Storj to act as a torrent webseed?

Today’s reddit post on AWS dropping support on BitTorrent made me think that maybe it would be a good (if low priority) idea to make it possible for Storj to act as a bittorrent webseed.

For those not familiar with bittorrents, this is a technology that allows distributing data in a true p2p fashion, where every client who has even small bits of a distributed file can share them with other clients. Usually all clients wanting to retrieve a specific distributed file simply get them from other torrent clients who have it. To initiate distribution, one just runs the first client with all the data. Webseeds is an alternative, where in case there are no torrent clients having all the pieces, data can be obtained by http using some external hosting prepared by the person initiating distribution.

AWS S3 used to have a feature where you could mark any file as one to be also distributed by torrents. This feature was supposed to lower the costs to share popular files, as most of the traffic was p2p torrent traffic, and not egress from S3.

Regarding Storj, I’d imagine the following features:

  • Basic: building a webseed support into some popular bittorrent clients, so that people already using bittorrent could have an alternative way to fetch data.
  • A bit more complex: building a (specialized Storj-only) torrent client into libuplink, so that the torrent feature would work transparently for the customers.

Especially the latter could then be used by customers to, let say, have a local copy of their Storj-stored data for faster/cheaper access, transparently without leaving libuplink.

Just a shower thought.


i like the idea, tho torrents have been a bit of a touchy subject from time to time…

it makes me wonder why AWS removed it in the first place, ofc amazon is pretty high up on the foodchain they may be moved to do so for political reasons.

torrents are a great way to distribute data quick and easily, and sounds like it would be an excellent addition to storjs DCS feature set.

but who knows, i know i would spend a good deal of time digging into why exactly AWS wanted to remove a good useful feature in the first place… before putting a lot of hours into developing it.


My very first thought was “Well, they dropped it for a reason”
Maybe not enough use? Are torrents still a very popular method of content distribution (I’m talking legit stuff, obviously)?

in the reddit post it sounds a bit like it didn’t work very well, the concept was good and maybe saved them bandwidth…

so lets take it apart… there are two options the webseed hosting and the option that storj DCS customer could flick a switch and make their files available over torrents

the first option tho nice for end users doesn’t really provide much for the network aside from a ton of iops, because it’s very low data and high usage frequency most likely.
and thats really that was torrentsites does or peoples own websites can offer.
ofc if one can host websites on Storj DCS now then i guess maybe it works fine…

then there is the whole customers making files public and then letting them be shared onto the torrent network, which again would move a file off the network and again would be good for end users if they like it… but might not really do anything, for speed, availability or such…

initially the thought is good… but almost seems like it might be a detriment to the network…
because one moves data from the network over in another distributed network.

oh thinking of this gives me a good idea…
one should be able to upload stuff with a one time user payment… so one can basically upload paid media for distribution and storj handles the money transfers from the viewers to the customer that offered the media…

Are torrents still a very popular method of content distribution (I’m talking legit stuff, obviously)?

For linux ISOs (both actual and metaphorical), yes. Also for academic datasets, see e.g. I heard Blizzard’s autoupdater also uses torrents under the hood. Not much, but the technology is quite solid and certainly can be used for building unusual features.

And I mostly thought of the second use case, where the torrent is just a means to implement a feature of additional local storage for data.

because one moves data from the network over in another distributed network.

Yeah, but if Storj can’t compete with a less reliable network like torrents, then something’s wrong. AWS had torrents, because it served their customers.