Monetizing file sharing: the risk BitTorrent Speed customers are looking for profit

Bought in 2018 by the founder of the TRON platform Justin Sun BitTorrent on July 9 released a new version of the client uTorrent – BitTorrent Speed. BitTorrent is the most famous P2P protocol for free file sharing, which was launched in 2001 by well-known developer Bram Cohen. The idea of ​​the update is that those who want to speed up the download of the file are paid to the “siders” (from the English “Seeder” – users who own the full version of the distributed files) in BTT tokens. The latter, in turn, receive financial motivation to distribute content longer, which increases their throughput.

Sun announced the release of BTT in early 2019. Tokens have been bargaining for dozens of cryptobirds for more than half a year. They can be exchanged for other cryptocurrencies, and then withdrawn in Fiat. Thus, the fact that users of torrents have been doing for free for years now can generate income. New BitTorrent Speed ​​users are waiting for welcome tokens in the amount of 10 BTT. Justin Sun and BitTorrent Vice President Justin Noll, a day before the release, explained that AMA (Ask Me Anything) was online, a “gift” is needed to give the initial load for the service.

BitTorrent Speed ​​at this stage is available only to Windows users, since the majority of torrent clients use this particular operating system. Subsequent releases will extend the reach to Mac and Linux. You can download BitTorrent from the official landing page or via the corresponding button on the platform website.

During AMA, Sun stressed that BitTorrent will not only change the company’s working principle, but will also make a great contribution to the development of the crypto community: “I believe that BitTorrent Speed ​​is not only about speeding, but also about the future ability to convert and exchange cryptocurrency for users from around the world. This is important not only for current customers of the company, but also for the entire blockchain industry. By launching the product, we will introduce the concept of cryptocurrency including to the “beginners”, thus increasing the crypto-community as a whole. ”
Speed ​​above all

As San told AMA, in order to use BTT, users must create a wallet to hold tokens. It can be replenished in two ways:

Transfer money from your personal crypto wallet or account on the exchange;

Distribute content while being a “sider.”

True, San made a reservation that at the first stage, the focus is still maintained at an increased download speed. At the same time, Justin Noll noted that now, when the pool of ecosystem users is small, the balance of “siders” from distribution will not change much. But the increased speed can be observed now. You can earn money only by distributing files for quite a long time. However, the balance of BTT with accelerated loading does not change for the first users in the lower direction yet. Noll also stressed that more attention will be paid to the mechanics of encouraging active users in future versions: “Earnings will depend on the following factors: the relevance of the file and how many sids are already available for distribution. It’s easier to make money if there are fewer seeds on the file and there is a lot of demand. ”

Now finding those torrents who want to get a lot of users is a problem for siders. In the future, BitTorrent developers are proposing to introduce a search function for torrents with a high number of requests. Thus, the “siders” will help to find the most profitable content.

According to the first results of anonymous tests, when you turn on the mode of increased speed, its rate was 219.2% higher than usual. But it is too early to draw any conclusions, since it is still not clear how exactly the instantaneous speed that was stated earlier will be ensured. After all, with a stable number of “peers” (from the English. “Peer” – file sharing participant, downloading or distributing the file on the tracker) and “seeders” it will be possible only to the detriment of other transfers (for non-paid users): if someone comes , others should decrease.

BitTorrent wallet for growth

During the direct power-up, San stated that the team is now working on the storage function of other cryptocurrencies in the BitTorrent Speed ​​wallet. “This is scheduled for the next release. We will make the wallet convenient for use and will satisfy as many user requirements as possible. Leaving the main focus on speed and using BTT as a tool, we will support TRX and other cryptocurrencies, ”San added.

The head of the company has repeatedly stressed that the first version involves many more further additions and developments. “We are giving a test for a crypto community, TRON-enthusiasts and regular BitTorrent users to get a very valuable feedback for us, so that they let us know what is missing in the service. At the initial stage, we expect thousands of downloads from the current landing page, then installation as an update to uTorrent, so that the product will ultimately be available to our entire audience – about a hundred million active users, ”Vice President Noll confirmed Sana.


How to spend BTT in BitTorrent Speed

As in the classic version of uTorrent, “peers” can both receive and distribute content. Applications are sent via the new BitTorrent protocol as a message to each “peer” having at least one piece of content requested by the applicant. The message contains the amount of the BTT applicant that he is willing to pay. Next, the applicant creates a deposit with tokens on the balance sheet for the recipient.

In the future, it will be possible to control costs, set limits and distribute tokens between certain torrents. But the first release provides only a simplified auto-request mechanism. Now the client rate is automatically calculated according to the following formula:

Consumption × Balance balance ÷ Balance for download in kilobytes = Customer rate

As the download rate changes. At this stage, you can create a new offer only after the previous rate changes by more than 10%. In the future, the customer will be able to see what the cost of the increased capacity he wishes to buy.


Anonymity of users is not guaranteed.

Live listeners also asked questions about the preservation of anonymity when introducing a reward system. Sun assured that the platform, as before, will not collect customer names and personal data. Neither the assets nor the user account is not controlled by the administration of the service.

However, Noll added that BitTorrent protocol was initially not completely anonymous in the sense that “swarm” (the Swarm is a collection of all peers participating in the distribution) can identify the client’s IP address: “The only change to the update is an additional connection with another a peer to send him payment in BTT, which was not in the BitTorrent protocol.

This activity is not synchronized with any e-mail or other personal information, by which you can somehow identify the user. The connection passes through the public key and becomes the subject of guarantees of anonymity of the blockchain, all activities are registered under pseudonyms, ”explained the company’s vice-president.

According to him, this is a verifiable register, and if you publish your public key, other users will be able to see the entire transaction history, apply for BTT transfer via the TRON blockchain, and transfer the account ID to a third party. At the same time, BitTorrent Speed ​​will use a centralized register that will write data and periodically transfer it to the TRON blockchain.

So while decentralization is rather conditional, it is impossible to ensure one hundred percent anonymity when introducing a BitTorrent Speed ​​wallet. Clients of P2P networks are unlikely to be happy to share their financial activities with the world, given that BitTorrent reveals transaction history (including payment for illegally downloaded content).

It is also worth bearing in mind that those transactions that are not in the public domain are successfully recorded in the centralized register mentioned above. There, if necessary, can make a request to the government. In addition, when transferring cryptocurrency from BitTorrent to a wallet with a KYC mechanism or to a bank card, the state will be able to track shadow transactions with client content.

With a strong desire, regulators could have reached the pirates before, although the P2P network makes the task very difficult. Now, when the distribution of illegal content is paid for, BitTorrent acquires the status of a black online market. When it is behind a centralized company that records all transactions, government intervention is very likely.

A service with a 120-million audience and occupying 4% of daily traffic on the entire Internet has every chance to attract hundreds of thousands of new members of the crypto market. This is one of the largest examples of the transition to the blockchain of a successfully existing mass product. The future success of BitTorrent Speed ​​depends largely on whether developers can solve the problems of anonymity of users and ensure the safe circulation of BTT tokens for them.

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