Bittorrent Client Joystream Aims to Go Live on Bitcoin Cash Mainnet

March 17, 2018

This week the cryptocurrency-infused Bittorrent client, Joystream, has announced the streaming platform will go live on the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) mainnet within days.

Joystream Plans to Go Live on Bitcoin Cash Mainnet in Days

Joystream is a Bittorrent application that offers rewards for downloading and seeding torrent files. The startup was founded by Dr. Bedeho Mender, and the development team first launched its alpha clients back 2015. The original Bittorrent software enables peer-to-peer file sharing, but Joystream hopes micropayment incentives for sharing files and bandwidth can help create a more robust torrenting atmosphere. Dr. Mender told back in 2015 that for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin to have value they should be distributed widely.     

“For transferable proof of work tokens to have value, they must have monetary value — To have monetary value, they must be transferred within a very large network,” the founder of Joystream explained.

Now the company has revealed it is integrating with the Bitcoin Cash mainnet shortly. Joystream says when the very first version was designed back in 2014, the cryptocurrency environment operated a whole lot different. For instance, the application relied on low-value payments and faster confirmation times. The team explains that even though there’s been some improvement with Segwit and UTXO batching it is still hard to rely on the BTC chain.

“The Bitcoin blockchain no longer reliably operates within reasonable bounds of our initial assumptions,” explains Joystream.  

We have been active on Bitcoin testnet for a long while, but we have now decided to go live on Bitcoin Cash.

The Team’s Goal is to Solve a Problem for Users

Joystream details that the Lightning Network (LN) would help relieve the situation, but the team wants users to interact with their software and “real funds as soon as possible, rather than significantly delaying our launch.” LN is progressing Joystream’s statement explains, but the protocol is still a “highly experimental software.”

“The problem we had to solve in JoyStream was how to make the exchange of payments for data in a low trust context. The downloader has to make sure to only pay if they get the right data, and the uploader has to make sure to get paid if they send the right data,” Dr. Mender explains in more detail during a discussion with

“We do that by establishing one-off payment channels where payments and data are exchanged tit-for-tat  This arrangement is relatively safe under the assumption that unconfirmed transactions are relatively reliable for low-value payments, and it is only economical when the on chain fees associated with using such a channel are sufficiently low,” Dr. Mender notes.

In our judgement, neither of these two premises held sufficient reliability on Bitcoin any longer, so we were forced to switch, or to make very large changes to our software and protocol, in order to integrate by the nascent Lightning Network, for us, the tradeoff was clearly in the Bitcoin Cash direction, at least for now.

The team also detailed the reasons to why they chose to use the BCH chain rather than other blockchains. One example is the BCH community is committed to on-chain capacity increases over the long term. Further, bitcoin cash is supported by a variety of infrastructure services and on/off ramps, explains Joystream. Moreover, there are a lot of BCH proponents who have vested interest in using the currency for spending. Lastly, Joystream says that the Bcoin toolkit works well with bitcoin cash and it was easy for the development team to update.

During the end of the announcement, Joystream also highlights that they are not taking positions in the long-running scaling debate.

“Our goal is to solve a problem for our users, in the best way we know how, within the constraints, we are facing at any given time,” Joystream emphasizes.

What do you think about Joystream going live on the bitcoin cash blockchain in a few days? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments below.

Images via Shutterstock, Joystream, and Dr. Bedeho Mender.

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