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Disclosure: I'm the author of WebTorrent.
It's so fulfilling to see WebTorrent still popping up on Hacker News after all these years. I started the project in 2013 and devoted most of my 20s to working on it, ultimately becoming a full-time open source maintainer, and writing hundreds of npm packages including buffer (https://github.com/feross/buffer), simple-peer (https://github.com/feross/simple-peer), and StandardJS (https://standardjs.com/).
I started WebTorrent with the goal of extending the BitTorrent protocol to become more web-friendly, allowing any browser to become a peer in the torrent network. Within less than a year of starting the project, I got WebTorrent fully working. And it worked _well_, beating many native torrent apps in terms of raw download speed and the ability to stream videos within seconds of adding a torrent.
WebTorrent never got as much attention as the cryptocurrency projects selling tokens throughout the mid-2010s, even though WebTorrent actually worked and had more real users than almost all of them :) I was never tempted to add a crypto-token to WebTorrent, despite many well-meaning friends telling me to do it. Nonetheless, WebTorrent served as an accessible on-ramp to the world of decentralized tech, along with other projects like Dat (https://dat-ecosystem.org/) and Secure Scuttlebutt (https://scuttlebutt.nz/).
But WebTorrent is more than a protocol extension to BitTorrent. We built a popular desktop torrent client, WebTorrent Desktop (https://webtorrent.io/desktop/), which supports powerful features like instant video streaming.
If you’re building a website and want to fetch files from a torrent, you can use `webtorrent` to do that directly client-side, in a decentralized manner. The WebTorrent Workshop (https://webtorrent.github.io/workshop/) is helpful for getting started and teaches you how to download and stream a torrent into an HTML page in just 10 lines of code.
Now that WebTorrent is fully supported in nearly all the most popular torrent clients, including uTorrent, dare I say that we succeeded? It's been a long and winding journey, but I'm glad to have played a role in making this happen. Special shoutouts to all the open source contributors over the years, especially Diego R Baquero, Alex Morais,
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