BitTorrent Tokens: The Last Minute Christmas Gift, Now Extortionate on eBay

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/bittorrent-tokens-the-last-minute-christmas-gift-now-extortionate-on-ebay-191225/

It’s December 25, 2019, so Happy Christmas, Happy Holidays, and all the best to everyone from us here at TorrentFreak, wherever you may be and whatever you may be celebrating.

Sadly, for some of you today it won’t all be fun and games. Some will experience an awful sinking feeling, one prompted by the arrival of an unexpected guest bearing an equally unexpected Christmas card or, worse still, one accompanied by a Christmas gift, all beautifully wrapped with a little bow on top.

You won’t have prepared for this so panic will quickly set in. You’ll probably have a spare card you can quickly scribble on but no appropriate gift. This will cause acute embarrassment and raised blood pressure. Will a hastily prepared turkey sandwich or glass of wine suffice, or will something more substantial be required?

First of all, calm down. After assessing the value of the incoming gift, you can head off to Amazon to send an emailed gift card of roughly equivalent value. However, if your gift-bearer is a file-sharer, there is a more novel option.

As readers will be aware, earlier this year BitTorrent Inc. launched its BTT token. Reportedly, these could be earned in the new uTorrent client by seeding lots of content and then spent to obtain faster torrent downloads elsewhere. We couldn’t find much evidence of anyone earning much or getting faster transfers but since when did an emergency gift have to be useful?

The problem here, however, is that you need some BTT now – right now – so how can that be achieved without panic-seeding terabytes of content and hoping for the best?

Easy. Quickly log into eBay and buy some.

As the image above shows, it is possible to buy 45,000 BTT tokens in one go. Think about it – your guest brought only one gift, so they can’t fail to be impressed by the scale of your offering. Unless they get out a calculator and realize what a scam this is.

While the deodorant gift set, socks, wine, or chocolates you’re trying to balance out are probably worth much less than €89.99 (US$100.44), the BTT haul on offer here represents such poor value it’s an absolute joke, and not a very funny one either.

As the image below shows, at the time of writing BTT tokens are worth less than $0.0003 each.

…..which means that 45,000 of them are worth around $12.78 (€11.45). Clearly, this is a massive profit for the numerous people on eBay offering to sell them, even when factoring in your gift vulnerability situation on Christmas Day.

But there are other problems too. While it may look like the BTT are up for sale, what you’re actually buying is a “contract to mine” BTT. The issue here is that unlike bitcoin or similar cryptocurrencies, there is no mining involved with the BTT utility token. They cannot be mined.

The bottom line here is that while 45,000 BTT may sound like a lot – even at $12.78 for this huge amount – they currently aren’t a particularly useful commodity. According to even the most experienced users who seed massive amounts of content constantly, it’s hard if not impossible to earn BTT and downloads don’t run noticeably faster when people spend them either.

This is a mystery that even torrent experts have puzzled over for months but this week a tweet from BitTorrent Inc. inadvertently revealed the root of the problem. When the BTT-powered BitTorrent Speed project was announced, CEO of BitTorrent Inc. Justin Sun said that “more than 100 million users” would soon reap the benefits.

However, it seems that interest in BTT is so minimal that meeting up with other BTT-powered users in a swarm is extremely unlikely.

This almost complete lack of interest in BTT may yet turn around but as Christmas presents go, this token won’t set hearts racing in 2019. So to avoid embarrassment today, you should’ve kept a few blank Christmas cards back, pre-wrapped several bottles of half-decent wine, while continually reminding yourself never to panic-buy gifts off eBay.

Especially ones you can’t return when you sober up.

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