What is BitTorrent? (BTT)
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BitTorrent captured the hearts of many music and movie enthusiasts in the early 2000s when it launched software that facilitated file sharing over a peer-to-peer network.
Rather than downloading or uploading files to a single server, users joined a network of computers running a software enabling them to exchange files and data with each other.
But in the years since, BitTorrent struggled to monetize its massively popular service. To that end, BitTorrent was acquired by the Tron Foundation, creators of the Tron blockchain, in 2019. The new ownership then introduced a BitTorrent token cryptocurrency, BTT, to help expand its protocol and incentivize the network’s participants.
With BTT token, the BitTorrent team hopes to add incentives to torrenting and solve issues such as slow download speed and the diminishing availability of files over time.
As such, BTT coin is bought and spent by those who request files or wish to increase their download speed, while providers have to receive and sell BTT in order to be compensated for sharing the files on their systems.
For more regular updates from the BitTorrent team, you can check out the BitTorrent blog, which includes new features and milestones related to the network and its applications.
Who created BitTorrent?
BitTorrent was initially released in 2001 by developers Brad Cohen and David Harrison. The Tron Foundation, helmed by Justin Sun, acquired the BitTorrent Foundation in 2018.
Following the acquisition, BTT token was introduced publicly by the BitTorrent team in 2019 through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). The sale issued 6 percent of the total BTT supply for the equivalent of roughly $7.2 million.
In addition to the token sale, BitTorrent has allocated tokens to the TRON Foundation, BitTorrent Foundation, airdrops, partnerships and the BitTorrent ecosystem.
How does BitTorrent Token work?
At its core, BitTorrent is a software that connects parties accessing its network to compute file sharing requests. Transactions begin when a user asks for files from the providers who host the files on their computer.
Providers who host a file split them into several pieces. If requesters wish to download said file, they receive pieces of the same file from multiple providers.
The expansion of BitTorrent with BTT was intended to make it a more distributed network, compensating providers while increasing the efficiency of sharing large files to reduce server and network impact.
A requester can also offer BTT tokens to a provider in exchange for local resources, such as bandwidth to receive content or storage for remote backup.
While BitTorrent’s file transactions are facilitated by its software, the network relies on the Tron blockchain to maintain a record of all BTT transactions.
Once a bid is matched between a requester and service providers, a payment channel is created on Tron to facilitate the micropayments needed per provider, based on the piece of the file they have shared.
After the service is finalized, these micropayments are subsequently bundled up, settled and logged on the Tron blockchain.
The BitTorrent network also leverages Tron’s suite of smart contracts to create a variety of decentralized applications (dapps) meant to enhance its services.
Chief among them is BitTorrent Speed, a dapp that offers requesters the ability for requesters to purchase provider bandwidth using BTT in order to increase download speed.
Another popular dapp is the BitTorrent File System (BTFS), a file storage protocol meant to address issues of cost and trust inherent in centralized storage systems. BTFS works similarly to other decentralized cloud storage platforms like Filecoin, Siacoin and Storj, each of which has varying technical capabilities.
Why does BTT have value?
The BTT cryptocurrency serves as the cryptocurrency needed to access features on the network, with its goal to be the central feature for its ecosystem.
For example, it is the only form of payment that can be spent by requesters when they enter into agreements with providers.
Additionally, by buying and spending BTT, requesters also gain the ability to purchase priority access to file downloads, as well as computational services to increase the speed of a download.
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Why use BTT?
Users may find BitTorrent appealing due to its ability to share files in a free and efficient way.
BitTorrent may also be enticing to developers seeking to launch new file sharing applications that would benefit from an established user base.
Investors may also seek to add BTT to their portfolio should they believe the market will one day prefer peer-to-peer networks where participants can more easily access and monetize unused resources.