Bittorrent (BTT): Peer-to-Peer File Sharing with a Blockchain Update

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3 min readOct 1, 2021


BitTorrent, one of the most widely used peer-to-peer file-sharing platforms, has been decentralized and integrated with the Tron blockchain.


BitTorrent, despite not being founded on the blockchain, has long been a pioneer in decentralized technology due to its peer-to-peer architecture. While the original BitTorrent web browser is still extensively used, the Tron blockchain-based BitTorrent Speed iteration uses the BTT Token to encourage a swarm environment of file seeding. BitTorrent’s ecosystem presently has over 2 billion users and 200 million BTT wallets.


The Evolution of BitTorrent Token

BitTorrent is a well-known peer-to-peer file-sharing technology that allows users to freely share data and huge files such as movies, applications, and audio files across the internet. Despite not being built on blockchain, BitTorrent has long been a pioneer in decentralized technology due to its peer-to-peer architecture. BitTorrent Inc. was founded in 2004 to oversee the protocol’s continuous development, and Justin Sun, the inventor of Tron, bought it in 2018. Tron’s blockchain has several technical similarities to Ethereum, including the capacity to host decentralized apps (dApps).

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Following the acquisition, BitTorrent Inc. released a new BitTorrent client that included the BitTorrent Token (BTT), a cryptocurrency that runs on the Tron network as a TRC-10 token. Previously, BitTorrent was mostly used to distribute unlicensed software and video; however, the blockchain-enabled BitTorrent now includes licensed works and verified transactions. The BitTorrent ecosystem now has over 2 billion users and 200 million BTT wallets, and both the original BitTorrent web browser and the blockchain-based BitTorrent Speed iteration are widely available.

How Does BitTorrent Work?

The majority of files downloaded from the internet come from a single server. BitTorrent provides an alternative. Instead of downloading a file from a single source, the protocol allows you to get bits of it from several users on the internet who have the same file on their computers at the same time. The file being downloaded is referred to as a “torrent,” and the act of uploading and sharing the parts of the file is referred to as “seeding.” The group of peers who provide the file is referred to as a “swarm,” and the download speed rises as the number of peers in the swarm increases.

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BitTorrent Speed and BTT Token

Despite the fact that the original BitTorrent protocol was widely used, users had no motivation to stay connected to the swarm after downloading a file and seeding it to other users. BitTorrent Inc. attempted to address this by launching BitTorrent Speed, a new version of the BitTorrent protocol that use a native BTT token to encourage users to continue seeding files after they have been downloaded.

Users on BitTorrent Speed are classified as “service requesters,” who exchange BitTorrent Token for other users’ files, or “service providers,” who continue to seed files in exchange for BTT. Service requesters submit automated bids to service providers, indicating how much BTT they are willing to pay for a specific file segment. The service requester deposits the agreed-upon amount of BTT into escrow in a payment channel on a private blockchain ledger when their offer is accepted. The monies are sent to the service provider once the component of the file has been transferred. After that, the transaction is logged on the Tron blockchain.

BitTorrent incentivizes swarm longevity by allowing users to receive BTT for continuing to seed files, resulting in faster download speeds for users and more readily available content. While Bittorrent was an early adopter of peer-to-peer networks and a forerunner of the impending blockchain revolution, it has received a makeover, with Tron-based blockchain implementations bolstering its decentralized credentials. While BitTorrent users can continue to use the company’s web-based client for torrent-based downloads throughout the filesharing ecosystem, the BitTorrent Speed upgrade is a more robust option with built-in incentivization.

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Other BTT Token Use Cases

Beyond the established file-sharing protocol, BitTorrent Inc. envisions a number of BitTorrent-related and BTT-enabled applications. The BitTorrent File System (BTFS) is a decentralized file storage system based on Ethereum that is a fork of the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS). BTFS aims to provide a decentralized, censorship-proof, cost-effective alternative to centralized cloud storage, similar to existing decentralized storage systems. BTT tokens can be used to buy network storage, and BTT can be used to buy goods from online retailers using CoinGate and CoinPayments.



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