BitTorrent, the file sharing and transfer client that played a big role in the growth of the peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing network, has been acquired by block-chain start-up Tron. Justin Sun, the founder of Tron, is a key player in the block-chain and decentralized computing industries. He had earlier worked as the chief representative for Ripple in China.
BitTorrent has popularized the P2P file transfer protocol, which can indeed be considered one of the earliest examples of decentralized computing. The system allows files to be stored on a wide variety of systems around the world, and users looking to download those files can source them from a network of users called ‘seeders’. Different parts of the file can be downloaded from various sources, till the complete package is delivered to the user.
While P2P and torrents are usually used to share larger files and are heavily used for piracy, The concept behind the system is of particular interest to the block-chain and cryptocurrency industries. It’s unclear what benefit BitTorrent will provide to Tron, but according to a shareholder of BitTorrent who spoke to TechCrunch, there could be two plans. It could be used to ‘legitimize’ Tron’s business, which has met with criticism and accusations of technology plagiarism. Additionally, P2P technology could also be used to create a new kind of network to mine cryptocurrency, using the superior reach of such a network.
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The idea of a decentralized internet isn’t a new idea, and the increasing prevalence of block chain technology is increasing momentum for the idea. The acquisition still needs to be agreed upon by shareholders of BitTorrent, but is likely to go through. BitTorrent currently claims to be running architecture that moves 40 percent of the world’s internet traffic every day, and such a claim certainly sounds believable. BitTorrent has been looking for a buyer for some time now, according to sources.