BitTorrent’s adoption of blockchain technology was met with great controversy in early 2019. This was just a year after it was acquired by Justin Sun for a reported sum of $140 million.
The mixed reaction among crypto enthusiasts and investors resulted from a series of accusations levied against Justin Sun. They say he manipulated the cryptocurrency to make himself richer.
BTT’s initial developers got their own share of the blame. Many noticed a similarity between BTT’s whitepaper and that of other cryptocurrencies (Ethereum).
Well, the story has changed for the better, following a 2500% increase in the price of BTT by mid-April 2021.
A Pioneer in Decentralization Technology
However, BitTorrent’s story did not start in 2018. Many internet users, including a large chunk of cryptocurrency enthusiasts, have been familiar with the P2P file-sharing network BitTorrent since 2004.
BitTorrent, Inc. (now Rainberry, Inc.) was officially launched in September 2004, by Bram Cohen and Ashwin Navin. The company’s main product, BitTorrent, Cohen’s brainchild, was a groundbreaking technology. It allowed users an unprecedented ability to share large files at incredible speeds.
Perhaps, more pertinent is the protocol’s decentralized framework that utilized a peer-to-peer network to store and share massive files.
It represented one of the first functional decentralized networks. It not only beats traditional data servers at efficiency but gives users control. Cohen’s technology is so powerful that it accounted for 2.46% of downstream and 27.58% of upstream traffic in 2019.
This was following a peak in 2009 where P2P file-sharing networks accounted for 70% of total internet traffic. Yet, BitTorrent still boasts of over 100 million monthly active users as of 2021.
A Financial Failure
Being a revolutionary technology and wide adoption, BitTorrent, Inc. found it hard to monetize its products. The company received massive support from investors and venture capitalists in its initial stages because of its technology’s huge potential. But a decade later, its revenue did not match its potential.
A series of monetization schemes were conceived, including:
- BitTorrent Entertainment network in 2007 – a marketplace for movies and music.
- BitTorrent Bundle in 2013 – a music publishing and streaming platform similar to iTunes.
- Online TV production and streaming platform in 2014, again in 2016, like Netflix.
- Sync, a file hosting and sharing platform, was introduced in 2015.
Unfortunately, most of these endeavors failed. Sync is still active but now run under a different company called Resilio.
A Fresh Start With Project Atlas
After a decade of restructuring and changes in the company’s management, Sun’s acquisition spelled a fresh start. One that filled many observers and stakeholders alike with enthusiasm. Project Atlas is Tron Foundation’s initiative to revitalize and turn BitTorrent into a money maker.
The project, which revolves around the BTT token created in 2019, follows several steps:
- Incentivize torrent trackers (server providers that facilitate connections between peers in the BitTorrent network) to continue using the BitTorrent networks, increase their population and its contributions to the network.
This will exponentially increase the download and upload speed of the network.
- Creation of a file storage service, which users would have to pay to use. The result is BTFS, which uses the storage of nodes in the network to store client files. This has led to partnerships with other projects, like ColdStack, a blockchain-based cloud aggregator.
BTFS will give users a decentralized storage – a cheaper alternative to Google Drive.
- Establish a Content Trading Market where users can buy, sell, rent, download, and stream content.
All exchanges resulting from Project Atlas’ creation will use the BTT token.
The 2000% increase in the price of BTT earlier this year seems to indicate a positive reception of Project Atlas by the crypto world. For instance, Nasdaq is confident that BitTorrent has the potential to be explosive in 2021. Moreover, the token is listed on the most popular exchanges. Therefore, it enjoys solid liquidity against Bitcoin and other altcoins. As of July 2021, 1 BTT to BTC conversion on godex.io equals 0.0000000678 BTC.
Another pointer to the future success of the BTT is its recent stability. It maintained an average of $0.005 per token in April before the May crypto crash. The highest it ever recorded was $0.01426 on April 5, 2021.
BTT’s current price is greatly undervalued to the potential of its application. Well, this is not a unique trait when compared with many other cryptocurrencies. However, BitTorrent already has a massive user base. This positions BTT as a valuable coin to keep for the long term.