This means that uTorrent and BitTorrent mainline, two of the most used torrent clients, now have a strong foothold in the crypto world.
Thus far not much has changed, but BitTorrent and TRON have already made it clear that they plan to use cryptocurrency to complement the BitTorrent protocol. In the near future, torrent users will be financially rewarded for seeding. At the same time, they can pay to speed up transfers.
Today, BitTorrent Inc. CEO and TRON founder Justin Sun announced that the payments for faster downloads will happen through a new token called BitTorrent (BTT).
The token, which has native TRC-10 compatibility, will be issued by the BitTorrent Foundation and is exclusively available through Binance Launchpad, a token sale platform for cryptocurrency startups.
“BitTorrent token is the first in a series of steps to support a decentralized internet,” Sun commented on the news.
“In one giant leap, the BitTorrent client can introduce blockchain to hundreds of millions of users around the world and empower a new generation of content creators with the tools to distribute their content directly to others on the web.”
Whether torrent users will be eager to queue up for the token sale is doubtful. There’s no working product yet and even the TRON acquisition itself is not being discussed in the uTorrent forums.
Most interest for the BTT token will likely come from speculative investors. How much money the foundation expects to raise is unclear to us.
According to BitTorrent, BTT tokens will “enable users to exchange tokens to improve network speed.” This is part of “Project Atlas” which also promises financial rewards for users who share a lot of bandwidth.
As reported earlier, Project Atlas will be open for other clients to use and will be backwards compatible. This means that it can handle all existing torrents and talk to clients that choose not to implement it.
The ‘currency’ feature will first be implemented in the uTorrent client for Windows. This will be entirely optional, so users who prefer not to take part can disable it in their client.
While BitTorrent already functions very well, TRON hopes to make it even faster with the cryptocurrency extensions. Ideally, the rewards should also ensure that files are seeded for a longer period, which increases overall availability.
Whether this will actually work in practice has yet to be seen. BitTorrent CEO Justin Sun previously told us that the first features of Project Atlas will be available early this year.
Update: People from the United States and various other countries are not allowed to participate in the token sale, as stated here. This is a regulatory issue.
“We are working with the exchanges to ensure regulatory compliance. We will update as appropriate if more jurisdictions become available,” the BitTorrent team informs us.