This article has everything you need to know about Binance's upcoming public of the BitTorrent token (BTT), which is a native (i.e. TRC-10 standard) TRON token intended to be used for denominating "transactions for the provision of different services in the BitTorrent ecosystem."
The BitTorrent Protocol
BitTorrent is "a communication protocol for peer-to-peer file sharing (P2P) which is used to distribute data and electronic files over the Internet." Sending or receiving files is done via a BitTorrent client, i.e. a program that implements this protocol, that is running on an internet-connected computer.
Here is how Wikipedia describes the BitTorrent protocol, which was designed in 2001 by American computer programmer Bram Cohen:
"The BitTorrent protocol can be used to reduce the server and network impact of distributing large files. Rather than downloading a file from a single source server, the BitTorrent protocol allows users to join a 'swarm' of hosts to upload to/download from each other simultaneously. The protocol is an alternative to the older single source, multiple mirror sources technique for distributing data, and can work effectively over networks with lower bandwidth. Using the BitTorrent protocol, several basic computers, such as home computers, can replace large servers while efficiently distributing files to many recipients. This lower bandwidth usage also helps prevent large spikes in internet traffic in a given area, keeping internet speeds higher for all users in general, regardless of whether or not they use the BitTorrent protocol. A user who wants to upload a file first creates a small torrent descriptor file that they distribute by conventional means (web, email, etc.). They then make the file itself available through a BitTorrent node acting as a seed. Those with the torrent descriptor file can give it to their own BitTorrent nodes, which—acting as peers or leechers—download it by connecting to the seed and/or other peers...
The file being distributed is divided into segments called pieces. As each peer receives a new piece of the file, it becomes a source (of that piece) for other peers, relieving the original seed from having to send that piece to every computer or user wishing a copy. With BitTorrent, the task of distributing the file is shared by those who want it; it is entirely possible for the seed to send only a single copy of the file itself and eventually distribute to an unlimited number of peers. Each piece is protected by a cryptographic hash contained in the torrent descriptor. This ensures that any modification of the piece can be reliably detected, and thus prevents both accidental and malicious modifications of any of the pieces received at other nodes. If a node starts with an authentic copy of the torrent descriptor, it can verify the authenticity of the entire file it receives."
The two most popular BitTorrent clients outside China are "BitTorrent" and "uTorrent", both of which are currently owned and maintained by San Francisco-based BitTorrent Inc., which was founded in 2004, and acquired last year by TRON Foundation, with Justin Sun confirming this acquisition in a letter to the TRON community published in TRON's Medium blog on 24 July 2018. Here is what the TRON CEO said said in this letter about the BitTorrent Protocol and BitTorrent Inc.:
"It is the first decentralized Internet protocol with large-scale global application. Even today, the BitTorrent protocol retains its status as the world’s largest decentralized protocol, once transmitting 40% of daily Internet traffic. BitTorrent created and shaped the protocol, with 70% of BitTorrent users using the product. The company aims to decentralize the Web by promoting and further developing the BitTorrent protocol...
Through this acquisition, BitTorrent and TRON will combine forces, with the TRON US team merging with the BitTorrent team. BitTorrent possesses world-class technical talent and solid experience in decentralized protocol technology. Combining the robust capabilities of the two teams will take the technology behind the TRON ecosystem to a whole new level."
Here is what the TRON developers' documentation has to say about the two types of token that operate on the TRON platform:
"TRC-10 is a technical token standard supported by TRON blockchain natively, without the TRON Virtual Machine (TVM). TRC-20 is a technical standard used for smart contracts on the TRON blockchain for implementing tokens with the TRON Virtual Machine (TVM). It is fully compatible to ERC-20."
The BitTorrent Token (BTT)
Here is how the BitTorrent Token whitepaper introduces this TRC-10 token:
"TRON Foundation and BitTorrent Foundation are introducing a new cryptographic token called BTT along with an extended version of the BitTorrent protocol in order to create a token-based economy around the usage of networking, bandwidth and storage on hundreds of millions of computers on the internet."
And this is what Binance's research report on BTT has to say about the motivation for introducing this new token and its short/long term goals:
"By introducing the BitTorrent token (BTT), BitTorrent will provide a distributed infrastructure platform to third-party app developers that enables consumers to continuously contribute small amounts of value from their devices by allowing others to make use of their spare resources.
Existing BitTorrent clients will implement an optional set of backward-compatible protocol extensions which allow them to bid and receive bids for their bandwidth, working in tandem with a cryptocurrency wallet and bidding engine.
The project plans to utilize the BTT in more utility cases beyond the current sharing of bandwidth, expanding access to more services including general storage, computation, and resource availability.
The token will initially be used in BitTorrent clients as payment in exchange for requesting upstream bandwidth. Usage will be extended to additional capabilities including purchasing content, tipping live streaming performers, and crowdfunding the creation of new works."
The BTT whitepaper explains the motivation for finding a way to encourage BitTorrent users to continue making a file available to other users once they have finished downloading it:
"As observed previously, BitTorrent swarms suffer from structural inefficiencies which lead to frequent premature deterioration or even the death of swarms. Due to bandwidth asymmetry, files frequently complete downloading long before a peer has been able to upload an equivalent amount of bytes. Once the downloading peer has the entire file there is insufficient economic incentive remaining to continue to make the file available to other downloaders (“seeding”). As a result of people leaving swarms without contributing as much bandwidth as they have consumed, many BitTorrent swarms do not last as long as they otherwise could...
BitTorrent Speed is a feature that will be integrated into future BitTorrent and μTorrent clients and will enable users to advertise their bids within a swarm and trade BTT in exchange for continued prioritized access to seeds. The intended result is that peers will choose to seed for longer, leading to better swarm longevity and faster download speeds for all swarm participants."
On Thursday (January 17th), BitTorrent Inc. announced that it expected to make BitTorrent Speed "available by summer on the popular µTorrent Classic Windows client." It also said that "BitTorrent Speed will become available on other BitTorrent clients by late 2019."
Allocation of BTT Tokens
The following chart from Binance shows how the BTT token will be allocated:
Public Sale of BTT Tokens on Binance Launchpad
On Thursday (3 January 2019), crypto exchange Binance announced its own token launch platform, which is called “Binance Launchpad”. This platform plans “at least one new token launch every month in 2019, starting with BitTorrent and Fetch.AI.”
Yesterday (January 17th), TRON FoundatioN 's founder and CEO, Justin Sun, tweeted about the upcoming public sale of BTT tokens on Binance Launchpad:
BitTorrent $BTT will be exclusively available on #BinanceLaunchpad on Jan. 28th, 2019 at 7 AM PST! 👉 $TRX session https://t.co/3c1SSfFuDv 👉 $BNB session https://t.co/rrp2F3kbCC pic.twitter.com/lJ7t0I58xa— Justin Sun (@justinsuntron) January 17, 2019
Then, earlier today, Binance tweeted that full details about the public sale of BTT tokens on Binance Launch were finally available:
Here is what we know now from Binance's blog post on this subject:
- The BitTorrent Token public sale is taking place exclusively on Binance Launchpad on January 28th, with the sale starting at 15:00 UTC.
- "The BitTorrent token sale will run in two simultaneous sessions: one for purchases using Binance Coin (BNB) and another for purchases using TRON (TRX)."
- "In the BNB session, 23.76 billion BTT are for sale, while TRX session participants can get up to 35.64 billion BTT in total."
- "BTT will be sold on a first come, first served basis."
- "Each BTT token will cost US$ 0.00012, although exact prices in BNB and TRX will be set on January 28." (Private and seed sale token price: $0.000177)
- "Each participant being able to get up to US$20,000 worth of BTT."
- Total token supply: 990,000,000,000 BTT
- Timeline: The public sale ends when the hard cap (the equivalent of $7,200,000) is reached or at 15:00 UTC on February 3rd.
- Token Distribution: Within 15 days of the end of the sale.
- Residents of the United States and 35 other countries are not able to participate in token sales on the Binance platform.
"BitTorrent Speed" Image Courtesy of BitTorrent Inc., Pie chart courtesy of Binance.