BitTorrent Inc., the owner of the popular uTorrent client, says it will launch a decentralized file-storage system across its network. Based on the open source InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), BitTorrent’s BTFS has begun testing and is expected to launch in 2020.
In 2018, BitTorrent Inc. was officially aquired by Tron, a relatively new player in the cryptocurrency space.
Both companies have a keen interest in decentralization, with shared goals of allowing users around the world to communicate without third-party intervention.
While there is a constant online buzz about the cryptocurrency side of TRON, the 100+ million users of the uTorrent and BitTorrent Mainline clients have been keen to hear what this acquisition will mean for them.
Last year, TRON founder Justin Sun said that introducing financial rewards for seeders will lead to faster download speeds and greater content retention. While this system has yet to be revealed in public, this week Sun teased a potentially more exciting development via Twitter.
Last evening, as promised, BitTorrent Inc. put more meat on the bones of this tweet.
“BitTorrent, a leader in peer-to-peer protocols and products, will incorporate BitTorrent File System (BTFS) to allow users to receive and host storage on their computers with other individuals and businesses,” the company said in a statement.
While the existing BitTorrent system is already a kind of decentralized storage system, BTFS will be different. Based on the existing InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) protocol, BTFS seems destined to offer a way to store files online without the use of centralized hosting.
Instead of placing files on traditional hosting sites, files will be distributed across the computers of those participating in the BTFS network. At this stage, the most likely candidates appear to be the users of the uTorrent and BitTorrent Mainline torrent clients, but TRON hasn’t yet provided any solid information.
“BTFS is a continuing step in our mission to create a decentralized internet that allows everyone to share in the wealth of web commerce,” said Justin Sun, founder of TRON and CEO of BitTorrent.
“We’re creating a platform with BTFS, BitTorrent Speed blockchain integration and the BTT utility token to let users quickly and privately interact with each other around the world without a middleman or government intervention.”
Many believed that Sun’s tweet earlier this week meant that BTFS itself was three days from launch, but that isn’t the case. BitTorrent Inc. says the BTFS Mainnet will be launched “for public access” in Q3 2019 but BTFS itself is still undergoing testing and won’t be available until 2020.
An easy-to-understand explanation of how IPFS works can be found below.
Many thanks to TorrentFreak for the breaking news.