Academic Torrent Client: What is It About?

Having been around for almost 15 years, the Tribler academic torrent client has evolved into the only decentralized BitTorrent client. Tribler users would still have access to new content even if all torrent sites disappear.

Managed by an academic team, Tribler is also known as the Academic torrent client. And because a team of academic researchers is managing it, you can be assured of its continued development.

In the past few years, the team has added built-in Tor network into the Tribler client. This includes a Blockchain that also doubles as an internal currency. The Delft University of Technology has announced this week that its group of researchers has received €3.3 million for the continuous building of IoT “Internet-of-Trust.” A big portion of this cash flow is going to be utilized for Tribler’s development.

Bigger Goals with the Academic Torrent Client

Given the financial backing that they received for the development of the Academic torrent client, Johan Pouwelse, the project leader, is confident enough to set bigger goals for this project. He’s planning to lay the groundwork for an ecosystem that could replace those multi-billion-dollar companies that are currently dominating the entertainment industry.

Pouwelse wants to bring the artists back in control. According to him, the artists themselves must be in charge of monetizing as well as distributing the content.

This concept isn’t really new. More and more artists want to get their rights back. For instance, Taylor Swift spoke up when she found out that the previous record label that she was working with is trying to prevent her from performing her songs.

Imogen Heap, on the other hand, is trying to come up with a much fairer music ecosystem that will be based in the Blockchain technology.

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Cutting the Middlemen

tribler interface

Pouwelse has been closely following these developments and he strongly believes that these artists must have full control over their own content. He’s hoping that the Academic torrent client can help get rid of the middlemen.

He further stated that every artist should be able to publish and promote his or her own songs. By removing the middlemen, fans will get easy access to the content that their idols create. Pouwelse says he’s disappointed with the fact that the music industry is now filled with intermediaries that are getting the biggest profits. Singer Imogen Heap is now coming up with new business models that will give fair compensation to the artists for their creative work.

The goal is to win over powerful companies in the entertainment industry. However, while the Tribler torrent client includes a lot of content from Pirate Bay, it’s not their intention to promote piracy. As a matter of fact, decentralization might just help to prevent piracy since the content would be cheaper. This is in case the artists distribute the content themselves.

Potential Problems

Pouwelse is trying to build a future where artists will have access to content distribution and storage. He’s hoping that the academic torrent client will help build a world where artists will be able to set their rules not dictated by other companies.

While the plan seems to be promising and truly ambitious, it also comes with potential problems. It’s not really hard for artists to publish or store content on their own. But the problem comes with the adoption and exposure to decentralized alternatives.

Indeed, Tribler features all the resources that would allow artists to release their album while keeping all of the profits. But if there are only a few users on the platform, then the profits wouldn’t be that good. As a matter of fact, they might actually earn more if they will go through a middleman.

This can be a real issue. Thus, in order for a decentralized alternative to be successful, they must have a big user base. It should be big enough to rival the existing options, which is just close to impossible.


Pouwelse is aware of these potential problems but he’s a firm believer of change. According to him, if Blockchain and BitTorrent work together, they could trigger a significant change in the way the entertainment industry works.

What do you think of the Tribler project? Do you think that this academic torrent client has the potential to shake up the thriving entertainment industry?

Let us know in the comments down below!


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