BitTorrent launches cryptocurrency that users can trade for faster downloads via uTorrent

Pivot to blockchain coincides with former CEO’s departure from parent company Tron six months after the $126m acquisition

A collection of cryptocurrency tokens in their physical manifestations

Peer-to-peer file sharing platform BitTorrent will launch its own cryptocurrency with the aim of creating an economy around networking, bandwidth and storage.

Crypto tokens, dubbed BitTorrent (BTT), will be added to the company's widely-used Windows client uTorrent, and an update will give users the option to earn and trade these tokens for faster download speeds.

The platform's indulgence in blockchain technology follows its acquisition by Tron, a project which aims to establish a decentralised internet, and serves as a prospective rival to similar peer-to-peer ledger-based crypto networks such as Ethereum and Blockchain.

"BitTorrent token is the first in a series of steps to support a decentralised internet," TRON found and BitTorrent CEO Justin Sun wrote in a blog post.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

"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."

The token is in-part being introduced to incentivise 'seeding', the process of users keeping a file on their device once a download is complete so as to make the file available to others in the platform's peer-to-peer nature.

BTT will be available to non-US account holders on launch and can be accessed via the token sale platform Binance Launchpad. It'll also be compatible with Tron's own cryptocurrency, dubbed TRX.

BitTorrent's decisive pivot towards cryptocurrency also coincides with its former CEO Rogelio Choy leaving the company altogether, six months after the $126 million Tron acquisition. He had initially moved to serve as Tron's head of storage business unit following the acquisition.

There are no official reasons for Choy's exit, and Choy himself hasn't publicly commented, but it centres on disagreements about the direction of BitTorrent, according to a source close to the company speaking with Variety.

Detractors, meanwhile, have branded Tron's technology "just garbage", namely cryptocurrency pioneer Jed McCaleb, who left Ripple to focus on another blockchain-based currency, dubbed Stellar.

"90% of these projects are BS," he told Yahoo Finance in an interview. "I'm looking forward to that changing.

"Things like Tron, it's just garbage. But people dump tons of money into it, these things that just do not technically work.

"In a lot of cases it just needs to be some sort of digital payment and you might as well use Stellar or Bitcoin. You don't need a separate type of payment for cannabis."

Bitcoin, meanwhile, recently marked its tenth birthday, but is now valued at under $4,000, a far cry from its position this time last year when it was valued at more than $14,000.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

It's a dramatic fluctuation that underlines just how fallible the cryptocurrency market can be, and how far away society might be from such tokens being stable and prevalent enough to replace legacy currencies.

Featured Resources

The essential guide to cloud-based backup and disaster recovery

Support business continuity by building a holistic emergency plan

Download now

Trends in modern data protection

A comprehensive view of the data protection landscape

Download now

How do vulnerabilities get into software?

90% of security incidents result from exploits against defects in software

Download now

Delivering the future of work - now

The CIO’s guide to building the unified digital workspace for today’s hybrid and multi-cloud strategies.

Download now
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/cloud/microsoft-azure/354230/microsoft-not-amazon-is-going-to-win-the-cloud-wars
Microsoft Azure

Microsoft, not Amazon, is going to win the cloud wars

30 Nov 2019
Visit/cloud/amazon-web-services-aws/354223/what-to-expect-from-aws-reinvent-2019
Amazon Web Services (AWS)

What to expect from AWS Re:Invent 2019

29 Nov 2019
Visit/hardware/354232/raspberry-pi-4-owners-complain-of-broken-wi-fi-when-using-hdmi
Hardware

Raspberry Pi 4 owners complain of broken Wi-Fi when using HDMI

29 Nov 2019
Visit/mobile/google-android/354189/samsung-galaxy-a90-5g-review-simply-the-best-value-5g-phone
Google Android

Samsung Galaxy A90 5G review: Simply the best value 5G phone

22 Nov 2019