BitTorrent File System (BTFS) launched its mainnet today, as announced by Justin Sun, CEO of decentralized blockchain gaming platform Tron.
BTFS lets BitTorrent users upload, transfer, download, and store files on other people’s computers using a peer-to-peer network. Think Google Drive meets The Pirate Bay.
To create BTFS, Tron took a platform for decentralized file storage, the InterPlanetary File System, and integrated it into BitTorrent. Sun said over 3000 BTFS nodes (computers that help to run the network) have been added to the BitTorrent client.
While not just use Google Drive or Dropbox, which are fairly cheap alternatives? Two reasons, Sun claimed. First, flexibility. “BTFS provides a more flexible storage service while guaranteeing file security by safeguarding users’ data in a decentralized way,” he said. Secondly, BTFS offers users more anonymity than centralized services. “Every host in the network hosts only a small part of your file, ensuring storage security,” Sun added.
Sun said the BitTorrent token (BTT) token will be integrated into BTFS in the near future. This token will let users pay for BTFS’ services and will complete BitTorrent’s blockchainification—following the launch of a new service, BitTorrent Speed, which adds a way to speed up downloads by paying in BTT.
But things are not looking good for BTT holders. Just yesterday, Binance, one of the largest crypto exchanges, removed the pairing of BTT against Bitcoin, meaning that its users can no longer trade directly between the two coins.
Even worse, BTT was removed because there was low trading volume, indicating a lack of interest in the token from traders. This is likely because the price of BTT has tanked since it launched at the end of January. Now, it’s worth just $0.0004, and it’s falling price is a disincentive for anyone to use it—in case they lose money while holding it.
On top of that, BTFS will be up against strong competition. Filecoin, a long-awaited service designed for the same purpose, launched its alphanet last week, and announced dates for the launch of its testnet and mainnet. The race is on—but which will capture the market first?