BitTorrent announced this Thursday that the company is going to be launching its own cryptocurrency. The new BitTorrent Token (BTT) looks set to be used as some sort of reward for users of the peer-to-peer network.
Many of us will remember BitTorrent from our younger days when we definitely, never, ever used it to download films, TV shows, music, and pieces of software. And though you may not have used it for some time, Tron, the company which owns BitTorrent, estimates that its system has 100 million users.
Those of you who never used BitTorrent to download music, may also not remember the fact that you could switch off sharing once you had finished downloading a file. For example, I may download (or ‘leech’) a file using BitTorrent. Once I’ve done that, other users can then download the file from me (‘seeding’) over the peer-to-peer network. But, as many people don’t like the idea of others downloading stuff from them, many people simply switch off sharing.
A new BitTorrent
The new token may help to resolve this problem and help improve the efficiency of the BitTorrent network. Users who share their files for download could receive tokens which could, one presumes, be exchanged for something else, whether it be goods, cryptocurrency, or fiat currency.
“In one giant leap,” said company CEO Justin Sun, “we 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.”
Thursday’s announcement comes just six months after BitTorrent was acquired by the founders of the cryptocurrency Tron. In September, shortly after that deal was completed, Tron announced plans, which it called “Project Atlas,” to create “a content sharing ecosystem” that would see it integrating with BitTorrent.
BTT may be the fulfilment of those plans although, as FortuneZ reported at the time, Tron did say that it would be using its own cryptocurrency to facilitate the creation of that ecosystem.
Nonetheless, it’s exciting times in the world of peer-to-peer file sharing. Maybe we’ll see a LimeWire cryptocurrency sometime in 2019. Now that would be cool.