BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer file sharing network that has grown wildly in the past 15 years, boasting billions of downloads across the world in its lifetime. Its broad, worldwide network will soon implement a tokenized economy creating incentives and a market for bandwidth usage and seeding files.
The amended protocol is being developed by the Tron Foundation as a part of its Project Atlas, which aims to create a fully decentralized internet using the Tron blockchain.
Tron has been one of the most resilient altcoins during the current bear market which began just over one year ago. Whereas many altcoins saw losses of 95 percent and above, Tron suffered a lesser 88 percent drop from its all-time high and is ranked eighth with a market cap of $232 million at the time of writing.
In July of 2018, Tron acquired BitTorrent for its enormous network made up of users in nearly every country on Earth. At the beginning of last week, Tron launched its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) for the BitTorrent token (BTT) on Binance. Nearly 60 billion BTT had been sold in just 15 minutes, netting the team a cool $7.1 million.
The Torrent Economy
Torrenting has been a staple of the internet for the better part of the past two decades, evolving away from the malware-ridden p2p software like Napster, Kazaa, and Limewire which proceeded it. The success of torrenting was no fluke either. Huge improvements to users’ security and anonymity grew along with the technology, making it relatively safe to access these torrents for anyone with basic knowledge.
Torrent services have been somewhat disrupted, however, in the past few years with companies that offer subscription-based streaming services to access television, movies, and music at home or on the go. The success of companies like Netflix and Spotify clearly prove that people are willing to pay a premium for these services in return for a simple, hassle-free experience.
Paying for Extra Steps
Purchasing BTT, however, is anything but hassle-free. This goes double for those unfamiliar with the concept of cryptocurrency or who have zero knowledge of how to purchase, transact, and secure their funds. This is a similar reason for sluggish adoption of cryptocurrency in any mainstream form.
This Tweet from @zeuszissou details the steps a new user would need to go through to purchase BTT to use on the BitTorrent client, given that the individual does not already own any cryptocurrency:
I can click a free magnet link
1. Buy BTC
2. Register Binance account
4. Transfer $BTC to Binance
5. Wait for confirmations
6. Purchase $BTT tokens
7. Read a $BTT tutorial
8. Transfer $BTT to Bittorrent client and pay for saving time on my download#GG $BTT
— Zissou™ (@ZeusZissou) February 1, 2019
Even regular users of cryptocurrency who understand that the steps to purchasing BTT are quite simple and straightforward, also understand how time-consuming of a process it can be. For a first-time buyer, it is a process that could take one week or more waiting for KYC verifications and confirmation of funds. This could hardly be considered a reasonable procedure to endure in exchange for a higher priority download speed or token incentives before a value is even settled.Cryptocurrency amateurs are going to find it hard to choose to spend a week buying BTT over continuing to torrent the same as they always had. Click To Tweet
While it is possible that Tron’s protocol could optimize the BitTorrent network in a new way, the market for BTT in its current state is still largely speculative. A more precise value should be expected further down the line when the BTT tokens are actually becoming used within the BitTorrent economy and their utility can be judged.
Do you think Tron’s new BitTorrent economy will be welcomed by its preexisting users? Would you recommend any tweaks or changes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter.