BitTorrent movie and file distributing, ‘seeding’, will be going on the TRON (TRX) blockchain, in what the project says will be the first step in creating a token economy centered around content sharing.
The new software product, known as Project Atlas, is designed to incentivize BitTorrent peers with tokens to dedicate file space and bandwidth to upload and seed files on its platform. Users with less computational power can pay other users with tokens to keep their clients open for longer to seed more content. Tokens can be used to purchase faster download speeds.
A file-sharing site with 100m active monthly users, BitTorrent has long used seeding as a way to distribute content, such as videos and music tracks, across its platform. Although seeding takes place whenever a file is downloaded, it is far more effective when users chose to just seed content. There was formerly no incentive for BitTorrent users to do this; the company’s research team has reportedly already started exploring ways to use blockchain to reimburse seeding content, prior to the TRON acquisition.
TRON’s founder and CEO, Justin Sun, said Project Atlas would help to overhaul how files are shared online and that platform would create an unrestricted peer-to-peer content sharing platform. “Project Atlas is the foundation for a new way of content distribution”, he said. “We aim to eventually empower all content creators and their communities by eliminating the middleman and enabling content creators to distribute directly to users”.
TRON launched in September 2017, originally as a decentralized entertainment network. The project has since expanded its mission, marketing it instead as a dApp platform to rival that of Ethereum (ETH). Sun tweeted on Monday that the TRX network had a better user experience than Ethereum, claiming it was “100x” faster.
It was announced earlier this week that TRON was a supporter of the Blockchain Charity Foundation (BCF), a charity established by the cryptocurrency exchange Binance. BCF uses blockchain to track funds across its supply line, from the initial donation to the end beneficiary. The foundation announced a partnership on Monday with the UN Development Program (UNDP) to use blockchain for the social good.
Tron announced BitTorrent would become part of its platform towards the end of July. The acquisition has not been all that harmonious, with some members of the BitTorrent staff resigning a month into the takeover. It was reported that some members of staff had expressed an intention to resign but couldn’t due to an 18-month lock-in period.
The token economy will improve BitTorrent movie sharing
The film business is a highly lucrative, and centralized, industry. Six big studios control the production and international distribution of all the content that comes out of Hollywood, a film hub that consistently grosses well over $10bn every year.
Blockchain and the movies have quickly become bedfellows. There are projects looking to create decentralized film streaming services, kind of like Netflix-on-chain, as well as using blockchain to create a new funding model. The social entertainment platform, TaTaTu, which reimburses users for watching content raised nearly $600m during its ICO this summer.
BitTorrent started out in 2004, way before blockchain. It relied on centralized servers to create an effective file distribution platform. BitTorrent movie watchers will benefit from a token economic model, because it incentivizes users to share more content, making it more accessible.
The author is invested in ETH, which is mentioned in this article.