BitTorrent is a decentralised peer-to-peer file-sharing platform that makes it possible to share files and data online. You might have used BitTorrent at least once in your life, whether knowingly or unknowingly, as it has been a very popular protocol in the early and middle days of the internet.
By dividing the material into smaller pieces, transferring them through a peer-to-peer network, and then merging them all at the end, BitTorrent invented a novel method for sending massive volumes of data across the internet. The protocol was a huge success because it allowed people to share enormous files like music, movies, and other media in a decentralised manner.
In 2018, Justin Sun, the creator of the Tron Network, purchased it, and a new client with an integrated BitTorrent token(BTT) was released . The Tron blockchain is the platform for the BitTorrent crypto, which is used to provide services in the BTT enabled ecosystem. BitTorrent Speed, BitTorrent File System, and DLive are examples of DApps that are currently powered by the BTT. Furthermore, BitTorrent just launched its new BitTorrent chain with the mainnet while adopting the BTT token as well.
A swarm is the collective term for all peers (including seeds) sharing a torrent. A swarm of eight, for instance, is made up of two seeds and six common peers. This is a holdover from BitTorrent’s precursor, Swarmcast, which was developed by OpenCola. BitTorrent may occasionally show a swarm number that is unrelated to the amount of seeds and peers that are available or connected to a user. For instance, it might display a swarm of 3 for 20 out of 100 linked seeds, and 5 out of 10 connected peers.
Tracker A tracker is a server that maintains track of the swarm’s seeds and peers. Periodically, clients submit information to the tracker, and in return, they receive data on other clients with whom they can connect. The file is not stored on the tracker, and the tracker is not actively involved in the data transit. The only source of information is the client
Leechers User who is downloading the file(s) or we can say a peer or any client who does not possess all of the data.
Seeders User who is uploading file(s) or we can say any peer possessing 100% of the data or a web seed.
The torrent file contains information about all the files it makes downloadable, such as their names, sizes, and checksums for every component (or piece).It also contains the URL of a tracker that manages communication among the peers in the swarm.
Highly efficient- Because of the decentralised nature of P2P, the file you are downloading is not hosted on a central server and therefore, you can rely on other sources to finish the download even if one download source is down. Whereas in regular downloads, If the primary server is unavailable, you won’t be able to complete a routine download. Also, if your system disconnects or shuts down you will not have to restart the download and it can continue from the point you left off.
Due to its capacity to independently validate individual file chunks and consequent resistance to content poisoning, Bittorrent precludes the transfer of tempered or broken files. One of the P2P file-sharing techniques that resists poisoning the best is BitTorrent.
DISADVANTAGES OF BITTORRENT
The file that one wants to download should have a ‘seed’. Without seeds, it will not be possible to download the file.
One can’t really be sure about the contents of the file without downloading it. Sometimes the file name might not match the contents of the file. Though, the comment section helps to get an idea about the contents of the file.
BITTORRENT WHITEPAPER – TOKENOMICS
With a live market cap of $953 million the current CoinMarketCap ranking of BTT is #57. There are 990,000,000,000 BTTOLD coins in circulation.
By developing a system for value storage and exchange, BitTorrent Inc. hopes to significantly increase the pool of potential participants who could act as service requesters, service providers, or both. BTT can be utilised in the future for asset custody systems based on smart contracts and for crowdfunding.
The BTT token distribution is as follows:
Public sales tokens – 6%
Private sales tokens – 2%
Seed sale tokens constitute – 9%
Tron airdrop tokens – 10.1%
BitTorrent protocol airdrop tokens – 10%
BitTorrent Team and the BitTorrent Foundation – 19%
TRON Foundation – 20%
BitTorrent ecosystem – 19.9%
Partnership tokens – 4%
BITTORRENT’S (BTTC PRICE) PERFORMANCE OVER THE YEARS
STIFF COMPETITION FOR BITTORRENT IN THE CRYPTO SPACE
Decentralised storage has grown in popularity in recent years, and various choices are now available. Here are two alternatives to BitTorrent for decentralised data storage that you should think about.
Filecoin It is a P2P network service which works on InterPlanetary File System(IPFS) protocol and is a competitor of BitTorrent File System (BTFS) protocol which uses BTT as its token. CoinMarketCap currently ranks Filecoin 39, with a live market cap of $1,369,643,684 USD. There are 222,838,831 FIL coins in circulation.
Arweave is a blockchain-like peer-to-peer (P2P) storage protocol that makes extra storage capacity available on PCs operating as Arweave clients. The current CoinMarketCap ranking is 89, with a live market cap of $361,702,487 USD. 33,394,701 AR coins are now in circulation, with a maximum supply of 66,000,000 AR coins.
BITTORRENT WHITEPAPER SUMMARY (ROADMAP & VISION)
Traditional file storage systems have numerous drawbacks, including centralised trust, overall control by a single authority or organisation, the capacity for censorship by governments, high cost, lock-in effect, and low fault tolerance. So BitTorrent, after being acquired by Tron, came up with the BitTorrent File System, or BTFS.
BitTorrent File System, or better known as BTFS, is the next generation decentralised file storage system developed for web 3.0 Applications. It offers a highly robust, decentralised, worldwide storage solution. It’s a peer to peer network that allows users to more easily transfer and share files across the world, which underpins the BTT ‘incentivisation’ system.
Following are the key milestones for BitTorrent since it was acquired by Tron:
BitTorrent came with BTFS’ very first version in the early 2020s.
They launched BTFS’ second version in Q4 2021 and during the same quarter, they also launched Node Management Tool and upgraded the decentralised payment system.
In Q1 2022 they came up with a new BTFS website, which was even more user friendly and also improved the stability of gateways and SDK.
By the end of Q2 2022 they are planning to integrate more blockchain systems, launch multi-chain features of BTFS along with a decentralised governance.
One of the earliest decentralised networks on the internet, BitTorrent now boasts more than 100 million members on monthly basis. Now that Tron is in charge of the BitTorrent protocol, it has integrated blockchain technology into the ecosystem to build a self-sustaining economic system that rewards users for sharing and downloading content. Though ambitious, there are doubts as to whether this is really essential, considering the legality of ‘incentivization’ of sharing and downloading the copyrighted content.
Disclaimer: User Generated Content – Original Content created by a member of BITS Pilani, under the consultation of Dr. Amit Dua, Assistant Professor, Computer Science Department, BITS Pilani, Pilani Campus in association with CoinDCX. The views and opinions expressed within this post belong solely to the author. Author: Aditya Choraria, Aman Bansal