Tron Foundation declines to comment on coronavirus relief funding report

The Tron Foundation has declined to comment on a report circulating in Chinese media that it has received stimulus funding from the U.S. government.

Tron representative Ryan Dennis told The Block: "We are a private company and this being a financial matter, we are unable to comment. I am happy to share, however, that our first priority is to always follow laws/rules/regulations of the governing bodies wherein we build our worldwide community."

A news report from Jinse Finance dated May 5 and citing "foreign media reports" states that Tron received "17 million yuan" (worth roughly $2.4 million) and that a second batch is pending. It's not clear at this time from where those "foreign media reports" were sourced. Additionally, a circulating link to a Tron social media account also includes text about the supposed funding.

The CARES Act, signed into law in late March, included hundreds of billions of dollars in relief funds to affected U.S. businesses. The bill, worth $2.2 trillion, was the largest piece of stimulus legislation in modern American history.

Given the non-denial from Tron, it's possible that the U.S. business entity that maintains the Tron office in San Francisco could have successfully applied for coronavirus relief. Tron also owns BitTorrent, another U.S.-based company, as well as Steemit, Inc., the latter of which is based in New York.

The program has attracted steep criticism since its roll-out, however. Small businesses have said that they were unable to tap the program at its inception due to a flood of requests, and reports have strongly indicated that larger businesses with banking connections were able to obtain access more quickly. A second tranche of payroll protection funding was approved last month. 

Reporting by Yogita Khatri