What is BitTorrent?


BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer (P2P) platform for data and file sharing that has been in existence for over 20 years. It was first launched in 2001 and quickly gained popularity for its ability to efficiently download and share large files such as entertainment media. The platform’s use of P2P technology revolutionized the way users access and obtain content online.

Key Takeaways

  • BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer file-sharing protocol that allows users to share large files with each other.
  • It works by breaking the file into smaller pieces and distributing them among users, who can then download and reassemble the pieces. This allows for faster download times, as users can download pieces of the file from multiple sources simultaneously.
  • BitTorrent is often used to share large files such as movies, music, and software. However, it can also be used for legitimate file sharing and content distribution, such as the distribution of open-source software.

In 2018, BitTorrent was purchased by the Tron Foundation and rebranded as a decentralized peer-to-peer platform built on the Tron blockchain. The platform introduced new features and introduced a TRC-10 token called BitTorrent (BTTC) to incentivize the network’s users.

How does BitTorrent work?

BitTorrent is a decentralized file-sharing technology that allows users to download large files and data from multiple providers. The software connects users who want to download files to the providers who host them on their computers. The providers split the files into smaller pieces and the requesters receive those pieces from multiple providers, allowing for faster and more efficient downloading.

The integration of BTT into BitTorrent aimed to create a decentralized network by providing incentives to participants and improving the efficiency of file sharing, reducing the load on servers and networks. BTT tokens can be used by requesters as a form of compensation for providers, in exchange for access to local resources such as bandwidth for content delivery or storage for remote backups.


The BitTorrent network uses the Tron blockchain to record all transactions made using BTT, the native token of the BitTorrent ecosystem. When a user requests a file, the transaction is matched with service providers who host the file. These providers then split the file into several pieces and share them with the requester. To facilitate the payments for each piece of the file, a payment channel is created on the Tron blockchain for micropayments to the providers.

After the file sharing process is completed, the micropayments for each provider are consolidated and recorded on the Tron blockchain for permanent record keeping.

Decentralized Applications

The BitTorrent network uses the Tron blockchain to record all BTT transactions and facilitate micropayments for file sharing between requesters and providers. Additionally, it leverages Tron’s smart contract capabilities to create various decentralized applications, such as BitTorrent Speed, which allows users to purchase provider bandwidth to increase download speed, and the BitTorrent File System (BTFS), a decentralized file storage protocol designed to address issues of cost and trust that are present in centralized storage systems.

BTFS is similar to other decentralized cloud storage platforms such as Filecoin, Siacoin and Storj, each of which have their own unique features and capabilities.

BitTorrent Development

Before the rise of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video, there was BitTorrent. The platform was developed in 2001 by Bram Cohen. Unlike other internet protocols at the time, BitTorrent had faster transmission speeds and allowed for the simultaneous downloading of files. Studies from 2005 showed that BitTorrent was the leading P2P platform, accounting for over 70% of internet traffic at the time.

Despite its widespread popularity, BitTorrent faced several challenges, including issues with piracy, privacy, and slow download speeds. Additionally, the company struggled to find a profitable business model to monetize its technology.

In 2018, the Tron Foundation led by Justin Sun, acquired BitTorrent with the goal of decentralizing its services. As a result of the acquisition, Tron introduced the BitTorrent Token (BTT) in 2019, which is a cryptocurrency created to incentivize users of the torrenting network.

BitTorrent FAQ

Who are the creators of Bittorrent?

The BitTorrent software, which was developed by Brad Cohen and David Harrison, was first launched in 2001. Led by Justin Sun, the Tron Foundation acquired the BitTorrent Foundation in 2018. Following the acquisition, the BitTorrent team introduced the BTT token to the public through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in 2019. The ICO raised roughly $7.2 million by issuing 6% of the total BTT supply. The tokens were allocated to various parties including the TRON Foundation, BitTorrent Foundation, airdrops, partnerships, and the BitTorrent ecosystem.

What Can BitTorrent Token (BTT) Be Used For?

BitTorrent Token (BTT) is a utility-enabled token that serves as the native cryptocurrency for the BitTorrent ecosystem. It is used for governance, incentives, rewards, and low-cost transactions on the entire platform. As a unit of currency, BTT ensures precise pricing of services and decentralized trading of computing resources. The BitTorrent network uses a private ledger that is then transferred to the Tron public blockchain to process BTT transactions faster, thus contributing to the health of the entire ecosystem. BTT tokens are designed to incentivize network users to continue seeding even after they have completed downloading, addressing the issue of swarm abandonment that has negatively impacted the network.

How do I earn BitTorrent Token (BTT)?

Step 1: Obtain one of the BitTorrent software options, such as BitTorrent, µTorrent Classic, or µTorrent Web, on your device (e.g. smartphone or PC). Then, navigate to the settings and link your cryptocurrency wallet to the torrent software.

Step 2: Utilize the torrent software as normal to download movies, games, files, etc.

Step 3: Once the torrent file(s) have completed downloading, leave them in the torrent software to begin the seeding process. As you seed more, you will earn more BTT tokens, which will be visible in your linked cryptocurrency wallet.

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