Altcoin Explorer: BitTorrent Token (BTT)

BitTorrent is a brand that was well known before Satoshi Nakamoto even released his whitepaper for Bitcoin. It served as the most used P2P software …
Reading Time: 3minutesbyAshwath BalakrishnanonAugust 29, 2019&nbspAltcoin Explorer, Altcoins

BitTorrent, the first Binance Launchpad IEO, was issued to power the BitTorrent Speed network with a variety of use cases for the token listed in the whitepaper and subsequent analyses. But as pointed out by eminent crypto VC, Barry Dilbert, most utility tokens act as friction tokens that slow down efficiency and offer no real utility. In this run down, BTCManager covers the merits and demerits of the BitTorrent project.

First Major P2P File Sharing Client

BitTorrent is a brand that was well known before Satoshi Nakamoto even released his whitepaper for Bitcoin. It served as the most used P2P software and thrived due to its economic model of ‘give and receive’.

In 2018, TRON bought BitTorrent and announced their plan to integrate it into their network. This was met by criticism from the ex-CSO of BitTorrent who claimed that the TRON blockchain cannot handle the volume of transfers from BitTorrent.

As destiny would have it, the whitepaper outlined that they will deploy an on-chain token exchange with a private ledger to process BTT transactions, as TRON cannot achieve the necessary throughput to handle it.

TRON bought a company that owned the world’s largest P2P data transfer client, one that was thriving as it was, and deployed it on a blockchain with a token to create friction that never existed.

The team argues that the point of the token is to incentivize seeders and enable users to purchase network bandwidth. What they failed to understand is that the existing game theory of BitTorrent was perfect as it was – seeders keep seeding to keep the network strong, and in return when they need to leech there are adequate seeders.

With that said, another use-case of the token comes with the unveiling of BLive, BitTorrents mobile streaming service that is akin to that of the Brave browser, wherein users can tip their favorite streamers and content creators in BTT amongst other features. Whilst this does broaden the use-case for BTT, what can be said of the performance of the token on the market?

Tokenomics of BitTorrent

TRON’s plan of integrating a new incentive layer on BitTorrent can be seen as ambitious, and their intent is definitely positive. But the economics of BTT issuance renders it an asset nobody would want to hold – so what’s the point of even having the token?

BitTorrent is best compared to ERC20 tokens as they are both meant to be utility tokens built on top of a base blockchain.

Most ERC-20s like Golem (GNT), Basic Attention Token (BAT), and OmiseGo (OMG) have issued the entirety of their supply and have nil inflation. Others like ChainLink (LINK) and 0x have not and have issued 93 percent and 65 percent of their supply respectively.

BTT has issued 40 percent of its supply, with a reported supply of 212 billion tokens and a hard cap at 990 billion. The inflation rate on BTT is a mind-numbing 70.98 percent as per Messari data.

Essentially, investing in BitTorrent now means that by the time total supply has been issued, your position has been diluted to more than half of what it is today. Of the 588 cryptocurrencies and tokens for which Messari has data, BTT is at number 7 in terms of highest inflation rate.

The team and TRON Foundation will hold nearly 40 percent of supply. The public sale accounts for just 15 percent of total supply. If the Foundation and investors dump their tokens in the market to realize their returns, the minority are doomed.

Nobody in their right senses would invest with such high inflation; add the token dilution and low market float to the mix and you have an economic disaster on your hands.

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Centralized web browsing is a threat to your privacy and security

As internet security company Kaspersky inadvertently provided online marketers with a means through which they could track the web browsing habits …

Centralized web browsing is a threat to your privacy and online security as it makes it more likely that secondary and third parties can track your browsing habits.

As internet security company Kaspersky inadvertently provided online marketers with a means through which they could track the web browsing habits of users, the incident underscores a need to move to decentralized web browsing.

It may be time that we started looking towards peer to peer and decentralized systems in order to counteract this vulnerability.

Decentralized Web Browsers

Paul Frazee, co-founder of the Beaker browser, suggests that our online world has developed purely into a client-server model. Whilst this works quite well, you don’t own your data.

Read More: Decentralizing the Web Amidst Debate on Censorship, 8chan ban

Our information is going into the cloud and is then sitting in a server in plain text. However, Frazee believes that software engineers have an obligation to protect users’ data — something that is not happening with the current model.

It’s still very much early days, but a number of nascent projects are beginning to emerge in this space. Beaker is an experimental peer to peer browser. Whilst you can browse ‘http://’ and ‘https://’ websites like traditional browsers, Beaker also supports ‘dat://’, a peer to peer protocol called Dat.

How Peer to Peer Browsing Works

Through the Beaker project, the software engineer has tried to implement peer to peer networking using Node.js and Chromium technologies. The mention of decentralization in these times usually goes hand in hand with blockchain, yet Beaker doesn’t use blockchain technology to achieve a peer to peer network. Instead, Dat as a variation of BitTorrent is being used.

With a peer to peer system, one user can publish a website. Another user may download that website in accessing it. Subsequently, a third user can download the relevant files from either of the first two network participants.

As new people join that network, they provide more resources to access data. The system can then scale up on this basis, so there is access for all. For a short period after visiting a website, the user will in turn host that content to contribute to the community and make the system scalable.

One other side benefit is that it becomes really cheap to allocate new websites. Rather than being addressed by an ip address, these websites are cryptographically addressed through public keys.

A new website is allocated simply by generating a new key and there’s no limitation on how many are created.

Kaspersky AntiVirus Security Flaw

It emerged last week that leading antivirus software provider, Kaspersky Labs, had unintentionally exposed service users to having their web browsing habits spied on over a number of years.

Ronald Elkenberg, a journalist with German technology publication, c’t, discovered the javascript code, which was being injected whilst containing a unique identifier for each site the user visited. This enabled cross site tracking.

Whilst the flaw was Kaspersky’s, it couldn’t have happened with a decentralized web browsing model.

Privacy Worth the Effort

The online public has made a trade off in recent years between convenience and privacy. It takes a lot more effort to use online services whilst following a strong privacy regimen. By the same token, the solutions that enable stronger security and privacy oftentimes, are in and of themselves, less convenient to use.

Read More: Tech giants seek to exorcise privacy woes to win back trust

Decentralization is key in this regard. We recently considered the decentralization of the domain name system (DNS) and other projects that are looking to decentralize the internet itself.

There are other projects still, which are looking to provide decentralized versions of a range of online services from social media platforms to ride sharing.

It’s early days for these projects. They will need to find a way of becoming more user friendly. Probably more significantly still, they will need to find a way of achieving critical mass such that there are sufficient users to make their offerings useful.

To this end, we as consumers need to wake up and smell the coffee also. The current scenario with regard to online personal data is scary in terms of what that data can reveal about an individual.

That situation is rapidly becoming worse. As technologies such as the internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) show signs of major utility and application, it’s likely that the amount of data collected will explode within a few short years. If we allow that data to be used against us, we are going to be in a dystopian 1984 scenario.

I understand why people have opted for convenience over privacy up until now (and count myself as guilty of the very same charge). However, I’m optimistic that the reality with regard to how data can be used against us from here on in will start to have a sobering effect on us as a society, resulting in a willingness to go the extra mile and reclaim our online privacy.

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Networking software startup Arrcus raises $30M in Series B round

The oversubscribed Series B round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors General Catalyst and Clear …

Software-defined networking startup Arrcus Inc. said today that it has raised $30 million in a new funding round that brings its total capital to raised to $49 million.

The oversubscribed Series B round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors General Catalyst and Clear Ventures.

Arrcus emerged from stealth mode last year touting a network operating system called ArcOS that runs on white-box switches and routers in physical, virtual and cloud environments. ArcOS is designed for data center operators, content delivery networks and telecommunications carriers. It enables open networking that addresses data center workloads, internet peering (the interconnection of separate networks), resilient routing to the host and massively scalable clusters in physical or software container form.

ArcOS is comprised of a set of software modules that provide various management capabilities for coordinating network operations. These include a “hyper-performance resilient control plane” and application programming interfaces that enable companies to create automation workflows. ArcOS also features a telemetry tool that can collect detailed information about network activity for monitoring purposes.

The modules that make up ArcOS are based on a microservices architecture similar to that of modern, container-based cloud applications. The main advantage is that users can restart a component for maintenance purposes without having to take the entire deployment offline, which reduces downtime.

Arrcus founder and Chief Executive Officer Devesh Garg (pictured, right, with General Catalyst Managing Director Steve Herrod) last year appeared on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, arguing that ArcOS was more flexible and scalable than traditional networking setups:

Arrcus said the new funds will be used to expand its operations to support its growing customer base and scale up its strategic partnerships and production. Garg said in a statement that Lightspeed and Guru will help strengthen the company’s infrastructure expertise and operational scale. “Business providers and enterprises alike want to move away from closed, proprietary, vertically integrated systems and prefer the freedom of choice,” he said.

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Morgan Stanley and Box launch document sharing portal

Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO of Box, comments that Morgan Stanley is driving more efficiency and collaboration by working with Box.

Morgan Stanley has teamed up with cloud content management firm, Box, to launch a new platform for sharing encrypted documents between clients and financial advisors, reports Jane Connolly.

Clients can share important documents such as wills, deeds and tax filings with their financial advisors via Morgan Stanley’s encrypted repository Digital Vault. The Box solution – which includes Box Platform, Box KeySafe and Box Governance – adds another layer of encryption not offered by email and enables two-way sharing and communication.

Financial advisors and their clients will now be able to share and store encrypted documents in a cloud-based central location, collaborate with each other through interactive commentary and get notifications when content is uploaded.

Clients can upload and access documents through Morgan Stanley online and its mobile app.

“Adopting new technologies to enhance and improve the way we deliver information to our clients and foster communication between advisor teams and clients is incredibly important for wealth management – especially in this increasingly digital world,” says Naureen Hassan, chief digital officer for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.

“By investing in a cloud content management platform like Box and leveraging other best-of-breed technology partners, we have been able to create a more secure, efficient and collaborative environment for conducting business.”

Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO of Box, comments that Morgan Stanley is driving more efficiency and collaboration by working with Box.

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Morgan Stanley taps Box for encrypted document sharing portal

Box co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie said: “As one of the world’s leading investment banking, securities and wealth management firms, Morgan …

American investment bank Morgan Stanley has teamed up with cloud content management firm Box to introduce a document sharing portal for clients.

Dubbed ‘Digital Vault’, the new offering enables clients to share various documents including wills, deeds, estate plans, financial statements as well as tax filings with their financial advisers.

Security concerns are addressed by using encryption during the sharing process.

Box co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie said: “As one of the world’s leading investment banking, securities and wealth management firms, Morgan Stanley has been on the cutting-edge of building technologies that drive their business and financial markets worldwide.

“With Box, they are applying that same forward-thinking strategy, providing clients and their employees with better access to information, and ultimately driving more efficiency and collaboration.”

Users can gain access to the cloud-based tool and upload documents via Morgan Stanley Online and the bank’s mobile app.

Both clients and advisers will receive notifications after documents are uploaded.

The two parties can also comment on the documents, further improving their collaboration.

Morgan Stanley chief information officer for wealth management Sal Cucchiara said: “Box empowers our clients to collaborate with their financial advisers seamlessly while adhering to the highest standards of data privacy, protection and security.”

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