Bram Cohen is the founder, director, president and chief executive officer Chia network, a blockchain and cryptocurrency company. His coin was launched in 2021. And unlike bitcoin D ethereum, its mining depends on the amount of disk space that we allocate to it, and not on computing power. The company was founded in 2017 and is valued at $500 million. But Bram Cohen has a past. Today he is 46 years old, but at 26 he created BitTorrenta file sharing protocol that almost everyone knows, despite the fact that social networks and streaming platforms have taken center stage in it.

Figures are dancing around. world internet trafficbut different approximations give us an idea of ​​the weight BitTorrent on the modern internet. According to a report published in March 2022 sand vine, the company that manages broadband, in terms of content type, file sharing, ranks seventh, led by video (53.72%), social media (12.69%) and the Internet (9.86%). File sharing drops to 3.74% of total internet traffic. However, if we stick to traffic data data loading, BitTorrent still remains king, topping the list with 9.7% of the total. This is followed by HTTP (9.05%), Google 88.02%), Facebook (5.77%) or WordPress (5.01%).

On the official page BitTorrentcompany operating the eponymous trademark, protocol and official P2P client, names Netflix, Facebook, Google, Twitter or lionsgate as recommended clients that use this protocol to send and receive content. Other sources also talk about Wikipedia or Blizzard. And in due time, his own ValveThe person in charge of Steam used BitTorrent to handle your large amount of file downloads. However, at the beginning, BitTorrent was associated with downloading movies, music and video games without the permission of their authors. Today, this usage still exists despite the rise of services such as Netflix, HBOMax or Disney+. Or precisely because of the saturation of subscription platforms. But how were things when BitTorrent came along?

Bram Cohen, padre de BitTorrent, en una imagen de 2019
Interview with Bram Cohen in 2019. Source: Chia Network (Facebook)

Math, puzzles and P2P

Revisiting biography Bram Cohen, the father of the BitTorrent protocol, its first official client and founder of the company of the same name that today runs the brand, we see that all the pieces fit together. Come on, it was almost inevitable that Cohen would dedicate himself to creating a file sharing protocol that would speed up the process by downloading a file from multiple sources at the same time. This was the basis on which Cohen created BitTorrent in 2001. But the idea came a little earlier, when he was working in MojoNation. But let’s take it step by step.

Bram Cohen was born in New York on October 12, 1975. Particularly on the Upper West Side. The son of a computer science teacher, he soon learned to work with computers. AT Wikipedia he is said to have learned BASIC at the age of 5. True or not, Cohen’s love of mathematics led him to participate in Olympiad in mathematics from the United States while in high school. We don’t know what position he was in. Since then, he has continued to show his passion for math and puzzles. However, although he began his studies at the University of New York at Buffalo, he did not complete them. Instead, he worked at various dot-coms of the time until he found MojoNation.

AT MojoNationrather, in its parent company, Evil geniuses for a better tomorrowwhere it interferes with file encryption and distribution. This company, founded Jim McCoy, among other enthusiasts, has its own P2P client. And while it didn’t penetrate much into the collective memory, the software did introduce a few new features that we’re still talking about today. To begin with, its file transfer protocol used public key encryption, nodes, point-to-point encryption, and other elements that were later used by the protocol itself. BitTorrent. And with the help of related technologies such as blockchain which we talk about non-stop today thanks to cryptocurrencies and NFTs. Exactly MojoNation also had his digital currency. Many years before the advent of tokens and cryptocurrencies.

He said that from MojoNation There were great ideas that we continue to apply in various technologies today. One such great idea was the creation of BitTorrent by Bram Cohen, then a startup employee. Evil geniuses for a better tomorrowwho was the owner of this P2P software. So after spending some time there, in April 2001 he decided to create his own P2P software at his own risk. First the protocol itself, and then the first official client of the same name, programmed in Python.

Napster, el rey del P2P que duró más bien poco

Speed ​​and popularity of BitTorrent

Although not the first of its kind, dream book was the app that revolutionized the way we shared files. It was a stellar P2P program. Although his life was rather short. It was released in 1999. And while it wasn’t perfect, it was the best we had at the time. Diverse catalog of songs, shared by users and chat to communicate while downloading songs. A process that took its time with time connections. And this is if the exchange was not interrupted due to the fact that the other person closed the program or the connection was interrupted. ADSL and fiber optics were far from accessible to everyone.

In the first decade of the 21st century and after the fall dream book due to legal reasons, closing the platform in July 2001, there will be many alternatives. names like WinMX, iMesh, Audio Galaxy or KaZaA They remain in the memory of many. But they all had a drawback: the download was slow because it was carried out from user to user. Isn’t it better to get a file from two or more sources at the same time? It was an idea that Bram Cohen had during his time in Evil geniuses for a better tomorrow and what he put into practice with BitTorrent. And, of course, popularity immediately came to him. Fast loading without interruptions. Could you ask for more?

Actually yes. While this P2P protocol gained popularity with the public, it had its drawbacks. There was no built-in search engine to find the files you were looking for. You should get a text file, extension .torrent, and based on the information in this file, the download and upload of the file was started. But in 2005 one of the most popular BitTorrent clients, university, distributed tracking is introduced. In this way, BitTorrent clients could share the data needed to share files.

Over time, BitTorrent clients with built-in search engine, magnet linksthat prevent file uploads .torrentBitTorrent v2 protocol (May 2017) and many clients such as uTorrentwhich was acquired by the BitTorrent company itself, and other similar Transmission, Flood, BitComet or qBittorrent. To this we must add an endless ecosystem of pages and forums dedicated to offering content for this P2P network.

BitTorrent cumplió 20 años en 2021

Legacy of BitTorrent

As I mentioned earlier, although BitTorrent joined at the beginning to downloading copyrighted content, an inevitable association for all P2P technologies, over time, companies around the world have realized the benefits of BitTorrent for sending and receiving large files. And secure, thanks to concepts such as network decentralization, encryption, hashes information, etc. It was at the end of 2003 that Bram Cohen himself worked on Valve to assist you in the digital distribution of content through the gaming platform Steam. He will leave the company next year to form his own BitTorrent, Inc. He will do it with his brother Ross Cohen and other similar Ashwin Naveen.

At the end of 2017, the father of BitTorrent left his own company to pursue the path of cryptocurrencies. At the beginning of the article, I talked about Chia network, your current company and professional project. Alternative bitcoin and ethereum. Interestingly, both BitTorrent and cryptocurrencies have a lot in common. Without BitTorrent, blockchain technology would not be possible. Without blockchain, we would not have cryptocurrencies.

Be that as it may, the BitTorrent protocol is alive as ever. He may have fallen out of favor with TikTok Netflix or YouTube, but companies around the world continue to use it to manage large files internally. Many of us continue to use this protocol to search discontinued content. There are even web browsers that support BitTorrent. And thanks to protocol WebRTCwhich owes a lot to BitTorrent, we can share large files from the browser with other people using free, legal and secure services such as ShareDrop, FilePizza and the like.

Source: Hiper Textual

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