Bleep: a decentralized encrypted messaging program from BitTorrent

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 6, 2014

A recent trend in communication is to add encryption to common forms of messaging such as email or chat. While that protects the content against snooping, provided that the implementation is not flawed in itself, it does not resolve the issue of relying on a central server structure.

If you are using Whats App, Skype, or other messaging applications, you will notice that they all depend on servers that manage the data.

While they may not be able to determine what is being transferred, it is likely that the majority save metadata including "from" and "to" information as well as timestamps.

Bleep, which was formerly referred to as BitTorrent Chat, is a new decentralized messaging program from BitTorrent Inc. which does not rely on a centralized server structure.It is powered by the company's peer-to-peer platform for communication which does without central look-ups and the storing of metadata and offers full encryption.

Bleep has been released as a pre-alpha for the Windows operating system with plans to launch on other platforms in the future. For now, you are limited to the Windows operating system though.

Pre-alpha means that the program has rough edges and lacks features that the company will introduce at a later point in time.

When you start Bleep for the first time you may create an account or continue without one. If you choose the later path, you need to submit your public key to contacts so that they communication becomes a possibility.

You do get an option to import your Google address book to find friends quickly this way. The alternative is to add friends manually using their phone number, email address or public key depending on how they signed up for the service.

If a friend cannot be found, you get an option to send out an invite instead.

The application lists contacts on the left sorted by status (pending invitation, online, offline).  Since this is pre-alpha, it does not support offline messaging yet.

Select an online contact from the list to send a message or initiate a voice call. Those two features are what is being supported right now by Bleep.

This worked well during tests though, and while I did experience some issues, I did not encounter anything major.

Bleep has a couple of limitations at the time of writing. Besides the already mentioned lack of offline messaging, it can only be used on a single device at the time of writing. This means that you cannot use the same account on two Windows PCs.

This is however something that is planned, as are features that improve the functionality of messaging.


What sets Bleep apart from other "secure communication" programs and applications is its peer-to-peer approach to communication. Relying on a centralized infrastructure poses the risk of data being compromised by third-parties, be it hackers or governments.

Bleep has a long way to go before it will become attractive enough for the majority of potential users. It needs to be cross-platform, should allow account usage on multiple devices, and requires improvements when it comes to the messaging component. With that said, those are all achievable goals.

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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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