Theta Fuel or TFUEL is a token that fuels the Theta ecosystem. It was issued by the platform that delivers quality video streaming without problems, frequently experienced nowadays on centralized services. One of such issues is buffering. Technically, the problem is solved with the help of the community members forming a pool of users who provide their spare bandwidth along with computing resources. The users are paid TFUEL coin for these services. The facility is often referred to as the first DSN (decentralized streaming network) that turns common users into distributors of content.
The company behind the project is Theta Labs that has worked over the problems of video streaming for years to come up with a blockchain solution alleviating the situation in the industry. Since the majority of the Internet demand refers to video streaming, Theta Labs started working over blockchain technology to improve the quality of streaming content. With technically-advanced gadgets, and enhanced cell phone cameras, the scope of the problem increases.
It’s rather challenging to deliver high-quality products for providers of video content. Though the reason for low quality can be explained by poor Internet connection, most often the overloaded network of the provider is to blame for it. The problem becomes even more acute when there is a demand for premium formats. Theta develops a blockchain-based platform to resolve these problems as well.
Theta platform and technologies
Using the traditional centralized content delivery networks (CDN), providers often fail to deliver the best quality as all viewers are directly connected to POP servers. The hybrid architecture developed by Theta Labs offers viewer nodes to pull streams from caching nodes that are located closer to end-users in comparison with the standard scheme. Thanks to geographic proximity, viewers can get a stream of the highest quality, while distributors can earn some money sharing their storage and bandwidth on the network.
The core of the network is a micropayment pool based on the resource made specifically for video streaming. Thus, each member of the community can create an off-chain micropayment pool that can be later used for the payment of multiple nodes with only one transaction. There is some similarity with the principle of work employed by the Lightning Network, which is a 2-layer solution for Bitcoin. The scheme is effective as the reduction of the Theta chain load is needed for micro-transactions. The validators are used to protect the system from double-spending.
Theta blockchain employs a proof-of-stake consensus algorithm that is mapped through a multi-level Byzantine Tolerance System. The important roles in the system belong to validator and guardian nodes.
The Theta network has received patent approval for its technology to implement decentralized DRM through NFTs. The technology of the company is aimed at the management of rights across numerous domains in the creative industry. The customers will be able to use the technology as proof of digital ownership. The management of digital funds is easy with the use of non-fungible tokens, so those who worry about the violation of digital rights don’t need to do that.
The mainnet 3.0 launch is scheduled for June 30, 2021. When the company announced a delay of code review in March 2021 and postponed testing of Theta Mainnet 3.0, the asset decreased in price a little. The decision was taken to ensure the edge network functions, while the system acquired the capability of scaling to 100,000 Elite Edge Nodes. The other reason for the delay is the desire to lay the foundation for an NFT marketplace to implement things for the long-term NFT vision. The platform also had a similar delay during the launch of the mainnet 2.0 in 2020.
The platform has issued two tokens with different functionality. One of them is THETA, which is a governance token used for voting in the system. This is an ERC20 token that was launched after the mainnet launched in March 2019. The other token is TFUEL which is the main instrument for the interaction with the protocol. TFUEL is gas for this blockchain and serves as a means to pay for the transactions. It is also needed to set up caching nodes and to interact and create smart contracts.
The supply of Theta Fuel isn’t capped, while Theta Token has reached its max supply, which is 1 billion tokens. When members of the community want to earn on staking, as they stake Theta tokens to get rewards in TFUEL instead. Theta offers a low transaction fee that is lower than 1 TFUEL per transaction. The alternative to staking is to offer caching power to other members of the community.
Theta team and partnerships
The co-founder and CEO of the company is Mitch Liu who also co-founded Tapjoy, a mobile advertising company, and Gameview Studios. The other co-founder is Jieyl Long who takes the position of CTO in Theta. He has developed numerous patented technologies such as VR live streaming and instant replays for video games. The advisors of the project are Steve Chen and Justin Kan, YouTube and Twitch co-founders. Also, such giant corporations as Sony and Samsung support the Theta project.
The company is supported by Greycroft, Seraph, Sony Innovation Fund, DHVC, Sierra Ventures, Nirvana Capital, Gree, Sparkland, and many others that invested in the project.
In April, 2021, American content distribution company Cinedigm integrated Theta blockchain tech into the anime streaming channel. The company uses TFuel as a reward for sharing and watching content. As the announcement of the company said, fans can earn up to 15 USD just by watching content on a computer or device. The incorporation of the blockchain is used to increase user engagement with the help of monetization. It also helps to decrease video delivery costs by 50%.
TFuel micropayment features were also used for World Poker Tour, which is a live poker entertainment platform, and the project Shout! Factory, entertainment distribution company. It also partners with Metro Golden Mayer (MGM), NASA, Lionsgate, Chainlink, Line, Pandora tv, etc.