Theta is an open-source protocol that underlies a decentralized video-streaming network with the same name. It aims to resolve various problems that are inherent to the highly centralized streaming industry, such as technical issues resulting in low quality of stream delivery and the lack of adequate reach across the world.
Theta is designed for the creation of decentralized apps for esports, entertainment, and peer-to-peer streaming with SLIVER.tv’s dApp being the first one to test it out. The platform is powered by the Ethereum-based cryptocurrency THETA and a utility token TFUEL that functions similar to GAS on the NEO blockchain.
The issues that Theta aims to resolve
With live video streaming platforms being on the rise along with the blockchain industry, Theta team has decided to merge these two areas into one. Theta blockchain provides a whole environment for decentralized video streaming helping its users monetize their bandwidth and get paid with cryptocurrency.
The team standing behind Theta targets to resolve a number of problems with the content delivery networks of today. The networks don’t have enough reach across different countries while the streaming process itself is accompanied by numerous technical issues such as pauses, skips, stuttering and poor video quality. To overcome these issues, Theta creates a decentralized peer-to-peer platform where users can get rewards for sharing their resources and for maintaining the high level of the platform’s performance.
Another set of issues that Theta aims to overcome is related to the excessive centralization of the current streaming industry. Content creators have to give away the lion’s share of their profits to centralized advertisers and platforms as they have no other alternative but to post their content on these platforms. Theta eliminates the need for intermediaries and allows viewers to reward their favorite streamers directly. In addition, the new model allows reducing overall costs for streams’ delivery and thus helps viewers spend less money for more content.
The network developed by Theta makes use of its peer-to-peer architecture to complement and eventually replace the existing content delivery networks. It consists of multiple nodes that represent pieces of hardware designed for viewing video content and maintained by their owners all across the globe
All these nodes can turn into “caching nodes” in the Theta network and supply the users of the platform with the resources needed for video streaming. Since the network is decentralized and its participants are located all around the world, the content delivery will no longer depend on huge data centers whose remote location may have a negative effect on the quality of the video streams.
Nodes are rewarded with Theta tokens for their efforts that serve as an incentive to share the bandwidth with the network. Theta hopes to reduce the cost associated with the content delivery by as much as 80% since the large data centers’ maintenance will no longer be needed.
In order to overcome the scalability issues, Theta developers implement such technologies as:
Multi-Level Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) which enables more efficient scaling
Aggregated Signature Gossip Scheme which continuously links close fragments to broadcast to other nodes
Resource-Oriented Micropayment Pool for off-chain processing and micropayments
Initially launched on the Ethereum network, Theta has released its mainnet on March 16th, 2019, swapping its tokens at a 1:1 ratio. The new network is based on the Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm with tokens being staked to become validator nodes.
The main use cases of these tokens in the Theta network are as follows:
Content creators are rewarded with Theta tokens for their content.
Content viewers can earn tokens for engaging in the advertorial content.
Advertisers can pay with these tokens for their campaigns.
Caching nodes earn tokens for relaying and caching video streams.
Tokens can also serve as a means of payment for the premium content.
An additional utility token TFUEL is used to pay for transactions similar to how Gas is used on the Ethereum network.
The Theta tokens have a total supply of 1 billion THETA. The private token sale started on January 8th and ended on February 8th, 2018. Approximately 300 million tokens were distributed helping the team raise 20 million worth of ethers. The rest of tokens were distributed in the following way:
22.5% - Theta reserve
15% - Network seed/strategic partners
7.5% - advisors
25% - Miner Reserve
Theta Team and Partners
The company itself is headquartered in California. Theta’s CEO and co-founder Mitch Liu is also the founding member of the video game streaming site SLIVER.tv launched in 2015. Prior to founding Theta, Mitch had worked for almost 5 years as a President of Gameview Studios.
Jieyi Long is the project’s other co-founder and CTO. He was also deeply involved in the creation of SLIVER.tv. He stands behind another successful project, 3D mobile gaming engine MadSkill Gaming Studios.
Other team members include Riz Virk (Head of Corp Development) and Ryan Nichols (Chief Product Officer) - both with the broad experience in many other video gaming projects.
One of the key strategic partners that Theta has gained so far is a popular video streaming service Twitch, which now allows its users to earn Theta tokens for sharing their bandwidth. Another strategic partner of the project is Samsung VR.