Currently, the 13th-largest digital currency TRON (TRX) is aiming to unite file sharing and blockchain via its new Project Atlas initiative. The first phase of the new TRON venture will see peer-to-peer file sharing platform BitTorrent connected to the TRON blockchain. The company aims to increase the speed of the BitTorrent protocol by incentivizing users to seed files for longer periods of time as well as dedicate more bandwidth and storage.
Justin Sun, founder and CEO of TRON, has acquired BitTorrent for $120 million earlier this year. The file-sharing software has been around since the early days of the Internet and, according to the official press release, still boasts over 100 million active monthly users. Late last month BitTorrent revealed they would reward seeders with cryptocurrency.
Historically, file sharing on BitTorrent has been free. Seeders (content providers) had no incentive besides their good will to share files and leechers (content consumers) were not motivated to keep sharing once they became seeders after downloading the files. This means that seeders had no incentive to supply the bandwidth and storage, necessary to ensure the swarm survival.
The situation is about to change though, as via Project Atlas seeders will be able to earn tokens for their bandwidth and storage. In turn, leechers will be able to spend tokens to incentivize users with faster networks to seed torrents for longer, ensuring quicker download speed.
According to Mr. Sun, “Project Atlas is the foundation for a new way of content distribution. To start, the product will feature faster downloads, more seeds, no mining, and backward compatibility. It is adapted to the world we live in today: mobile, connected, and transparent. We aim to eventually empower all content creators and their communities by eliminating the middleman and enabling content creators to distribute directly to users.“
Backward compatibility means that users will not need new clients or extensions to continue seeding or leeching. The company plans to begin the BitTorrent overhaul from its desktop application and move to the mobile app further down the road. TRON stated that BitTorrent products will stay free to the relief of its user base, majority of which is reluctant to pay for content. Participating in the tokenized BitTorrent economy will remain optional.
Hopefully, Project Atlas can remedy the shady reputation of torrents at least to some degree. Blockchain and peer-to-peer file sharing looks to be a very suitable match, as both technologies are decentralized platforms, do not relying on a central authority to provide a service.
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