After almost a year of waiting, the Tron Foundation and BitTorrent have released a first version of the blockchain-powered P2P file sharing protocol. BitTorrent Speed is basically the same as the regular protocol, but people who share files can earn BTT. Earned BTT can be spend on increased bandwidth for example, but it’s not the promised land everybody has been waiting for.
Being a big fan of use cases for crypto projects, I applaud the BitTorrent Foundation and the Tron Foundation for the first collaborative release. The software works, but because the BitTorrent P2P software favors those with high bandwidth… there’s not much chance for people with crappy uploads (like me) to earn BTT. But let’s not elaborate too much, and first see how things work.
How does BitTorrent Speed work?
Users can turn off the speed increase, if they don’t want to spend their earned BTT on download speed. The amount of BTT a seeder, that’s someone who shares his files, can earn, depends on a number of factors. Think about available bandwidth and demand for the files that are being shared.
Currently BitTorrent Speed is a pop-up overlay in the Utorrent bittorrent program. This is a bit confusing and it would be great if the who were to be integrated into one interface. But okay, it’s still early in its lifespan.
When you switch on the Speed Increase option, the system starts to download from high profile users who offers lots of bandwidth. The program will show that the user is downloading faster from a certain amount of BTT users. It will also show the speed increase in percentages, in my case adding somewhere between 40~300 percent download speed over a period of time. Yes, the download speed fluctuates a lot.
When you turn on the Speed Increase, your BTT balance will slowly decrease based on the downloads. I have a very crappy upload connection, which means I’m unlikely to add BTT to my balance. In terms of spending, it’s a bit hard to estimate. But I guess it’s about 0.025 BTT for 1MB/sec for approximately five minutes. If the download speed goes up or down (and it will!) and time increases, it because more difficult to set expectations on costs or earnings.
First step towards an entertainment platform
BitTorrent shouldn’t slow it’s network speed down for regular users, and it should definitely use BTT to increase its speed. Let’s assume that’s where we are now, and it’s great. However, the lack of speed guarantee is something that stings. When consumers pay for something, they want reliability. Communication on the speed increase and the implications for consumers needs to be as clear as possible.
On top of that, you can only earn BTT if you offer lots of bandwidth. Which is fine, and it makes sense. However, when you already have lots of bandwidth there’s no real reason to spend BTT on increasing your download speed. Supposedly such an internet user is already on top of the digital food chain.
With the BitTorrent Speed program currently is missing, is a proper way to spend BTT. The Tron Foundation and TRX were started as a blockchain for online entertainment. The next step for them would be to launch a blockchain version of Netflix or Hulu, based on BitTorrent Speed. Power users can host the database and earn BTT, while consuming users spend BTT on renting movies and binge watching television series.
Suddenly BTT would get a real use case, and it would be one that would fit very well within the original philosophy of Tron.
Currently BTT is valued $0.001161. Download BitTorrent Speed here.
Also published on Medium.