Private BitTorrent Site BTTrove Announces Shutdown

By Drew Wilson

Private BitTorrent site BTTrove, an e-learning torrent site, has announced that they will be shutting down operations. Members who use the site describe the announcement as sudden and sad.

The announcement was sent out to members on Tuesday. Site staff cited a handful of issues with keeping the site open, but the shut down of the site’s PayPal account was described as the tipping point for the impending closure. Here’s the announcement members received:

Dear Members,

I have a bad news, our PayPal account as been closed after randomly checked by them because we sales / offers of unapproved file sharing service.

Unfortunately there is no way for us to recover that account, in result we can’t longer pay our server cost.

After been online for 7 yeas I think is time for us to close BtTrove and move on.

Thanks to all members who have helps us to run this site.

BtTrove Team.

Site staff also cited the fact that it takes a lot of time and effort to maintain the site as well.

While the site is considered a smaller site by some standards, it has been around since at least November of 2007. Considering many private BitTorrent sites consider being open for four years, being open for 7 years is certainly an achievement in and of itself.

The announcement has left many members searching and joining alternative websites. Some long time BitTorrent observers might point out that this is the beauty of the private BitTorrent website world in that if one site shuts down, other sites can pick up whatever slack is left behind. This, of course, depends on what the specialty in question is. Still, it likely isn’t easy for long time supporters of the site.

What questions this particular shut down raises, however, is how a site supports itself. It certainly gives the impression that, in terms of funding, there was only one revenue stream to keep the site afloat. PayPal is certainly a risky source given that it has a reputation of shutting down accounts associated with operating File-Sharing websites to begin with.

Is there not alternative ways to obtain donations from members wanting to help maintain the site? That’s certainly been a tough question to answer for some. Certainly, there are alternative services available, but the ease of paying through PayPal, due to its universality, certainly makes PayPal a major draw still to this day. Some sites use alternative services to hide hide their tracks. Others manage to find low key advertising to sustain the site and pay server costs. Fans of BitCoin are all too willing to point out that if users use BitCoin more, things like the shutting down of an account is much more unlikely, but others would point out the difficulty of putting funding into a BitCoin wallet from services like PayPal. BitCoin is also having issues with exchanges being shut down by governments. So, in the mean time, it seems that creativity and laying low seem to be the prevailing solutions for the time being it seems.

One thing is certain, though. If the site doesn’t find a way to stay afloat in spite of all of this, there will likely be a shift in where users go again.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85

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