What Is Theta (THETA)?
Theta (THETA) is a blockchain powered network purpose-built for video streaming. Launched in March 2019, the Theta mainnet operates as a decentralized network in which users share bandwidth and computing resources on a peer-to-peer (P2P) basis.The project is advised by Steve Chen, co-founder of YouTube and Justin Kan, co-founder of Twitch.
Theta features its own native cryptocurrency token, THETA, which performs various governance tasks within the network, and counts Google, Binance, Blockchain ventures, Gumi, Sony Europe and Samsung as Enterprise validators, along with a Guardian network of thousands of community-run guardian nodes.
Developers say that the project aims to shake up the video streaming industry in its current form — centralization, poor infrastructure and high costs mean that end users often end up with a poor experience. Content creators likewise earn less revenue due to the barriers between them and end users.
Who Are The Founders of Theta?
Theta was co-founded by Mitch Liu and Jieyi Long in 2018. Liu has a long history in the gaming and video industries, co-founding video advertising firm Tapjoy, mobile social gaming startup Gameview Studios, and THETA.tv, the live streaming platform whose DApp was the first to be built on the Theta protocol.
Long is Theta’s second co-founder and CTO, following similar multi-year experience in design automation, gaming, virtual reality, and large scale distributed systems. He authored multiple peer-reviewed academic papers and holds various patents in video streaming, blockchain and virtual reality.
Theta now has a modest team, and its official website lists strategic corporate investors as Samsung NEXT, Sony Innovation Fund, media investors BDMI Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, CAA Creative Artists Agency, and traditional Silicon Valley VCs including DCM, Sierra Ventures and the VR Fund.
What Makes Theta Unique?
Theta’s main business concept is to decentralize video streaming, data delivery and edge computing, making it more efficient, cost-effective and fair for industry participants.
The network runs on a native blockchain, with two native tokens, known as Theta (THETA), Theta Fuel (TFUEL), powering the internal economy.
Theta’s appeal is threefold: viewers get rewarded with better quality streaming service, content creators improve their earnings and middlemen — video platforms — save money on building infrastructure and increase advertising and subscription revenues.
Users have an incentive to both watch network content and share network resources, as rewards come in the form of TFUEL tokens.
The platform is open source, and token holders receive governance powers as with many proof-of-stake (PoS)-based blockchain ecosystems.
In addition to video, data and computing, Theta caters to developers looking to launch decentralized applications (DApps) on its fully featured EVM-compatible Smart contract platform.
How does Theta work?
Theta is a network powered by three groups of participants:
- Enterprise Validator Nodes : Companies who stake THETA tokens for the right to process transactions on the network. Current Validator Nodes include Google and Samsung.
- Guardian Nodes : Users who perform work to ensure that the transaction blocks proposed by the Enterprise Validator Nodes are accurate.
- Edge Node : Users who either share their bandwidth or relay video streams over the Theta network in return for TFUEL.
The Theta network also allows developers to build decentralized applications on top of its blockchain. Examples include royalty distribution applications and crowdfunding mechanisms.
Theta network users can download an official Theta Wallet app to hold or stake their THETA and TFUEL tokens.
Theta also has built a micropayment system for video streaming purposes that allows content viewers and creators to send and receive THETA via the official wallet app.
Modified Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT)
Central to Theta is the modified BFT, a proof-of-stake (PoS) governance mechanism that keeps the distributed network of computers running Theta Network in sync.
Theta’s consensus mechanism differs from traditional PoS in that both validator and guardian nodes participate in the consensus mechanism, adding an extra level of security to the protocol.
These nodes must stake THETA tokens in order to help power the blockchain, produce blocks and vote on changes. Validator nodes are required to stake a minimum of 10,000,000 THETA while Guardian Nodes need to only stake 100,000 THETA.
Of note, voting power is determined by the amount of THETA staked.
Primary features of Theta Network.
- Theta is a network with three types of nodes: Enterprise Validator, Guardian, and Edge.
- Theta’s blockchain also allows developers to construct decentralised apps.
- With Theta’s official wallet app, users may send and receive THETA for video streaming.
- Theta’s modified BFT is a PoS governance technique that maintains the distributed network of machines running Theta Network in sync.
- Theta Network uses two types of tokens. Theta pays users to expand their computer’s bandwidth into the network via TFUEL. Theta Token is the network’s governance token.
How Is the Theta Network Secured?
Theta uses a financial incentive scheme to ensure user participation in governance activities, and hence its network is secured by its own users.
The network relies on proof-of-stake (PoS), and employs a multi-level Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) consensus mechanism to balance security with high transaction throughput.
With the launch of Guardian nodes in June 2019, Theta ensured that no single entity controls the majority of THETA tokens being staked at any one time.
Pros & Cons of Theta Network coin.
- Video streaming on the internet is decentralised.
- It attempts to cut the cost of streaming video by up to 80%.
- The goal of this project is to improve the video quality of internet video broadcasts.
- Steve Chen, a co-founder of YouTube, is a consultant for Theta.
- Collaboration with Samsung Virtual Reality
- Theta.tv testing involved a significant level of video buffering.
- This is a very new project.
- Initial coin offering was very centralised and private.
- The liquidity of THETA is relatively low.