VIDEO: Bram Cohen gives demonstration of the new tech

BitTorrent inventor puts finishing touches on P2P live video protocol

The man responsible for the BitTorrent file-sharing protocol is finalising a new live video streaming peer-to-peer system which he hopes will be superior to traditional streaming video systems on the market.

Cohen’s big idea with BitTorrent was that files could be chopped up into small pieces and passed around a network ‘swarm’ with multiple systems downloading pieces they didn’t have while uploading to others the pieces that they had already downloaded.

The technology revolutionised file sharing, distributing the bandwidth usage of files across the Internet rather than relying on servers with enough bandwidth for every user. As an unintended consequence, the same strategy made BitTorrent useful for illegal activities since there was no single server for authorities to target. 

Nearing the tenth anniversary of BitTorrent, Cohen gave a demonstration of the new P2P streaming system to file sharing activist website Torrentfreak, where he said the system would improve upon existing solutions by being more efficient while offering lower latency.

BitTorrent, the company, created a YouTube video for Torrentfreak which demonstrated the technology in action. Bram Cohen fronts the video in an ‘extreme culture’ t-shirt, explaining how the technology works.

When asked, Bram said the technology would be released in ‘summer’. Torrentfeak predicted that this would mean July which they said: "makes sense PR-wise because the BitTorrent protocol then officially celebrates its tenth anniversary."

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