The live streaming industry is experiencing one of the fastest expansions within the Internet components. It was estimated to be worth USD 30.3 billion in 2016. It will reach USD 70 billion by the end of this year. This is not a surprise considering that online consumption of video content is increasing, both live and pre-recorded, through platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo, Netflix, among others. Enter the newest decentralized project in this space: Theta Blockchain.
The newest in online streaming is blockchain-powered video delivery platforms. One of the platforms with this proposition is Theta Network. Its THETA governance token is currently the 21st most popular cryptocurrency in the world. It recently launched its mainnet 3.0, which aims to be the leading blockchain-powered content delivery platform for online streaming.
What is the Theta Blockchain and what does its development promise?
Theta is a native blockchain with an open-source protocol. This means that it allows developers and partners to create decentralized applications on the network, as Ethereum does.
It is a decentralized peer-to-peer (P2P) video delivery network powered by blockchain technology that enables free delivery of high-bandwidth content. As users watch videos, some of their computing power is harnessed to stream those videos to other users. The primary users earn tokens as rewards.
Theta Network aims to become the next generation of entertainment technology. It basically provides a decentralized video streaming infrastructure that is cheaper than competing centralized platforms. The P2P video delivery platform powers its users and offers multiple types of content. Examples of content would be e-sports, movies, TV series and music.
Tetha Blockchain: The Beginning
Mitch Liu started Theta in 2017. He is an entrepreneur who had previously co-founded mobile gaming and online advertising startups. He is also an expert in virtual reality live streaming technologies.
In 2017, the team behind Theta organized a private token sale. They sold 30% of THETA’s limited billion-unit supply to raise the equivalent of $20 million. This helped in getting their project off the ground.
Theta Labs, the company behind Theta Network, also has its own streaming site, Theta.tv. The site pays viewers on TFUEL to watch video content, which, as they watch it, is “forwarded” to other viewers using some of the core users’ processing power.
Theta Network’s advisory board includes Twitch co-founder Justin Kana, YouTube co-founder Steve Chen, and several senior Verizon executives.
How does Theta Blockchain work?
Theta’s blockchain network is based on a P2P protocol. It allows participants to be rewarded with real-time payments for content distribution. The network also allows developers to create DApps on its open-source blockchain protocol.
Theta uses a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism similar to Tendermint’s blockchain protocol, which is based on participation. That means participants block large amounts of THETA tokens to gain the right to process blocks of transactions.
The Theta blockchain network is powered by three categories of participants:
Enterprise validation nodes.
These are companies that stake THETA tokens to process transactions on the network. Some of the network’s best-known validation nodes include Sony, talent store Creative Artists Agency, Google, and Samsung. Validation nodes are the network’s first line of defense and require participants to wager 1 million THETA coins.
These are users who ensure that the transaction blocks created by enterprise validation nodes function accurately. It basically adds a second layer of security to the protocol. If a malicious block slips through a validator node, a guardian node will stop it. Guardian nodes need only stake 1,000 THETA coins.
Edge nodes allow users to transmit video streams and share their bandwidth for broadcasts on Theta.tv. They get rewards from TFUEL for supporting the network. Theta Network allows users to stream peer-to-peer (P2P) without the need for a centralized content distribution network.
How Theta’s two native tokens work: THETA and TFUEL
One of the features that make Theta stand out is that it has two native tokens: TFUEL and THETA. TFUEL, trading at US $0.3089 per unit and with a market cap of US $1,637,980,386; and THETA, trading at US $6.99, with a market cap of US $6,991,735,128.
Theta Network participants that help share video content as edge nodes get rewards for the data they transmit with TFUEL. The platform itself pays for content distribution, meaning the service is free for end-users.
The Theta network’s second native cryptocurrency, THETA, is a government token. It helps manage the blockchain and its future development. THETA has a fixed supply of one billion coins, avoiding the risk of inflation.
Users can stake THETA coins to receive TFUEL as a reward, but, as mentioned above, a user needs at least 1,000 tokens to become an eligible guardian node and 1 million tokens to become an enterprise-level validator.
Theta is looking to change the future of video delivery platforms with the help of blockchain technology and its network of validators. The software encourages its global network of users to create and support a fully decentralized video streaming platform.
Despite immense technological advances, video streaming quality and load times are not on par with viewers’ high expectations. This is because video streaming platforms and content distribution networks are limited by the location of their servers. Ordinary content distribution networks get payments to deliver video content to end-users, but centralized servers simply cannot keep up with the ever-increasing demand for streaming quality.
The more users that are active on the network, the more bandwidth is available for video streaming, increasing the speed and quality of the stream with each new node.
In addition, Theta allows content creators to exercise greater control over their content and its monetization, which will likely contribute to the popularity of the network. Currently, investors are still exploring Theta as they are convinced that the future of shared video streaming platforms is based on blockchain technology.
Theta’s vision for the future
Analysts project that this project will have an annual growth of over 18% from 2020-24, with even higher growth in the long term as technologies such as blockchain and virtual reality advance further.
Theta aims to reduce the transmission-related costs of content delivery networks and make distribution more seamless, potentially serving industry giants such as YouTube, Twitch and Netflix, and injecting momentum into the growth of fully decentralized content delivery platforms.
The launch of Theta’s 3.0 mainnet also furthers expansion plans for the ThetaDrop NFT marketplace, which may help Theta gain market share in that booming industry.
Theta Labs wrote in a blog post, “With our planned growth for the ThetaDrop NFT marketplace, licensing of our platform to third parties and other expansion plans, we forecast that NFT interactions with Theta smart contracts alone will reach 600,000 transactions per day, at which point nearly 250M TFUEL per year burn, canceling out most of the annual TFUEL inflation.”
After the upgrade, Elite Edge nodes will become decentralized storage spaces for NFT, as Theta is establishing on-chain bridges between its own network, Ethereum, and other decentralized networks. This can potentially solve the high costs associated with minting NFT on the Ethereum network.
Mainnet 3.0 will lead to a more secure, scalable, and future-proof blockchain protocol that can enable other initiatives in the industry.
NFTs (non-fungible tokens) built on THETA Blockchain!
On July 29, Theta published on its Twitter account an article on how decentralized video delivery and Edge Nodes work with ThetaDrop, and on the introduction of the TDROP NFT Liquidity Mining token.
On Monday, August 9 also on its Twitter account Theta announced that all bettors of Theta tokens will receive a share of the February TDROP release distribution, proportional to the amount of Theta they wager between August 1 and February 1. But that will count only tokens that count from qualifying Theta wallets of their own and not tokens held in an exchange.
THETA Network Token Elements (TNT)
With the implementation of NFT on THETA.tv, elements such as badges, emoticons, and more will be 100% integrated into THETA Network’s blockchain technology. Each TNT is unique and owned by the user, validated through the blockchain, and will have expanded utility through the power of this new technology.
Each item created as a TNT will have its own smart contract. This will allow item creators much more power to utilize and monitor the transaction of their items.