Compute Overview

Theta Edge Network can work not only as a data delivery network, but also as a generic edge computing platform. Such a platform allows Task Initiators to post tasks for Edge Nodes to download and solve. Task initiators also register the tasks and provide the TFuel rewards for each task on the blockchain through smart contracts. Tasks can be anything ranging from solving a set of equations, finding novel protein structures to help fight COVID-19, transcoding a video, to thousands of other applications that can leverage a network of distributed edge computing devices.

Edge Nodes can work as a generic computational platform which can host various software including the solver for the tasks issued by task initiators. Edge Nodes poll the task initiators to download tasks. Once a task is solved, the Edge Node can upload the solution to relevant smart contracts on the blockchain. These smart contracts act as the verifier for the solution, and as a trustless escrow for the task rewards. Once a submitted solution is verified, smart contracts will transfer the reward to the solver (i.e. a particular Edge Node) automatically and transparently. If a Task Initiator does not want to reveal the solutions on-chain, zero-knowledge proof techniques (e.g. zk-SNARK) can be leveraged. Once an Edge Node solves a task, it can encrypt the solution using the task initiator’s public key, and submit the encrypted solution to the smart contracts.

Meanwhile, an Edge Node can also generate a zero-knowledge proof showing that the submitted solution is encrypted using the task initiator’s public key, and the plaintext solution indeed solves the corresponding task. Smart contracts simply verify the proof and reward the Edge Node if the proof passed the check. On the other hand, the task Initiator can download the encrypted solution from the blockchain and decrypt it using its own private key. Such a decentralized edge computing framework eliminates all counterparty risks and is thus able to effectively incentivize the Edge Nodes to share their unused computing resources.

Theta crypto economics can naturally be extended to handle any generic computing. For example, the zero-knowledge proof for the edge compute tasks is similar to the Proof-of-Relay for the data delivery tasks. Thus, the smart contracts which handle the Proof-of-Relay rewards can be generalized to manage rewards for generic computing tasks. Similar to data delivery, smart contracts can enforce a rule that a certain percentage of the escrowed TFuel reward should be burned as the cost for using the Theta edge computing infrastructure. With the edge network expanding its capability beyond data delivery to cover generic edge computing, we believe the utility value of the network and TFuel can be extended substantially in the future.

More technical details can be found here: Theta Decentralized Edge computing platform.