We need P2P stuff that works.
Like https://github.com/webtorrent/webtorrent and https://github.com/amark/gun
They're both run in production, at scale (millions of users), and do NOT require any tokens.
You're looking at it from a pure technical perspective of pushing bytes around in a decentralized way.
What the folks pushing "tokens" are trying to solve is the game theory of financial incentives to store & serve those decentralized bytes. In contrast, things like Bittorrent/Beaker/webtorrent/etc depend on others' "altruism" to host and serve files.
Because altruism doesn't scale, that's why nobody wants to seed my 100 gigabytes of personal vacation photos. Sure, they'll be happy to seed & disseminate the latest cracked copy of Adobe Photoshop or a bluray rip of the latest Marvel Avengers movie. But my personal files are uninteresting to the current decentralized web.
(But I'm not claiming Filecoin actually solves the incentive puzzle. I'm merely pointing out that the "problem" Filecoin tries to solve is at a higher abstraction level (the economics) than webtorrent (the protocol).)
You must solve the technical scaling problem first, then sure, heck, add tokens if you dandy.
WebTorrent/GUN/etc. do scale. Add economics to that.
Preferably, add something that is time-scarce so people do not have to lose money (they don't pay FB or Google! If they have to pay Filecoin, they'll still choose free FB), something like BAT or Pirate Booty ( https://hackernoon.com/hollywood-crypto-behavioral-economics... ).
Consider what it would take to replace DNS with a distributed system. In a global namespace, names have value. You can't just operate on first-come first-served - there needs to be a system that ensures that names go to whoever wants it most. In other words, the challenge to be solved there isn't the technical one of having a DHT - that's a mostly solved problem - it's how the hell to make the names cost money, and who the money goes to. (And if you don't think the names should cost money, how do you propose allocation should work?)
Incentives don't exist on a one dimensional scale from pure greed to pure altruism.
People have lots of contextually dependent reasons for storing or sharing information. Those reasons are dynamic and super diverse.
In your case, why would you need lots of people to seed your 100 GB of personal vacation photos? You can seed them just fine! But don't use bittorrent, use the right tool for the job...
As a matter of fact, for the past 4 years I've been using btsync/resilio/syncthing to backup my personal media across different devices, as well as 70GB of audio projects. It's been working great.
That seems like a relatively small scale. And I'll bet some of those photos would be interesting enough to family and friends that they'd seed them.
From my naive perspective, the information itself is much more raw of a "currency" than any abstract economy built on top of it. Its "value" is determined by its relevance to one or many people, and p2p sharing, I believe, has the ability to accommodate this across many scales.
Why did public trackers fail? It wasn't because people didn't want to seed the content, it's because seeding the content became legally dangerous (and the trackers got shut down). To me, that's not a failure of "altruism", it's a failure caused by greed and an inability of industry to adapt.
And also by the reality that the tools are prototype level. Bittorrent and bitcoin are two incredible examples of applied cryptography and network science. They've showed us what's possible, but they're only the tip of the iceberg.
For many applications, lack of commodification is a feature, not a bug. What's holding us back is that the tools aren't built yet, but that's a work in progress!
I think you're missing some context for the motivation of Filecoin. One of the elevator pitches is that it can disrupt cloud storage like Amazon S3.
People do put personal files (e.g. via a cloud backup service) on cloud storage like AWS S3. Instead of a paying a centralized Amazon, Filecoin claims they have a way for money to go to the decentralized owners of harddrives.
Therefore, if "backing up my personal vacation photos" to Amazon S3 is a use case, that means the decentralized peers hosting my uninteresting personal files is also supposed to be possible.
>But don't use bittorrent, use the right tool for the job...
Yes, exactly. That's what my reply to gp was explaining: his suggestion of webtorrent/bittorrent/gun is a protocol that solves a different problem than the one Filecoin tries to solve.
 deep link of Juan Benet of Filecoin mentioning the centralized cloud services: https://youtu.be/6h2WNxEV8q4?t=482
was to sell tokens. Take an existing idea, build an incomplete implementation with a token attached, talk about features that don't exist as if they do - ICO success!