What is Theta Network? Well, if the parents were web3 and streaming, Theta Network would be the child. Of course, it’s a little more complex than that. Blockchain technology is poised to change the face of video streaming and content distribution. Services like Youtube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu are examples of how effective centralized video streaming can be. But, for a completely decentralized experience, you can’t depend on technologies within the centralized ecosystem. Theta Network changes this.
Peer-to-peer technology creates a network where participants agree on what a network will do. This adds an extra layer of democracy and gives more power to the community. Theta Network takes this use case and applies it to streaming. It is an intrinsic blockchain and decentralized storage/delivery network that powers Web3 video streaming and other emerging media platforms. Here’s everything you need to know about this innovative platform and its place in the web3-powered future.
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What is Theta Network?
Theta Network is a blockchain network focused on media and entertainment, facilitating seamless, free, high-bandwidth content delivery. It allows existing media platforms, including esports, music, TV, and movies, to drive developmental revenues. It also helps cut content delivery CDN fees. Theta network rewards consumers for sharing their storage and/or bandwidth on devices such as PCs, mobile phones, or Smart TVs. Users can also earn THETA as a reward for sharing videos through Edgecast, a DApp, and Theta Network’s content transcription.
Theta network allows developers to build NFTs, decentralized exchanges (DEX/DeFi), and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO). All of which could disrupt traditional centralized media platforms. This infrastructure offers seamless support for Turing smart contracts. The platform boasts two native coins: THETA — for governance — and TFUEL, primarily used for facilitating transactions.
Ultimately, Theta is committed to providing a decentralized altchain for video streaming and content distribution.
Origin, team, and roadmap
Theta Network was the brainchild of Mitch Liu and Jieyi Long. Liu, an entrepreneur previously involved in gaming and video streaming, came up with THETA.tv. This was the first live-streaming DApp built using the THETA protocol. To explore the use cases of blockchain technology and its potential solutions in the media industry, Liu joined forces with Jieyi Long.
Jieyi had previously worked in design automation and the gaming industry. In 2015 the pair developed SLIVER.tv, an eSports platform. In 2016, Theta Labs was formed.
Both the Theta blockchain and token (now coin) were announced on Medium in November 2017. The sale went live in January 2018, with THETA originally as an ERC-20 token on Ethereum. This was followed by the first mainnet launch (mainnet 1.0) in March 2019.
The Theta protocol then launched it’s Mainnet 2.0 in May 2020. This came with Guardian nodes, a two-layer consensus framework to complement its Enterprise validators. These were run by partners such as Binance, Google, Blockchain.com, Gumi, and Samsung.
Mainnet 2.0 also introduced EdgeCast technology. This enhances Theta Edge Node, allowing users to capture live video and cache and relay live stream video data. In June 2021, Theta Network added NFTs, including trading cards of media celebrities, to the product portfolio.
The following month in July 2021, Theta launched Mainnet 3.0, providing smart contract capability to improve user engagement and interaction. Theta is currently running its fourth Mainnet iteration after launching Mainnet 4.0 in December 2022.
The Theta blockchain gained improved transaction throughput, customization, and reliability. All of these are necessary to scale the web3 video revolution and bring millions of users on-chain.
How does Theta Network work?
The Theta Network runs on a proof-of-stake (PoS) mechanism. In addition, with a multi-level Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) model, the network provides network security similar to that of Bitcoin or Ethereum but with faster trades and higher transactions per second. Three classes of validators secure this unique multi-level BFT consensus mechanism.
Firstly, this includes a committee of 20–30 Enterprise Validator nodes. Secondly, a layer of thousands of community-based Guardian nodes. And thirdly, Edge nodes offer users easy access to relay video streams.
Enterprise validator nodes
Google, Blockchain Ventures, Samsung, Sony Europe, Binance, and Gumi Cryptos run these enterprise nodes. Typically, these companies stake THETA tokens to validate transactions on the network. This method is the first step in ensuring the network’s security and requires these companies to stake 1 million THETA coins.
Guardians are a superset of the validator committee. They produce a chain of blocks as well as check this chain’s validity. Valid blocks require about two-thirds of Theta guardians to validate.
In addition to Enterprise Validator and Guardian nodes, Theta Network also uses Edge nodes, which community members run. This peer-to-peer “EdgeCast” technology was introduced in Theta’s 2.0 mainnet launch. It allows users to capture live video relays and transcode video content while distributing excess bandwidth.
This Edge node technology forms the basis of the network’s decentralized streaming DApps. As of July 2022, more than 100k Edge nodes were running, performing the decentralized video distribution that is at the center of the Theta Network.
A look at network features
Primary features of Theta Network
Three classes of nodes: As explained above, Theta is a network with three types of nodes: Enterprise Validator, Guardian, and Edge. The network’s unique BFT is a variant of PoS governance. This manages the peer-to-peer network of nodes running the Theta Network.
Create customized DApps: Theta network enables developers to develop decentralized apps.
Theta TV is the primary materialization of the platform’s vision of video streaming using blockchain technology. Its Esports Entertainment Platform allows content creators to earn TFuel from viewer subscriptions. They can also request donations from their viewers using credit cards, which are subsequently paid out in USD stablecoin to the creator’s wallet.
Theta’s official wallet: with the wallet app, users can transact (send and receive THETA) for video streaming.
Dual coins: Theta Network utilizes two types of coins. The THETA is the network’s governance coin, and TFUEL is used to pay users to expand their computer’s bandwidth into the network.
Thetadrop NFT: In mid-2021, Theta launched Thetadrop – an NFT marketplace of non-fungible tokens minted on the Theta network, traded in USD or TFuel. However, unlike the popular NFT marketplace such as OpenSea, the NFTs bought reflect in an address in that wallet.
Pros and cons of Theta Network
- Has a team of experienced people in the video streaming industry. For example, Steve Chen, a co-founder of YouTube, is a consultant for Theta.
- Online video streaming is decentralized.
- Joining forces with renowned platforms such as Google and Samsung Virtual Reality.
- Reduces the cost of streaming video.
- Working to improve online video quality and video broadcasts.
- Still a relatively new project — longevity plays a huge role in determining the reliability of a platform.
- Low liquidity
- Centralized and private Initial Coin Offering: this negates transparency
- Theta.TV requires a high level of video buffering
The dual token economy: THETA and TFUEL
The overall purpose of the Theta tokenomics model is to reward all Theta ecosystem stakeholders fairly. Thereby enhancing the security and utility value of the Theta network.
There are two native coins, THETA and Theta Fuel (TFUEL). THETA is currently trading at $0.81, with a total market cap of about $810 million. TFUEL is currently trading at $0.035, with around a $212 million market cap.
Theta Mainnet 2.0 came with a TFUEL inflation incentivization involving a 5% yearly reward for Theta staking. This goes to holders who secure the blockchain network through Theta’s multilevel-BFT consensus design. With TFUEL, users can integrate Theta P2P video delivery protocol into their framework. This further rewards the end-users for network participation.
The protocol also rewards Theta edge nodes following the launch of Mainnet 3.0 in June 2021. Edge nodes are another significant network participant providing video delivery services. Improved economics include new TFUEL inflation, staking, and burning. Both the network transaction fees and smart contract fees are burned, taking Theta Fuel out of circulation.
The Theta platform has an active online presence. The team announces updates on the airdrops in a specific airdrops channel.
To support the Theta network, developers need the cryptocurrency, THETA, to develop and deploy applications. Users employ THETA network payments, including transaction fees and computational services. Similarly, THETA holders can:
Stake: Users can stake THETA to become a Validator or Guardian node and contribute to the protocol’s governance.
Trade: Users can also trade in THETA through cryptocurrency exchanges.
Exchange: Token holders can exchange THETA for other cryptocurrencies, including stablecoins.
The Theta token supply is fixed at 1 billion. At the mainnet launch, each holder of the ERC20 Theta token received Native THETA on the new mainnet on a 1:1 basis. The supply of the coin on the Theta blockchain is also fixed at 1 billion.
The concept behind the fix is to improve token security, thereby making it extremely difficult for hackers to breach or threaten the network. Since no new Theta coins are created, the only way to acquire Theta is to purchase existing supplies which might eventually increase in the future.
THETA Network wallet
Before considering holding or buying Theta, users must have a THETA Network wallet. This wallet allows you to manage and store your native THETA and TFUEL safely. Theta Wallet is the official wallet app for the network.
Theta wallet is available via the web, browser extensions, and mobile apps (both iOS and Android). Users concerned about security can also store their coins offline, as the platform is working to integrate Ledger and Trezor hardware wallet support for the Theta blockchain.
Each Theta wallet stores the user’s private key allowing the wallet owner to sign transactions that send Theta to other parties.
The potential of Theta Network looks bright long term
It’s no doubt the video streaming and content distribution industry has grown dramatically over recent years. Theta taps into this and provides a decentralized approach to its current state, improving video quality and solving infrastructure issues.
Similarly, the unique two-token economy differentiates token utilities from network security. The team is constantly bringing new innovations – creating new ways to reward user engagements. With the fixed supply of TFUEL, the network looks set to become a disruptive and widely adoptable web3 content-delivery platform.
Frequently asked questions
Is THETA coin a good investment?
While the THETA token shows a bullish trend in the long term, it is important to do your own research before considering investing. However, the project fundamentals and long term plans look positive. If the Theta Network can successfully make its make its in web3 streaming, the future looks bright for THETA.
Who are THETA’s competitors?
Theta’s competitors include Income Locker, Immutable, Golem and Obyte. Theta Network is a peer-to-peer video delivery protocol powered by blockchain technology.
Is THETA like Ethereum?
Both Theta and Ethereum are blockchains. However, Theta users can explore the Ethereum network to simplify their crypto experience. Theta is a decentralized video delivery network supported by ERC-20.
What is THETA trying to do?
The Theta Blockchain is a purposely-built blockchain targeted towards the media and entertainment industries. The network’s solution involves a peer-to-peer network in which viewers are rewarded for sharing excess bandwidth resources. The network aims to revolutionize streaming with web3 technology.
Who owns the THETA token?
Theta was created in 2017 by Mitch Liu, an entrepreneur who started startups in the mobile gaming and online advertising industry, and Jieyi Long, who had worked on Virtual Realities technologies. The company currently boasts more than 1 million monthly active users with two dual tokens – THETA and TFUEL.
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