🤔 What is BitTorrent ?
BitTorrent is a content distribution protocol for peer-to-peer sharing of files. It allows users to share files in a decentralized manner without the need for a central server.
💡 What role does BTT token play ?
BitTorrent token(BTT) is the incentive layer for BitTorrent protocol. It plays following role in BitTorrent ecosystem:
- Incentive layer: Downloaders can pay BTT tokens to uploaders for faster downloads. This incentivizes uploaders to upload files and keep them available for a longer time. Whereas downloaders get to enjoy higher downloads speeds by paying BTT tokens. This grows the ecosystem.
- Proof of stake: BitTorrent blockchain runs on proof-of-stake consensus protocol. Validators have to stake BTT tokens to participate in the process of adding new blocks to the blockchain.
- Gas fees: Users have to pay BTT tokens as gas fees for including their transactions on the BitTorrent blockchain.
📝 History of BitTorrent
- Programmer Bram Cohen, a University at Buffalo alumnus, designed the protocol in April 2001 and released the first available version on 2 July 2001.
- Up until 2005, the only way to share files was by creating a small text file called a “torrent”, that they would upload to a torrent index site. The first uploader acted as a seed, and downloaders would initially connect as peers. Those who wish to download the file would download the torrent, which their client would use to connect to a tracker which had a list of the IP addresses of other seeds and peers in the swarm.
- In 2005, first Vuze and then the BitTorrent client introduced distributed tracking using distributed hash tables which allowed clients to exchange data on swarms directly without the need for a torrent file.
- In 2006, peer exchange functionality was added allowing clients to add peers based on the data found on connected nodes.
- BitTorrent was acquired by the Tron Foundation, creators of the Tron blockchain, in 2019. The new ownership then introduced BitTorrent token cryptocurrency, BTT.
😌 What problems does it solve ?
- Till now there was no incentive for users to upload files. However, with the introduction of BTT token users can pay BTT tokens to uploaders. This incentivizes uploaders to keep the file available for a longer time thereby growing the ecosystem.
- Downloaders can pay BTT tokens to uploaders to improve their download speeds. This also compensates uploaders for making the file available using their system resources and bandwidth.
- BitTorrent was an opensource project being used by millions of users every day. However, the company did not have any profit model to tap the userbase for generating any profit. BTT token can be used by the team to fund future development of BitTorrent protocol.
- Governments control internet content in most parts of the world. Governments can target individual teams hosting restricted content on a central server, however, it is not possible for the governments to track all Torrent seeders distributing the restricted content.
- Distributing content using peer-to-peer Torrent protocol is a much more efficient way than hosting the content on a central server that can handle only limited amount of traffic.
🤖How does it work ?
The BitTorrent-Chain is a blockchain application platform with an overall structure divided into three layers:
- Root Contracts layer:
- Root contracts on TRON and other blockchain networks will support functions of staking, mapping tokens to BitTorrent-Chain by depositing/withdrawing funds, etc.
- The BitTorrent-chain contracts deployed on chains such as TRON & Ethereum are considered to be the ultimate source of truth, so all verification is done by querying the BitTorrent-chain contracts on chains such as TRON & Ethereum.
- Validator layer:
- Validates BitTorrent-Chain blocks and periodically sends checkpoints to TRON and other supported blockchain networks.
- Bridge: Responsible for listening to events on each chain, sending event messages, etc.
- Core: Consensus module, including verification of Checkpoint (snapshot of BitTorrent-Chain chain state), consensus of Statesync events & Staking events.
- REST-Server: Provides related API services.
- BitTorrent-Chain layer: Runs smart contracts related to BTT tokens.
- The BitTorrent-Chain achieves faster block confirmation time through PoS mechanism in the Validator layer and a block producer-based mechanism in the BitTorrent-Chain layer.
- Also, BitTorrent-Chain uses checkpoints and burning proof
mechanisms to achieve final validation on the main chain. With this mechanism, the BitTorrent-Chain achieves high-speed asset transfers across chains.
- BitTorrent chain runs on proof-of-stake consensus. To become a Validator, one needs to stake BitTorrent Tokens (BTT) in the TRON root contract. The current set number of Validators is 21.
- Each block producer in the BitTorrent-chain layer will receive a percentage of the transaction fees charged for each block.
🏛️ Governance model
BitTorrent token is a centralized project. The team manages and updates the codebase as their liking.
The team does not take any feedback from the community – there is no community forum let alone a voting portal.
🤑 How much money does the project have for future development ?
- The project raised 27.2 million US dollars during initial coin offering.
- 20% of the initial BTT token supply was allocated to BitTorrent team for future developments.
- Other than the initial reserves, BitTorrent team does not generate revenue from any other means.
😨 Risks and challenges
- Unstable foundation: BTT token is built on Tron blockchain which itself seems to be a case of fraud. Read more about Tron blockchain here.
- Track record: Justin Sun(founder of Tron) bought Steemit, blockchain-based blogging and social media website. The community forked the code for Steemit and created Hive. BitTorrent has a large community but it does not guarantee that Tron team can do whatever they feel like.
- Founders have moved on: Original BitTorrent founders(Bram Cohen and Ashwin Navin) have moved on to work on new projects.
- Lacks of documentation: BitTorrent website lacks all the basic documentation that an investor should know before investing in a project like:
- Developer documentation
- Blockchain explorer
- Who are running the nodes
- Team members etc
- Piracy: Torrent is a file-sharing protocol. However, it is mostly used for distributing pirate movies, songs and softwares which is illegal in most countries. BitTorrent team presents a standing target to governments and industry.
BTT token has max supply of 990,000,000,000 BTT, which have been distributed as follows:
- 20 percent went to the TRON Foundation
- 19.9 percent stay with the BitTorrent ecosystem
- 19 percent reside with the BitTorrent team and foundation
- 17 percent were sold in private, public, and seed sales
- 10.1 percent are part of a six-year Tron airdrop program
- 10 percent are part of the BitTorrent airdrop program
- 4 percent are partnership tokens
These tokens will be released as follows:
🧐 Indicators to watch out for
- Daily transactions are growing:
- Number of addresses are growing:
BitTorrent is one of the most used application on the internet. It is estimated that Torrent traffic constitutes about 30% of the overall internet traffic.
BitTorrent token would have been an amazing project if the original team had been working on it.
However, it seems that the BitTorrent token is built on an unstable ground ie Tron blockchain and does not have any credible leadership.
Lack of documentation and intrest from the community makes it an unattractive investment from my point of view.