When Justin Sun, creator of TRON, acquired BitTorrent INC and assets, it was clear that he had larger plans. Sun paid $140 million U.S. Dollars for BitTorrent Inc reportedly and Project Atlas is the first project that was announced after the acquisition.
Project Atlas is an attempt to combine BitTorrent's protocol and the blockchain. BitTorrent Inc plans to integrate functionality in desktop clients first and then later on in mobile clients. Third-party clients are open to integrate the technology into their clients as well.
There is no requirement to do so, however, as backwards compatibility is supported according to the release announcement.
The definition of Project Atlas on the BitTorrent Inc website does not really reveal a lot about it.
Project Atlas will connect the BitTorrent peer-to-peer network and the TRON blockchain network via a set of bittorrent protocol extensions, a custom token, and an in-client token economy to address existing limitations and open a new borderless economy for exchanging value for computer resources on a global scale.
Basically, what is going to happen is the following:
BitTorrent peers get rewarded with tokens when they seed torrents using their bandwidth and resources. Tokens have monetary value, and while BitTorrent Inc is tight lipped at this point in time, it is likely that users may turn tokens into "real" currency or spend it to unlock benefits such as faster downloads.
Whether TRON or BitTorrent plan to let users purchase tokens is not clear as well at this point in time.
The system may remind some users of how some, mostly private, sites handle the distribution of files. Users get rewarded with credits for seeding and may use the credits to improve their ratio or buy benefits such as freeleech periods or appearance related items.
The main difference between Project Atlas and these site-specific systems is that the former appears to be global and that it is based on the established TRON blockchain network.
BitTorrent Inc published a video that provides additional details on Project Atlas.
The Project Atlas team plans to publish a roadmap and additional information about the future of the project and its functionality soon.
Project Atlas could provide users with incentive to seed torrents for longer periods of time and provide more bandwidth or storage at the same time to increase token earnings further.
It remains to be seen how successful the new system will be. Much of it depends on third-party adoption even though BitTorrent Inc is the owner of some of widely used BitTorrent clients.
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