Open Letter to the Community on Recent Technical Progress of BTFS, BT Speed and BLive and Future Plans
Since the acquisition of BitTorrent by TRON last year, BitTorrent has renewed its vibrancy and together we have released a series of products such as BTFS, BT Speed and BLive. Below I will give you a detailed introduction to the current status of these three products and future plans.
About BT Speed:
We want to thank you for following and supporting the initiatives our company works on. We are excited to share with you the latest updates on BitTorrent Speed evolution, as well as give you a heads-up on upcoming features.
BitTorrent Speed is the first real case of blockchain mass adoption. It powers traditional content sharing with the cryptocurrency token, BTT. With BitTorrent Speed, users of uTorrent client can enjoy faster download speed and be the first to get to rare content, or earn tokens by simply sharing files over the Internet.
The token exchange mechanism is based on an auction model, when all users downloading the file bid a certain percentage of their balance and a group of winners get access to those users’ bandwidth for a certain amount of time, until the next auction round.
Early July this year we switched BitTorrent Speed from test to live mode and published the special build of uTorrent client for Windows on a dedicated website. That version 1.1.0 included:
1. Interfaces that allow users to see and control download speed increase and spendings;
2. Set up BitTorrent Wallet;
3. Exchange tokens between off-chain BitTorrent and on-chain TRON accounts.
As of today, the number of active Speed users is close to 20,000, and around 7,000 interact with the application on a daily basis. More than 1000 users deposited and withdrew tokens using our built-in exchange.
The next release will be published on the same website on October 8th, and will include the following major features and improvements:
- Migration of the keys. Our engineering team made the seed phrase, private, and public keys fully compatible with popular TRON wallets. Why keep many different sets of mnemonic phrases and private keys safe, if everything can be managed in one wallet?
- Wallet Restoration. Users will be able to import an existing BitTorrent or TRON wallet by using either a seed phrase or a private key and use it within BitTorrent Speed.
- On-demand AirDrop. As a show of gratitude to new BitTorrent Speed users, we are going to give each user 50 BTT if the user claims the reward and solves the captcha.
- Security and safety of user’s wallet balances are still our top priorities. That’s why not only we significantly increased security of the Ledger and all server-side environment, but also updated security requirements for local passwords.
- Scalability. BitTorrent network is the largest decentralized ecosystem in the World counting 250M of users. After investing time into a set of improvements, we are confident that our infrastructure is able to scale up and handle billions of transactions as we roll out BitTorrent Speed.
Based on the results of a few surveys we ran in Q3, we understood that we could achieve mass adoption of BitTorrent Speed only if we face and solve the biggest challenge — lack of knowledge about blockchain and crypto. Because of that, in Q3 we educated people on importance of wallet security, recovery and export, and explained the nuances of on-chain/off-chain exchange functionality. We will continue improving our educational materials and customer support service to make the user journey flawless for each of our users.
Another area that we persistently work to improve is the BitTorrent Speed token economy. Our Data Scientists are updating the bidding strategy and pricing to make incentives even more attractive and profitable to the users.
By the end of this year, we will also deliver the secure wallet and BTT token bidding system to our BT Web products.
We know, dear Tronics, that you are eager to get more new features and get them more often. We are excited to continue to deliver a newer and better experience with each version of BitTorrent Speed.
We’re about three-quarters of the way through 2019, and I wanted to give you an update on BTFS progress, as well as a look ahead to the many great things coming. In this letter to the community, I’ll discuss several important projects we have underway: BTFS Ecosystem, BTFS Client Integration, and BTFSCoin.
BTFS Ecosystem — On July 1st, 2019, TRON successfully launched the BTFS Testnet, supporting connection to the BTFS network around the world. On October 1st, 2019, TRON successfully launched the BTFS Mainnet by pairing BTFS with the Windows BT Classic client. From a user perspective, we are adding file encryption and decryption functions. Users will be able to encrypt a file using a BTFS node’s PeerID before adding it to the network. Likewise, users can decrypt a file using the associated private key after downloading it from the network. Users are also able to initialize a BTFS node by either importing a TRON private key, importing a BIP39 12 word seed phrase, or creating a seed phrase. This ensures a tight integration with the TRON network. Our engineering team also added a file removal feature in which files and directories can be removed via specifying the hash value.
BTFS Client Integration — We embarked on the ambitious goal of shipping BTFS daemons with the Windows BitTorrent Classic client (BT Classic). To date, we have successfully shipped BTFS with 5% of new installs from BT Classic. This has resulted in over 5000 new user opt-ins and roughly 600 active nodes at any time.
As part of 2019 Q4 goals, our team is currently researching BTFS performance and network scalability. As we dial-up the BTFS roll-out percentage for new and existing BT Classic and uTorrent users across all platforms, we expect to quickly see active BTFS + BT Client nodes in the hundreds of thousands. As such, we need to ensure that performance metrics such as file transfer, file seeking, and propagation are able to scale up.
Our team is also working on a more robust BTFS infrastructure. This involves updating all the unit and sharpness tests inherited from IPFS, optimizing the continuous integration/deployment processes for go-btfs, and building up the backend infrastructure for more efficient data processing. We are also reviewing designs for the Escrow service to support the BTFSCoin project. This involves designing the system architecture and defining the workflow. We have proposed an Escrow state machine in which storage renters initiate a rental request. The consensus mechanism behind this is a combination of innovative Proof of Space and Proof of Funds.
BTT Token Integration — This is for integrating BTT token into BTFS network to build a complete decentralized storage network for token economy. We are currently building 5 fundamental layers:
- Node information layer. Node information layer collects, processes and serves nodes information of the BTFS network. We have had the system built and running in staging environment and able to serve basic info for any node of the network. In Q4, we will have a basic scoring system based on node’s age, availability, reliability, CPU, memory, disk size etc, for clients to choose as optimal storage host.
- File information layer. File information layer provides information about each file. We have implemented some of the replication feature. In Q4, we will finish implementing reed-solomon encoding/decoding in storage replication feature, and support adding arbitrary file metadata in Merkle DAG Tree file structure to satisfy encoding/encryption needs.
- Incentives layer. Incentives layer consists of node scoring (with criteria such as node uptime, pricing, reputation, age, etc.), node selection, node reputation system, and replication factor (defaulted at 3x). In Q4, we will finish building the majority of the incentives layer, also finish the initial pricing model for the whole network.
- Fraud control layer. Fraud control layer consists of BTFSGuard, which includes Proofs (Proof of Space, Proof of Bandwidth, Proof of Replication, and Proof of Reputation) and automatic file chunk repair. We have started BTFSGuard design. In Q4, we will have an MVP of BTFSGuard with basic functions.
- Payment processing layer. Payment processing layer handles end-to-end BTT token payment flow. We have completed multi-host payment feature and file upload feature. In Q4, once Escrow service is completed, we will implement Escrow into the whole payment processing layer.
Our team is also working on the pricing strategy for incentivizing and controlling file uploads/downloads. To understand our users better, we will soon roll out a survey for our community, and incentivize participants with 100 BTT upon completion.
Originally scheduled for Q4, BLive, a blockchain livestream product based on TRON and BitTorrent protocol ecosystem, a socializing platform equipped with online broadcasting, real-time messaging and many more, released its Alpha version ahead of schedule on September 21, 2019. As of now, tens of thousands of users volunteered for the closed tests and have submitted feedback several times more than the number of participants. There were impressive ideas and friendly gestures, which motivated the BLive team and made them once again feel the passion of TRON users and the magnetism of the BitTorrent ecosystem. The team is now working day and night to enhance the diversity of the features of BLive.
It is widely known that global mobile payment is only pervasive in a handful of countries. For example, Google Pay, a representative of global mobile payment channels, was built upon the credit card system of developed countries. As a product that intends to serve hundreds of millions of users, BitTorrent needs something that’s even more universally adopted than Google Pay. In the near future, cryptocurrencies under TRON will play a vital role in all this and will be applied to BLive as currencies for payment and transactions. Users will be able to purchase virtual gifts using cryptocurrency and reward their favorite broadcasters, while broadcasters will earn cryptocurrency and withdraw them to gain profit. The addition of cryptocurrency payment is more meaningful than it seems- Google Pay charges 30% service fees, but with BitTorrent, that 30% goes into the pockets of the broadcasters. Meanwhile, because blockchains are naturally anonymous, the financial privacy of both viewers and broadcasters will be largely protected. Blockchains will take a big step forward from where it stands now, and we are expected to see the implementation of blockchain payment before 2020.
Until then, we hope more friends would follow the progress of BLive, even though it’s still at its infancy stage. We are already planning on recruiting audio/video broadcasters regardless of nationalities, ethnicities, gender, and age, as long as he/she has talents. It can be singing, dancing, gaming, public speaking, stand-up comedies, chatting, or makeup. Anything that does not violate local laws and regulations will make you stand out on BLive and bring you profit and endless possibilities. Let’s usher in a new era of live streaming!
This was our livestream on the latest progress of BitTorrent products. In the future, there will be more BitTorrent products for our community. Everybody stay tuned! Thanks again to everyone who joined me today, In addition, niTROn Summit 2020 will be held in Seoul, South Korea on the 15th-16th of February 2020. Everybody is welcome to come. TRON TO THE FUTURE!
9 Oct 2019