On 14th February, Justin Sun the CEO of Tron and BitTorrent announced a strategic partnership revealing Steemit’s migration to the Tron ecosystem. According to the alliance, Steem will be migrating from its proprietary blockchain to Tron’s, indicating how the $Steem tokens will also be a part of the TRX ecosystem. In addition to this, decentralized applications [dApps] based on its blockchain will also be moving to the Tron blockchain.
Launched in 2016, Steemit is a blockchain-based blogging and social media site. It follows a similar incentivization system to Reddit — rewards for curating and publishing quality content. As per the stats showed by Similar Web, Steemit has a traffic of over 7.80 million; the biggest player in the cryptospace in terms of providing an alternative income model to content creators.
Tron has always lived up to its reputation for brilliant marketing. Right from John McAfee’s advocacy in 2017, the 1 billion TRX [ERC20-based] token coin burn followed by the acquisition of BitTorrent in 2018 and the build-up for a 5 million dollar auction lunch with Warren Buffet – they’ve mastered the art.
Nevertheless, questions around the technicality of its biggest acquisition – BitTorrent has bothered the tech-side of the crypto community for a while now. The former Chief Strategy Officer at BitTorrent, Simon Morris, who nearly worked for a decade on the software stated that there’s literally “no way” Tron’s blockchain could handle the transaction volume needed to tokenize BitTorrent.
Additionally, he even said that “it’s [Tron] basically a marketing machine layered on a very thin veneer of technology”.
To break it down, BitTorrent works on the simplest but exceptional P2P sharing mechanism. The seeders upload the content, and the leechers download the content on the basic tit-for-tat principle wherein, the more files one shares, the faster the download gets. Content is broken into pieces and everyone broadcasts the pieces they have, boosting the speed of distribution.
Under Justin Sun, the model works on an additional incentive structure with a monetary value measured as BitTorrent tokens [BTT]. It was said that BTT would allow BitTorrent clients to bid and earn, along with upstreaming their bandwidth options that can be used to purchase content, tip and crowdfund content creation.
Don’t neglect – Compatibility, and Security
Questions raise when practicality comes in the picture. For instance, u/bloodmoonslo a Redditor created a post on Tronix addressing the BTT incentive flaw.
His concerns were that uTorrent had similar properties to an ISP throttling [intentional slowing/speeding of bandwidth]. The download speeds BitTorrent possesses are:
- A base unboosted speed
- A BTT based boost [includes spending of monetary value for download speed]
- Original download potential through another torrent client [that doesn’t throttle]
As observed in the above image, uTorrent and QbiTorrent are running with the same VPN & Proxy settings. Both the clients are set with no connection limits and data usage restrictions on a 100mps hardwired connection.
The downloading speed of QbiTorrent is higher than BTT boosted torrent speed, concluding that paying up to download would still make no difference. Although possibilities are that uTorrent boosted onboards more seeders and becomes faster than other client channels.
But it’s also important to be aware that the downloading of this file started with uTorrent unboosted, followed by uTorrent boosted and another client [QbiTorrent]. And according to the mechanism, this, in turn, could’ve created a slower download speed since in the first download the least amount of peers were connected.
Indicating that a better example would be to run three computers at once, downloading the same file. Funny enough, even this would possibly be flawed as the three would be downloading the file amongst each other as well.
According to the research paper “An Empirical Study of Seeders in BitTorrent” established back in 2006, significant data was recorded.
The case study shows that as the download rate of a particular file increased, the rate of its seeding decreased; due to a relative increase in the number of temporary seeders in the swarm caused by users leaving their clients unattended for longer periods.
In layman terms, the seeding of a particular file decreases as its download increases caused by the increase in the number of temporary seeders generated through unprotected clients. How hackers can use your computational power to mine cryptocurrencies if your device is left unsecured? The same way temporary seeders use unattended clients to seed files and as rewards get better downloading bandwidth.
Bringing us to the point that possibilities of the same in the current ecosystem would risk the monetary value [BTT] people hold as higher bandwidth is not the only reward in the ecosystem.
In an era where websites such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime where one can watch content without any hassle the possibilities of people downloading pirated content from BitTorrent might not be in fashion anymore at least for the entertainment sector.
Nevertheless, BitTorrents 150M userbase clubbed with Tron’s 22M and Steemit’s 1M do not only have the potential to disrupt the existing media segments but also to revolutionize its production.
With Steemit acting as a content sharing platform and BitTorrent as a file-sharing platform, the quality of media entering the Tron ecosystem is unimaginable. Steemit’s information quality, self-curated data, and regional content complimented with BitTorrent’s uncensored media, unlicensed usage and free software, gaming, and application base could break the norms.
The vision of tokenizing the world’s largest decentralized file-sharing platform – BitTorrent collaborated with Steemit’s current progress might support Tron’s vision to build a free, global digital content entertainment system with distributed storage technology, for easy and cost-effective sharing of digital content.
Provided the team changes its priorities from Marketing > to Technology.
Disclaimer note: This article is based on the writer’s opinions/research and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Tron Weekly.