a VentureBeat article on the BitTorrent token attributes a statement from Justin Sun as being from the CEO of BitTorrent, with no mention of Choy. Additionally, Mr Choy’s LinkedIn profile lists him as President and COO of Eaze—a cannabis marketplace—with the previous role at Tron ending in December 2018.
Neither BitTorrent nor Tron appears to have issued an official statement on Choy’s departure so far. BREAKER reached out to both companies via email, but had not heard a response by time of press.
The article will be updated with any future response.