Since its creation, the BitTorrent protocol had a system of incentives built into its core processes. BitTorrent users can choose to upload data to users that upload faster to them. Prior to the acquisition by TRON in July 2018, BitTorrent’s R&D team was already researching ways to add blockchain-based incentives to the BitTorrent protocol.
On September 28th, TRON is unveiling more details about Project Atlas, a new product that will pave the future of content distribution, connect the BitTorrent peer-to-peer network and its 100 million monthly active users to the TRON blockchain network.
Using a set of BitTorrent protocol extensions, a custom token, and an in-client token economy to address existing limitations, the company aims to open a new borderless economy, where users can exchange value for computer resources on a global scale.
Justin Sun, founder and CEO of TRON, had this to say about Project Atlas:
Project Atlas is the foundation for a new way of content distribution. To start, the product will feature faster downloads, more seeds, no mining, and backward compatibility. It is adapted to the world we live in today: mobile, connected, and transparent. We aim to eventually empower all content creators and their communities by eliminating the middleman and enabling content creators to distribute directly to users.
Incentives on BitTorrent
Users will have the option to provide tokens to uploaders in exchange for faster download speeds. BitTorrent peers will be able to offer tokens to incentivize other users to run clients on faster networks and to seed torrents for longer periods, leading to better swarm longevity and faster download speeds for all swarm participants.
Users can earn tokens for continuing to seed files after a download is complete. Storage and bandwidth will be infused into the torrent ecosystem. With the ability to earn tokens, uploaders have a reason to seed files longer and to dedicate more of their bandwidth and storage to ensure that swarms are faster and live longer.
Users who participate will exchange tokens with each other on the basis of resources provided, not mining. Project Atlas does not involve mining. Mining is the process that some cryptocurrencies, e.g. Bitcoin, use to secure the history of spending via a system called “proof of work.” Other cryptocurrencies, such as TRON (TRX), don’t use proof of work and don’t require mining. Tron has no need or desire to mine on users’ computers.
Tron is implementing the features of Project Atlas as a set of backward-compatible protocol extensions. This means that existing clients will continue to work flawlessly as new clients and features are introduced. Users will be able to keep using their existing version; earning or spending tokens will not be mandatory and users will still be able to download and seed to/from the new generation of users.
Tron’s mission is to make the BitTorrent protocol faster and easier to use everywhere. Since their changes are backward compatible, it’s possible to build solutions for one platform at a time. Tron plans to implement this exciting evolution to their full range of products and on all platforms: desktop and mobile. BitTorrent’s protocol is agnostic, any file type will be available. This will enable Tron to scale the global distribution of any file type within a shorter timeframe.
Justin Knoll, Project Atlas Lead, added that:
Project Atlas is an evolution of torrent technology, not a revolution. With TRON’s blockchain expertise, our growing development team of seven people expects to ship the first features in the coming months.
BitTorrent is an open protocol, and it is planned that Project Atlas will remain open to developers. The team at Tron will be releasing details of the implementation and encouraging other torrent clients to follow their lead and improve the ecosystem for everyone. BitTorrent has always offered free versions of their popular BitTorrent protocol clients, and they have no plans to change that. Their products will remain available free of charge.
Founded in September 2017 by Justin Sun, the company has delivered a series of achievements, including Mainnet launch on May 2018, network independence on June 2018, and TRON Virtual Machine launch on August 2018. July 2018 also marked the acquisition of BitTorrent, a pioneer in decentralized services.
TRON is the world’s largest decentralized network and new projects like Project Atlas will connect BitTorrent to the world of Blockchain, enabling faster downloads and torrent lifetimes, creating a tokenized ecosystem that benefits 100M+ users.
Justin Sun previously worked at Ripple as Chief Representative & Advisor, and founded Peiwo in 2013, one of the largest voice live streaming apps in China. His educational background includes the University of Pennsylvania, Peking University, and Hupan University (created by Jack Ma, Chairman of the Alibaba Group).
TRON is connecting thousands of developers across the world through its consumer-focused ecosystem based on blockchain, cryptocurrency, dApps, and leading peer-to-peer file sharing products; respectively TRON, Peiwo, BitTorrent & µTorrent.
The company consists of over 300 employees with offices in Beijing, San Francisco, and Singapore. As TRON continues to expand rapidly, they are looking for more people with a passion for decentralization to join an ambitious team.
TRX is also listed on major cryptocurrency exchanges including Binance, Bittrex, Bitfinex, BitMEX, Bitbay and much more.