After Justin Sun’s TRON (TRX) acquired BitTorrent last year, the company has been pursuing new expansion possibilities — with the most recently announced being a revamped version of BitTorrent Live, a previously shuttered application. The company is accepting beta tester applications, starting yesterday.
BitTorrent Live was originally conceived as a television service (think something along the lines of Sling), but this new iteration is designed as a social media application. The goal, according to the company, is to create something competitive with Bytedance’s TikTok or SnapChat.
The rebirth of BitTorrent Live shouldn’t come as a surprise, given Sun’s experience in both social chat programs and decentralization. His Peiwo chat app boasts more than one million daily users and his leadership over TRON links him with decentralized experts — and BitTorrent Live fits nicely into both those categories.
The new design will allow users to connect over the peer-to-peer (P2P) ledger using the recently-launched native BitTorrent token (BTT). While many features will be free, transactions can be processed directly between users through token ownership. Using decentralization, the app will allow users to forego traditional third-party intermediaries, saving time and money. A spokesperson told VentureBeat:
When you’re decentralized, you’re connecting consumers to consumers, businesses to consumers. That’s the vision we have for BitTorrent Live.
Ups and Downs
Whether BitTorrent Live garners success will depend on many factors and the company will be working against a number of problems. For starters, there are already some decentralized chat and video platforms seeking to garner users. Even with Sun’s existing user base, migration to BitTorrent Live may be slow.
Furthermore, TRON has already tried its hand at encrypted messaging with its now-defunct Bleep. Begun in 2015, the company covertly ended the app in 2017. TRON has had other failures as well, such as a shuttered Chromium-based web browser.
Testers Welcome, Hopes Kindled
The company has already created the portal and has begun offering beta tester applications, starting yesterday. These applications will be processed through Q2 of this year and the company hopes to take the app public before the end of 2019.
In spite of the bearish cryptocurrency market, recent trends toward the positive are becoming a cause for hope. Bitcoin’s relative stability north of $4,000 and an overall positive mood about the viability of blockchain technologies are leading the charge. With Sun at the reigns, TRON’s vision for decentralized applications continues to expand. Nevertheless, as with all business models — especially in the nascent cryptocurrency space — the path to success may be steeper than anticipated.
Do you think BitTorrent Live will become a viable part of the BitTorrent ecosystem or is it just another app destined for failure? Let us know in the comments below!