Transparency of access in peer-to-peer filesharing networks


With the use of peer-to-peer file sharing networks like BitTorrent or Freenet, the distribution of files amongst participants has become fast and easy. In a collaborative environment, this kind of data pool often makes sense, but with the drawback that someone who has provided data to the pool, loses control about who had accessed what file. This transparency of access is often required, e.g. for billing purposes or to fulfil the transparency rule of the new general data protection regulation.

There are several options to solve this problem including the use of central systems or logging that involves the source of data. Usually these options introduce single points of failure. The Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology offers a blockchain based method that is filed as a patent (patent pending) that avoids these single points of failure but still offers the benefits of redundant distributed file storage and still being able to audit selective the access of files.


The method combines a classical peer-to-peer file sharing network with file encryption. It adds a blockchain-based message exchange network that is used as a transparency layer. This transparency layer is used to manage key distribution and key requests and also acts as an audit log for file access. 


  • Provides transparency in the access of data for auditing purposes.
  • Maintains confidentiality of the files that are distributed in the network
  • Discloses only to known identified parties.
  • Avoids single point of failures and central systems.

Potential Applications

  • Existing file sync and sharing or content collaboration platforms.
  • Plugin for existing NAS servers
  • Specialized or dedicated content exchange platforms (e.g., health data, media content).
Research domains
  • IT

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Intellectual Property

Patent application PT04888LU filed 

Patent application WO/2018/109010 

Collaboration Types

  • Licence Agreement
  • Joint further development 
  • Testing of new applications
  • Adaptation to specific needs


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 Jennifer DOS SANTOS

Valorisation and Transfer Officer

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