Durabit: Using Bitcoin to Incentivize Torrent Seeding

Title: Durabit: A Proposed Solution to BitTorrent’s Seeding Problem

BitTorrent, a technology protocol that has been around for 22 years, has long been a crucial tool for moving data around the internet. Similar in scope to Bitcoin, it has fundamentally changed how data is shared. However, BitTorrent has always faced a major issue: the seeding problem. After completing a download, many users immediately close their torrent client without leaving it seeding, which is essential for the files to remain available for others to download.

Durabit, a recent proposal, aims to address this problem by creating an incentive mechanism for file seeders. The system relies on a chaumian ecash mint, and its operation is relatively simple. A third party enters into a contractual arrangement with the ecash mint, consisting of a series of timelocked pre-signed transactions. This, in turn, encourages users to keep seeding a file.

The proposal relies on purely incentives. Each transaction pays out a small amount of funds to the chaumian mint in a timelocked output, and spends the rest back to the issuer of the contract. The party that issued the contract can revoke it at any time by double-spending that output if the mint is not distributing funds honestly.

To ensure honesty, the mint can audit seeders by periodically selecting random chunks of the torrent file to download. Similarly, the issuer of the contract can indirectly monitor the torrent swarm to assess the mint’s honesty. If dishonesty is detected, the contract can be revoked.

Overall, Durabit provides a simple and elegant solution to the seeding problem, aligning incentives for both the mint and the issuer. While not foolproof, it offers a promising way to ensure the availability of files and resolve the longstanding issue within the BitTorrent protocol.

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J-S Tremblay
About the author - J-S Tremblay

I've been involved in the cryptocurrency world since 2016 and trading since 2019. I started Moon and Lambo in 2021. I'm passionate about crypto and love to share my knowledge. I hate bankers and I hope that cryptocurrency will change the financial world for the better. View full profile...

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