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Review on BitTorrent by Jerry Siegel

BitTorrent Complete Overview

BitTorrent is a torrent client designed to speed up downloading files on the Internet. BitTorrent was acquired by the TRON Foundation in 2018. After that, BitTorrent announced the release of an extended version of the protocol and introduced the release of BTT token.

It's worth noting that other crypto projects tried to acquire BitTorrent, including NEO. They offered $170M, but TRON eventually secured the deal for themselves.

Token economics:

BTT is a token on the TRON blockchain (TRC10). Designed primarily to motivate seeders to stay online and distribute files longer in order to maintain high download speed (BitTorrent Speed). BTT will also be integrated as a native token into the BTFS ecosystem. Other use-cases of the token in the BitTorrent ecosystem are also possible.

Interesting IEO Facts:

1) Hardcap of $7.2M was raised in 15 minutes (not counting $20M raised on private-sale).

2) Public IEO price per token was $0.00012. Individual cap was $20,000 (in BNB & TRX).

3) After the IEO, TRON announced a series of airdrops that will last until 2025. All TRX holders will periodically receive free BTT.

Amount of tokens sold during IEO: 9% of total supply

Amount of tokens allocated for airdrop: 10% of total supply

Main Features:

One of the main features is, of course, BitTorrent Speed. It is designed to increase the download speed of the torrents (seeders will be paid in BTT for staying online and sharing files, thus creating incentive for them to improve the download speed of the torrents). This feature is intended to naturally increase the adoption of BTT token. It is already up and running, application is downloadable through their official website.

Second main feature is BitTorrent File System (BTFS). This is very interesting feature, which is inspiring a high hopes for it's success. Currently all files are stored in a centralized manner, allowing it to be cerncored by authorities or shut down entirely from the centralized servers. BTFS is addressing this problem, allowing everyone to the storage system that will use the disk space of users, thus removing to single point of failure for all data on the internet.

Team and Community:

BitTorrent is a famous brand that everyone of us already know, everyone has heard of torrents. Given the prior popularity of BitTorrent, they already have a fairly significant following on social media. At the of the review, they have more than 95K+ followers on Twitter, and about 620K likes on Facebook.

The TRON community is one of the largest communities in the blockchain industry, thanks to the marketing efforts of their CEO Justin Sun. Going forward, the entire BitTorrent community can potentially become the TRON community thanks to the airdrop program. But, it's important to note, that natural acceptance of the idea with BTT tokens is still underway with BitTorrent non-crypto community.

In the future, TRON will use the BitTorrent protocol to integrate into their ecosystem: increasing the speed of dapps and decentralizing the Internet. They want to transfer the entire Internet to users' computers (more in the TRON review) which is quite an ambitious idea.

Criticism of the project:

1) Most of the criticism is related to the choice of the TRON blockchain. The former BitTorrent executive resigned after Tron acquired BitTorrent, claiming that Tron's blockchain is nothing more than "a marketing machine on top of a very thin layer of technology." He also said that the TRX blockchain would not even come close to handling the transaction volume required for BitTorrent current data exchange rate.

2) There were also rumors in the community that the early success of the BTT token price wasn't backed by anything fundamental (speculated pump and dump). Some members of the community are skeptical that the BTT token has any real value, arguing that BitTorrent users won't pay for faster downloads.

My overall impression:

In general, there are mixed feelings, no one guarantees acceptance of BTT tokens by torrent users. But I agree that the wild BTT hype could start right the broad acceptance of the BTFS. The real demand for tokens may appear only in a few years. For now I prefer to stay realistic and rationally acknowledge the option of the absence of real (not speculative) demand for BTT.

You need to understand that TRON acquisition is a before and after situation for BitTorrent. Some people think that this will be the end for BitTorrent as we know it. Right now people are sharing files completely for free, without any tokens. Now the situation will change dramatically: seeders can simply refuse to distribute files for free.

There's this system allows potential problems with users' privacy. Seeders can opt out of using tokens because they have to sacrifice their anonymity.

However, I admit that BTT is now a very promising token. In the first couple of years, BTT will have a powerful speculative value. But we should not forget that the real, unadulterated demand for BTT may never come, people can just continue to download for free. Therefore, no one promises 100% success, and will see how the situation develops.

Pros & cons

  • Faster download speed following the update of the torrent client with the adoption of a motivation system: seeders earn BTT for staying online longer and sharing files. The result is increased download speed + more torrents. BTT will be stored in an embedded on-chain / off-chain wallet and can be exchanged for TRON tokens (TRX)
  • Decentralized file storage: BitTorrent protocol will be used as a file storage, where users can pay for additional decentralized storage or get paid for offering disk space
  • Increased adoption of cryptocurrencies. According to the TRON CEO, the entire “blockchain population” today is around 10M+ users. If the idea with the BTT token will be accepted by all torrent users, then the entire BitTorrent audience (over 100M +) will begin to learn more about cryptocurrencies and will actively use them, which will increase the adoption of cryptocurrencies
  • Transactions of TRC10 tokens can be traced back to a specific computer, and even an embedded VPN won't help here. Seeders can opt out of using tokens simply because they have to sacrifice their anonymity
  • Generally all content shared on torrents is pirated in one way or another. So seeders will get paid for pirated files distribution? Seems to me that the authorities may soon start looking at this very closely
  • The risk of vanishing of free seeders right after the broad acceptance of the BTT tokens. Seeders can simply refuse to distribute files for free (this is subject to the acceptance of BTT by torrent users)