BitTorrent is a decentralized file-sharing operation that pre-dates the “Web 3.0” term and the creation of Bitcoin. Over time, it has evolved into one of the most used decentralized applications, was acquired by Tron, and it even issued its own cryptocurrency BTT which today stands among the top 50 most popular currencies.
Let’s dive right in to find out what makes BitTorrent so special and what the future holds in store for one of the original Web 3.0 applications.
The story of BitTorrent
BitTorrent was founded in 2001 by Bram Cohen, a prominent American software engineer. The company operates a decentralized peer-to-peer protocol which allows millions of users to upload and download files directly between each other. While there are many torrent file sharing applications available, BitTorrent is the world’s largest in terms of number of users, quality of service, and total size of all files stored.
In 2018, founder of the Tron Foundation Justin Sun bought BitTorrent for $127 million. A move considered by many analysts as a lucrative venture, garnering substantial hype around the acquisition and Tron itself. Shortly after in 2019, Tron held an ICO for the newly minted BTT token raising $7.2 million in a few minutes.
Like many other altcoins that flooded the market during the ICO craze, BTT rose sharply in value within weeks of its release. From $0.000429 the coin gained 334% reaching its all-time-high at $0.001861 in May 2019, only to reach its all-time-low a year later at $0.000139.
However, trading is not the only way to get BTT in your wallet. You can earn it by participating in the BitTorrent network.
How BitTorrent works and the role of BTT
BitTorrent works by breaking up files people upload into several fragments, storing those fragments across several nodes in the network, and re-assembling the file on the computer of the person that downloads the file.
Using BitTorrent, there are two roles a user can have: seeds and peers. A seed is someone that shares the full copy of a file, and a peer is the one receiving the file requested in bits and pieces. Every user who downloads a file automatically becomes a part of the ecosystem and turns into a seed.
The introduction of BTT as a native cryptocurrency did not change the underlying mechanics of how the system works, but it did generate a layer of crypto economics. BTT is based on the TRC-10 protocol which works with the Blockchain protocol. Seed users that make files available for downloading are rewarded with BTT tokens. This doesn’t require any expensive hardware which means anyone can join the network, become a seed, and start earning BTT.
The future for BitTorrent
The BitTorrent project does not have a formal roadmap, but the team occasionally informs the public about their plans through social media or other alternative channels.
The plans for near-future include the completion of BTT integration and BitTorrent integration launch, as well as achieving 99.99% uptime in the whole BTFS network, establishing user retention analysis, launching BTFS Host WebUI, integrated into BitTorrent and uTorrent clients, and setting up automated testing for all BTFS components.
Perhaps more exciting for BTT traders, there are rumors going around that BitTorrent will cooperate with Netflix, Amazon, and possibly Spotify in 2021. If it happens, the BTT token is bound to rise back up the charts.