Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Is BitTorrent dead?

Is BitTorrent dead?: "No. Well, we don't think so, at least.

Although we were certainly interested in the fact that torrents were so heavily centralized, they grew this way organically, and did not require massive advertising budgets to grow their audience. If eBay were shutdown, another marketplace would simply take its place, by growing into the position. As large torrent sites are shut down, we predict that smaller sites will simply grow to take their place. The only cost to higher traffic is bandwidth, and luckily, online advertising revenues also scale with traffic. This creates an incentive for new sites to emerge and grow.

In this case, centralization is a feature, not a necessity. Just look at most popular and you'll see BitTorrent sites every couple days, as people uncover new places to find the files they're looking for.

But more importantly, the biggest thing we learned from this exercise was that many diverse groups of people are embracing BitTorrent, and the number of sites hosting torrent files is growing by the day. This fragmentation makes tracking down central sites difficult, if not impossible, and also shows how easy it is to host a front-end to torrents. Projects like BlogTorrent will only drive this trend more and more mainstream. And hopefully search engines like will help unite these disparate sources of information, and make things easy to find, regardless of where the files are.

For the people that aim to stop P2P, they have turned a centralized system like Napster – easily controlled, easily monitored – into a fully decentralized system in the form of Kazaa, as well as a fragmented ecosystem of thousands of centralized servers through BitTorrent. This was probably a bad decision. As the folks on say, “hilarity ensues.” "

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