TRON is aiming to bring blockchain and file sharing together with their latest venture, Project Atlas, which will blend blockchain technology with BitTorrent’s massive peer-to-peer infrastructure.
TRON acquired BitTorrent in July 2018, along with its 100 million active monthly users. BitTorrent is an established peer-to-peer network with a developed and tested infrastructure, but only time will tell how well the collaboration will work.
It’s an intriguing move, but what does it mean? Peer-to-peer file sharing has always been a popular way of exchanging information and media online, with around 27 million people using it to share or download files every day.
It’s clearly an important space and dates back to the early days of the internet. File sharing advocates are quick to call attention to its value in promoting democracy, openness, and the free exchange of ideas. Its detractors, of course, will point to the misuse of file sharing and torrenting platforms by pirates and criminals.
Still, many projects in the space are committed to making the internet a fairer and more decentralized place, where users can interact directly with one another instead of relying on centralized third parties. In this sense, it has something in common with the world of blockchain.
Project Atlas is an attempt to fuse the two spaces, with the aim of improving how file sharing works.
The aim is to improve the way BitTorrent works by introducing blockchain technology and tokens. BitTorrent already has reward systems in place to encourage users to share files for longer and be responsible members of the community, but TRON hopes to use tokens to further this.
The system will use tokens to reward users who seed files for longer and use faster nodes, as well as those who share more of their bandwidth and storage space. This way, they hope to increase download speeds and make the file sharing experience smoother and more pleasant.
It’s also backward compatible, which means the original BitTorrent software will continue to work while new changes are being made. The team has promised to keep BitTorrent products free, which should be a relief for the software’s user base.
The project could help encourage more responsible usage of torrenting and improve user experience. On the other hand, torrenting has found it hard to shake off its shady reputation, and turning this around could be a challenge.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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