BitTorrent is one of the world's largest decentralized file sharing protocol in the world by number of users. The BitTorrent peer-to-peer protocol was invented by Bram Cohen, released in July 2001, and has powered torrent clients used around the world since then.
The BitTorrent token is a TRC-10 token on the Tron blockchain. The BTT token intends to build a token-based economy for networking, bandwidth, and storage resources on the existing BitTorrent network, e.g., it attempts to provide a way for network participants to "capture the value of sharing bandwidth and storage".
Decentralized applications powered by BTT include BitTorrent Speed, BitTorrent File System, DLive, with others planning to support the token.
1. What is BitTorrent (BTT)?
Many internet users today are familiar with the BitTorrent peer-to-peer protocol invented by Bram Cohen that powers the torrent clients used around the world.
BitTorrent Token (BTT) is a TRC-10 token running on the Tron Network. With the BitTorrent token (BTT), the BitTorrent team provides a distributed infrastructure platform to third-party app developers, enabling consumers to continuously contribute small amounts of value from their devices by allowing others to make use of their spare resources.
The addition of the BTT token attemps to extand the familiar protocol to create a token-based economy for networking, bandwidth, and storage resources on the existing Bittorrent network, providing a way for network participants to "capture the value of sharing bandwidth and storage".
In the existing BitTorrent infrastructure, users of torrent clients often faces challenges such as slow downloads and files that become unavailable over time. By creating monetary incentives for users to share, the token can enable faster download speeds and better swarm longevity for the entire network.
Total DAU across all BitTorrent products is currently ~25M while the total MAU is ~100M. In the team's market share analysis, BitTorrent clients comprise about 50% of globally active torrent clients.
2. BitTorrent's key features
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.
2.1 "Everybody Wants To Download"
When torrenting, the biggest frustration for the end user is how long it takes to find and completely download the desired content. Users do not want to wait hours or days to get the movie they want to watch or the game they want to play.
Currently, there is no incentive for individuals to continue seeding files to the network once they receive their content, resulting in a tragedy of the commons.
2.2 Adding the BTT token
With the addition of the BTT token, those who do not want to wait a long time to complete a download may utilize the token to incentivize more seeders for desired content, thereby accelerating download speeds.
However, paid consumers are not the only ones who benefit; the token is an opt-in model, meaning that individuals that do not want to pay or charge for torrenting can always continue to do so. The possibility that a user can receive tokens of value natively within their torrent client means that there is a tangible expected monetary value reward for choosing to seed files, beyond the current rewards of a non-throttled download speed and the altruistic reward of maintaining a healthy sharing ratio. With the potential to earn, the token can also disincentivize users from turning off seeding once they receive the files they want, because of the opportunity cost of forgone seeding income.
2.3 Tokenization of market bandwidth
The effect of increased file availability from introducing the BTT Token is even more prominent for rarer resources and files — the potential willingness to pay from consumers necessarily means that the potential earning power for seeding rare files is even higher, which then encourages these files to actually be hosted within the network. Thus, the average user that does not pay is still able to benefit from the increased file availability across the BitTorrent network, as more files should theoretically be available to the network as a whole because of this increase in expected reward for seeding.
Much like the freemium models popularized by content streaming sites such as Spotify, free-tier users still enjoy the benefits of greater content availability because other revenue streams incentivize content creators to earn rewards for contributing to the platform.
In short, content providers can earn for their efforts, non-paying consumers can enjoy increased access to content, and paid consumers can enjoy accelerated access, a win-win for all.
2.4 Network effects through a seeder/receiver model
Within the BitTorrent network, anyone with the complete file can become a seeder — if more people receive the complete torrent, more people can become seeders, thus compounding the level of availability that can be provided to the network. In essence, those who pay to accelerate their download process of one torrent can further increase the availability of the file, helping increase access for other torrenters.
The project plans to utilize the BTT token beyond the current focus on sharing of bandwidth, and expand to additional services related to storage, computation, & resource availability, such as the development of a CDN.
Purchase of Downloadable Media: users can purchase downloadable assets directly from creators.
Livestream Tipping: it allows viewers to tip performers during live streams with gifts including BTT that they have earned via uploading, exchange purchase, or other means.
Crowdfunding For Creative Works: it provides smart contracts that allow creators' fans to escrow contributions of BTT to fund creation of new work.
3. Economics and supply
Seed Sale Allocation
9% of tokens
Private Sale Allocation
2% of tokens
Private Sale Token Price
Private Sale Date (Completed)
1 Nov 2018
Amount Raised Private Sale
Public Sale Allocation
6% of Tokens
Public Sale Price
Public Sale Date
28 Jan 2019
Public Sale Target Amount
Initial Circulating Supply
3.1 Token supply distribution
The token supply distribution is as follows:
Public sale tokens constitute 6% of the total token supply. It was conducted on 28 Jan 2019, raising 420,000,000 TRX at $0.00012 per token by selling 6% of total supply.
Private sale tokens constitute 2% of the total token supply. It was conducted on 1 Nov 2018 for TRX at a rate of 112 BTT = 1 TRX, raising 966,000,000 TRX at $0.0001774 per token by selling 11% of total supply.
Seed sale tokens constitute 9% of the total token supply.
Tron Airdrop tokens constitute 10.1% of total token supply, to be spread out over the next 6 years.
BitTorrent Protocol Airdrop tokens constitute 10% of the total token supply.
Team and the BitTorrent Foundation were allocated 19% of total supply.
TRON Foundation received 20% of issued tokens.
BitTorrent Ecosystem is allocated 19.9% of issued tokens.
Partnership tokens constitute 4% of the total token supply.
BTT token distribution (%)
3.2 Token governance and use of funds
As of January 2019, BitTorrent has used approximately 18% of Seed Round funds according to the allocations below:
3% - Partnerships and community development.
6.5% - Marketing.
64% - Team FTE costs.
3.5% - Development.
3% - Equipment and software.
2% - Legal.
2% - Operational Costs.
Tokens are held in a TRC-10 compatible cold wallet. The unlocking of tokens will be handled by the BitTorrent Foundation. The foundation utilizes multi-signature wallets that the CEO, Head of Finance, Trading Director, and Finance Controller have access to, of which three must be present to unlock funds.
The following chart represents the number and breakdown of all BTT tokens that are to be released into circulation on a monthly basis.
BTT token release schedule
Note: TRON Airdrops continue for 6 years until 2025, and BitTorrent Airdrops, BitTorrent Ecosystem tokens, & Partnership tokens continue unlocking until 2028.
The rate of distribution tapers over time.
Please refer to the official notices of the BitTorrent Foundation for timely and accurate information.
4. Project team
The total team is made of nineteen people, with twelve active developers. Some of the most prominent members of the BitTorrent team can be found below.