BitTorrent Rolls Out Beta Test of Live Mobile Streaming App

BitTorrent introduced a public beta test of its Live Android app (also known as BLive), described as a live streaming app that offers social networking and instant messaging as well as virtual gifting via BTT and TRX, two cryptocurrencies operated by BitTorrent and sister company TRON. BitTorrent will take a cut of 70 percent from these gifts. The company explained that it is initially releasing BitTorrent Live with server-based architecture, but plans to replace it in the future with P2P-based live streaming.

Variety reports that, in comparison to BitTorrent, “Periscope used to take a 30 percent cut from virtual gifts, but eventually decided to give broadcasters 100 percent of their gifted micropayments, save for a small administrative fee.”

Variety notes that BLive is “BitTorrent’s third stab at live streaming,” the first ten years ago when founder/inventor Bram Cohen first explored P2P live streaming and then tested PC-based live streaming in 2011. In the following years, BitTorrent “refocused on mobile live streaming … and eventually developed plans to launch a P2P-based TV subscription service, complete with apps for Apple TV and other TV-connected devices.”

Those plans ended in early 2017 when the BitTorrent Live team was laid off and blockchain maven Justin Sun acquired the company. Since then, blockchain technology has been integrated into some of BitTorrent’s file sharing apps.

In a blog post, BitTorrent explains that “with more than 100 million monthly active BitTorrent users, BLive connects content creators to consumers who want to seamlessly combine entertainment with cross-border payments.” Sun called BLive “a bold move in the application of the blockchain technology.” “By introducing mainstream, circulating tokens TRX and BTT for gifting users, BLive will usher in an age of token economy,” he said.

Available on Android app stores, BLive “has completed its build on audio/video live streaming services, including account system, user relationship, payment systems, gifting systems, and top user charts.” BLive payments can be made with Google Wallet, PayPal and credit cards supported by Google Wallet.