We are happy to unveil more details about Project Atlas which will pave the future of content distribution and 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, we aim to open a new borderless economy where users can exchange value for computer resources on a global scale.
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.
“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,” said Justin Sun, founder and CEO of TRON.
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. We have no need or desire to mine on users’ computers.
We are 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.
Our mission is to make the BitTorrent protocol faster and easier to use everywhere. Since our changes are backward compatible, it’s possible to build solutions for one platform at a time. We plan to implement this exciting evolution to our full range of products and on all platforms: desktop and mobile.
“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,” said Justin Knoll, Project Atlas Lead.
BitTorrent is an open protocol, and it is planned that Project Atlas will remain open to developers. We will be releasing details of the implementation and encouraging other torrent clients to follow our lead and improve the ecosystem for everyone. We have always offered free versions of our popular BitTorrent protocol clients, and we have no plans to change that. Our products will remain available free of charge.
TRON and BitTorrent will be sharing more information about Project Atlas in the upcoming days and weeks, starting on September 28th – 7PM (PST) during a TRON live stream available on YouTube here.