BitTorrent is a leading Peer-to-Peer (P2P) protocol for distributing and sharing files. It has been the largest decentralized network globally, used by over two billion users worldwide and by tech enterprises like Facebook, Twitter, Linux, and Blizzard. BitTorrent P2P is said to have inspired the design of Bitcoin and the decentralization movement.
Unfortunately, for many people, BitTorrent became a notorious name for its use in online piracy. When it launched in 2001, it was quickly adopted by online pirates, similarly to how Bitcoin was quickly adopted by bad actors on the Internet, mainly because its payments are untraceable.
In 2018, BitTorrent made an intelligent pivot. It made a partnership with TRON, one of the largest Blockchain-based operating systems. TRON acquired BitTorrent and all its related products (including uTorrent) back in 2018.
TRON and BitTorrent partnership.
TRON is a project aiming to build the infrastructure for a truly decentralized Internet. As of 2022, the TRON network is one of the most significant Blockchains and Decentralized Apps (DApp) worldwide.
TRON’s founder Justin Sun (now former), has been focused on providing file storage for developers of decentralization applications (DApps). He saw the opportunity to use TRON with BitTorrent, the most popular P2P file-sharing protocol that works in a decentralized network.
The partnership makes TRON a massive decentralized ecosystem and BitTorrent one of the largest decentralized applications. The BitTorrent network brings to TRON more than 100 million decentralized users through a wide array of client apps, including BitTorrent, uTorrent, BitTorrent Sync, DLive, and more.
BitTorrentX is now referred to as “the world’s biggest distributed network, powered by BTT” .
So, what’s a BitTorrent Token (BTT Token)?
Soon after the BitTorrent acquisition, in early 2019, TRON created and listed BitTorrent Token (BTT) on the Binance exchange.
BTT is a TRC-10 (TRON token standard) utility token based on Blockchain technology. BTT tokenizes BitTorrent and its ecosystem. It powers the popular and new Decentralized Applications (DApps), including BitTorrent Speed, BitTorrent File System, DLive, and BTTC Network,
“BTT will further reinvigorate all BitTorrent products. The BitTorrent ecosystem will bring about more products and attract more users to the world of decentralization. There is no doubt that TRON and BitTorrent will complement one another,” according to Justin Sun, TRON founder and BitTorrent CEO.
As of (March 2022), there are over two billion users, 200 million wallets, and up to 100 million MAU using the BitTorrent X ecosystem. BitTorrent’s native token BTT is currently listed in more than 60 cryptocurrency exchanges. Update! BTT has now been re-listed as BTTC, while the old BTT is OldBTT.
What is the new BTTC (BitTorrent Token Chain) Network? It is a brand new heterogeneous cross-chain interoperability protocol. It uses sidechains (Blockchain networks linked to the main chain via a two-way peg) to scale smart contracts. BTTC aims to solve the native cross-chain problems of TRON’s DeFi, NFT, and DApp. BTTC is being built to support the redenomination plan of BTT on the TRON network. Major exchanges such as Kucoin and Binance will list the new BitTorrent Token as BTTC. The system uses the gateway TronGrid to connect the ecosystem’s components or access the Blockchain-based TRON and BTTC (BitTorrent Chain) Network.
How are the Decentralized Apps benefiting from BTT?
The following are three BitTorrent Decentralized apps that are benefiting from BTT.
1. BitTorrent File System (BTFS).
BitTorrent File System (BTFS): is a scalable and decentralized next-gen File System storage network. BTFS aims to improve security and bypass censorship. BTT introduces tokens into the BTFS ecosystem and is the main incentive for using BTFS. In mid-2021, the BTFS officially launched the NFT Hub, a free distributed storage for Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs.) With the NFT Hub, developers can protect NFT metadata with a BTFS’s content-addressable and decentralized storage. As of Dec 2021, the number of active miners on the BTFS passed 1.5 million, and the number of super miners surpassed 660K with total revenue of 10.5 billion BTTs.
2. BitTorrent Speed.
BitTorrent Speed. A BitTorrent client with improved download speeds and support for BTT. The BitTorrent Speed client is different from the classic BitTorrent and uTorrent clients mainly because it comes with a digital cryptocurrency wallet that lets you manage and visualize your BTT token balance. When you download a torrent file and start seeding it, your BitTorrent client can automatically start earning BTTs. BitTorrent Speed can be used with a Seedbox server to seed torrents on an online VPS while earning BTTs.
DLive. A large Blockchain-based Livestream platform that allows users to create and watch live broadcasts. In 2020, BitTorrent released the DLive protocol, the world’s first decentralized Livestream protocol. In DLive, both broadcasters and viewers can earn rewards (BTTs) on the process. DLive users can also donate BTTs to their favorite streamers. DLive does not take any earnings. DLive also supports BTT staking, which allows users to win rewards by staking their BTT to support the DLive platform. DLive rewards its users with 25% of its donation and subscription revenue.
BitTorrent is still a robust protocol (with or without TRON). It has been and still is a massive decentralized network. Plus, it is perfectly legal and is one of the best ways artists can use it to distribute their content or developers their software to a large population.
The merger with TRON brought more diversity and opportunities into the ecosystem. Incentivizing the torrent community with the BitTorrent token is a great way to grow the ecosystem and encourage ethical sharing.
Diego has worked as an engineer, researcher, and journalist, traveling the globe to research wireless sensor networks in South Korea and aid in the installation of an African country’s first LTE mobile network. For more, check out Diego on Rapidseedbox.