Theta Network is the leading video delivery network powered by blockchain technology. Theta allows users to simultaneously watch video content and earn token rewards for relaying video to other users who are also watching the same content. In the same vein as other sharing economy models, users opt-in to volunteering their spare bandwidth and computing resources to relay video to other users and earn token rewards for their contributions. Users can contribute to Theta Network on any PC, mobile device, or smart TV.
For video platforms, integrating Theta into their video delivery stack enables them to reduce their video delivery cost, deepen viewer engagement, and drive incremental revenues. By spending less on video delivery infrastructure, and more on rewarding their users, Theta-enabled video platforms can grow their userbase and gain market share.
The Theta Blockchain is a purpose-built blockchain designed from the ground up for video and data relaying launched in March 2019. Theta’s unique multi-BFT consensus design combines a committee of 20–30 Enterprise Validator Nodes with a second layer of 1000s of community-run Guardian Nodes. Validator Nodes propose and produce new blocks in the chain, while Guardian Nodes seal blocks and act as a check on malicious or otherwise non-functional Validator Nodes. As of December 2020, Enterprise Validator Nodes on Theta are run by Google, Blockchain Ventures, Samsung, Sony Europe, Binance, gumi Cryptos, and Theta Labs, with more major enterprises in the process of joining. After the Theta 2.0 launch in May 2020, Guardian Node counts quickly ramped up. Currently, there are more than 3,000 Guardian nodes run by the Theta community members.
The Theta blockchain mainnet enables the support for Turing-complete smart contracts. Smart contracts open up a whole new set of user experiences and new attribution models for DApps built on the Theta network. For example, leveraging smart contracts on the Theta network could enable fully digitized item ownership, innovative payment-consumption models, transparent royalty distributions, trustless crowdfunding mechanisms, and much more. This provides an additional layer of social and economic interactivity that supplements the core functionality of video and data delivery, and significantly increases the engagement and retention of platform users.
In addition to the Validator and Guardian Nodes, the Theta community members also host the Theta Edge Nodes, which form the Theta Edge Network, a fully decentralized network for data delivery and more generally edge computing. As of April 2021, this edge network has grown over 30,000 nodes, covering all the corners of the world. Following Theta 2.0, the capability of the Theta Edge Node network was significantly enhanced with the release of Theta’s industry-leading peer-to-peer “EdgeCast” technology. This new fully decentralized technology stack adds the ability to capture live video, transcode it in real-time, cache and relay live stream video data to users globally - all through Theta’s P2P edge network run by thousands of community members. Not a single central server or service is used in this pipeline. This is a huge challenge and huge accomplishment.
The Theta Network features a dual token design. The Theta Token (THETA) is the governance token of the Theta protocol. THETA is used to stake as a Validator or Guardian node, contributing to block production and the protocol governance of the Theta Network. By staking and running a node, users will earn a proportional amount of the new TFUEL generated. The supply of THETA is fixed at 1 billion and will never increase. Theta Fuel (TFUEL) is the operational token of the Theta protocol. TFUEL is used for on-chain operations like payments to Edge Node relayers for sharing a video stream, or for deploying or interacting with smart contracts. Relayers earn TFUEL for every video stream they relay to other users on the network. You can think of Theta Fuel as the “gas” of the protocol. There were 5 billion TFUEL at genesis of Theta blockchain, and the supply increases annually at a fixed percentage set at the protocol level. In December 2020, Theta Labs announced Theta 3.0, which introduces a new crypto-economics design for TFuel, in particular, the concept of TFuel staking and burning. This will greatly expand the capacity and use cases of the network and maximize the utility value of TFuel.
For a deeper dive into the Theta technology stack, please read our whitepapers and research papers provided in the next section.
Updated 5 months ago