What is BitTorrent (BTTC) chain: A beginner’s guide

What is BitTorrent (BTT)?

Many people are interested in using peer-to-peer (P2P) content distribution protocols to increase the throughput and scalability of distributed systems. A peer refers to a computer that is online or other people who use the internet. One example is the P2P file-sharing application BitTorrent, initially released in 2001 by Bram Cohen and David Harrison to eliminate the long wait times to download large files on the internet.

BitTorrent is a distributed transfer protocol that is distinct from other internet transfer protocols, such as hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) and file transfer protocol (FTP). The protocol used to send files across the internet, such as text, photos and videos, is called HTTP. That said, users start using HTTP as soon as they open their web browser. Similarly, FTP enables users to upload, download and transfer files across computer systems as well as from one location to another on the internet.

The hypertext transfer protocol server presents a file using HTTP as a single stream. The transmission is then completed as quickly as the client, network and distant server can manage. On the other hand, BitTorrent requests “random” portions of the file from participating peers and can frequently download several parts simultaneously from various sources. Similarly, compared to FTP, the torrent protocol is almost four times faster.

Due to the advantages of BitTorrent over other internet transfer protocols, it accounted for around 35% of total internet traffic in 2005, but when the internet’s speed accelerated in 2008, it steadily fell out of favor. As a result, BitTorrent struggled to monetize its service and was acquired by the Tron Foundation, which developed the Tron blockchain, in 2019. 

The new proprietors then launched the BitTorrent token cryptocurrency, BTT, through an initial coin offering (ICO) to support protocol expansion and reward network users. BitTorrent has distributed tokens to the BitTorrent Foundation, Tron Foundation, partnerships, airdrops and the BitTorrent ecosystem in addition to the token sale via ICO.

This article will discuss the BitTorrent protocol, the BTT cryptocurrency, the significance of the BitTorrent chain, and how to buy and earn BTT tokens.

What is the BitTorrent Chain (BTTC)?

BitTorrent Chain, commonly referred to as “BTTC,” was launched in December 2021. It is a blockchain scaling solution and a heterogeneous cross-chain interoperability protocol on Tron. It supports the cross-transfer of assets from Ethereum Virtual Machine blockchains, such as BNB Smart Chain and the Ethereum blockchain, via the BTCC Bridge. BTTC Bridge supports more than 100 widely used tokens thanks to its token mapping mechanism. The method used to distinguish and classify digital assets is called token mapping. 

Additionally, the network is secured by independent validators using the proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus method, and average gas fees are less than $0.01, which significantly lowers transaction costs. Validators stake BTT to create blocks, validate transactions, take part in PoS consensus, and submit checkpoints.

In cross-chain communication, the validators regularly pack and transfer the BTTC blocks to the BNB Smart Chain, Ethereum and Tron networks. This regularly submitted content is called checkpoints. For doing so, validators earn checkpoint rewards in addition to the transaction fees. In addition, BTTC participants can vote and receive BTT tokens as voting rewards.

Furthermore, the BTTC facilitates smart contract extension through sidechains, making it possible for developers to migrate easily to and create decentralized applications (DApps) on the chain.

How does the BitTorrent protocol work?

Generally, in a peer-to-peer network, files requested are served by the peers rather than the servers, in contrast to the conventional client-server model of content delivery. However, it’s never certain that users online will have the same software installed on their computers to offer the content that others want to download. Additionally, some users — known as leechers — may abandon the P2P network once their download is complete, preventing other users from downloading files from their machines.

BitTorrent uses seeds, peers, a central tracker, swarms and tit-for-tat rank to prevent leeching issues. The BitTorrent files that have finished downloading in the user’s system are known as seeds, and the users who download seeds to upload for other users are called seeders. Seeders share these torrent files with other P2P network participants called peers. To begin a download of your preferred content, there needs to be at least one seed in the BitTorrent network.

Also, for each file being distributed, the BitTorrent protocol requires peers to organize themselves into an overlay network called a “torrent” with links among other peers. And BitTorrent users need to create a unique torrent for each file the network distributes. A virtual or logical network that is built on top of an existing physical network is known as an overlay network, such as the internet.

Furthermore, some file tracking tasks are transferred to a tracker or central server, which serves as a meeting place for all torrent clients but does not participate in the actual distribution of the file; instead, it stores metadata about the active peers.

Typically, the client tries to maintain connections with 20–40 peers, while the tracker offers 50 peers selected at random among the active peers. Anytime a client goes below 20 connections, it contacts the tracker again to find more peers from a set of peers called a peer set.

A group of BitTorrent users, including peers, seeders and leechers, connected by a tracker are called swarms. Swarms take part in a torrent’s piece exchanges. They divide the file into chunks of identical size (usually 256 kB each), and clients in a peer set exchange these chunks with one another. The act of uploading and downloading files on the BitTorrent network is termed torrenting.

Using a principle known as “tit-for-tat,” a central tracker requires a user who wants to download a file from the BitTorrent network to share part of their files for uploading. While the user tries to download some content from other users on the same network, BitTorrent transfers some of the file contents to the main tracker, which receives the content from the user and then uses it to serve other BitTorrent users. The user’s rank based on the tit-for-tat method would be lower if they acted as leechers or abruptly left the BitTorrent network after downloading content from it.

The step-by-step process works as shown in the image below:

Key features of the BitTorrent token (BTT)

Users find BitTorrent enticing for its efficient and cost-free file sharing. Moreover, there are three versions of torrent downloaders: BitTorrent Web for Windows and Mac users, BitTorrent Classic for Windows users, and BitTorrent Android and BitTorrent Remote for Android users.

Other unique features of BitTorrent include the following:

BitTorrent Speed

Previously, a torrent downloader was not rewarded for seeding content for more downloaders after a download was finished. BitTorrent launched BitTorrent Speed to incentivize seeders with BTT tokens for seeding torrents. 

Additionally, users of BitTorrent Speed can pay BTT to accelerate their download speed. Moreover, users can create a BitTorrent Speed Wallet to store BTT and other cryptocurrencies. BitTorrent Speed also enables torrent clients such as BitTorrent Web, Torrent Classic (a desktop client) and Torrent Web.

DLive Protocol

DLive Protocol is a decentralized live-streaming platform that connects content producers with their audiences. Along with the low-cost streaming, users can earn BTT tokens by watching the streams, which can then be staked to earn more tokens. During the livestream, streamers can also earn tips from their viewers.

Users do not need passwords or accounts to start streaming — they just need to set up their client. Even data warehouses or servers are not required to connect to the network.

BitTorrent File System (BTFS)

BTFS is a decentralized file storage system where hosts offer storage to earn BTT rewards, and renters consume that storage by paying BTT. Additionally, using the BTFS Gateway, anyone can access stored files on the BTFS network.

Use cases of BitTorrent (BTT)

A TRC-20 utility token, BTT was created on the Tron Network and is compatible with practically all DApps and numerous DeFi ecosystems. For instance, several BTT trading pairs for decentralized exchanges (DEXs) are offered by the Sun platform. Similarly, users can use BTT for borrowing and mining purposes on JustLend DAO.

Furthermore, by using the BTTC Bridge, users can move BTT tokens from Ethereum and BNB Smart Chain to the BTTC Network or exchange them for BTT tokens on DEXs. Like the Ether (ETH) token on the Ethereum Network, the BTT token serves as the basis for BTTC transactions. For instance, BTTC users can utilize BTT tokens to pay gas fees, which play a vital role in BTT’s tokenomics

Additionally, the Commonwealth of Dominica granted BTT the statutory status of an authorized digital currency. Moreover, by staking BTT tokens, participants in the BitTorrent ecosystem can participate in network governance and safeguard BTTC’s operations. In return, they are incentivized with BTT tokens. 

On the BitTorrent file system, users can pay with BTT tokens to store files in a decentralized storage system. Similarly, BitTorrent Speed users can enhance their download speed by paying BTT tokens.

How to buy BTT coins

BTT coins can be bought on centralized exchanges, such as Binance and Kraken, and DEXs, such as PancakeSwap and Uniswap. In general, the steps are quite similar, including the requirement to find a wallet of your choice to store BTT tokens and a suitable exchange to buy BitTorrent cryptocurrency. Then, after funding the account via options offered by your chosen exchange, a trade can be executed.

The basic steps to buy BTT tokens on Binance include the following:

  • Register for a Binance account if you don’t already have one, or log in to your Binance account.
  • Choose how you want to buy BTT tokens — i.e., via credit or debit card, bank deposit, third-party payment or peer-to-peer trading.
  • Choose from the available trading pairs by typing “BTT” in the search bar.
  • Enter the amount of BTT to buy and click “Buy BTT” to confirm the transaction.
  • Your BTT balance will be credited to your account nearly immediately once your order is processed.

Once you’ve purchased your cryptocurrency, you may either hold it in your Binance account or keep it in your personal cryptocurrency wallet.

How to earn a BitTorrent token

Users can earn BTT tokens in many ways, including torrenting and streaming content and staking their tokens. For instance, the BitTorrent client can automatically earn BTT through seeding when a torrent file finishes downloading. Similarly, hosts in the BitTorrent File System may earn BTT rewards by offering storage to renters.

Moreover, DLive Protocol’s streamers can earn BTT tokens by watching the streams. In addition, users can stake BTT with validators to earn passive income. Platforms like Binance offer BTT staking services.

Is BitTorrent a good coin to invest in?

Since its conception, BitTorrent has established itself as the widely used method for distributing huge files via a peer-to-peer network. Also, it implemented unique strategies like tit-for-tat to facilitate effective file distribution among the participating peers.

However, the decision to invest in any coin depends upon one’s financial objectives and risk-return profile. Moreover, given the volatility of the cryptocurrency market, if one really understands the project and has faith in its future performance, they may consider including its native token in their investment portfolio.

Moreover, cryptocurrencies are only as safe as the wallet that keeps them. As a result, after purchasing BTT tokens, securing one’s cryptocurrency must be their top priority, just like with any other investment.