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What is Theta Crypto?

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Editorialist

Last updated April 16, 2021

Estimated Reading Time:
7 minutes, 21 seconds

Decentralization is finding its way within the content streaming industry as well. 

As mainstream platforms face increasing costs for delivering high-quality content and continuous complaints regarding buffering, projects like the Theta Network employ the power of blockchain to revolutionize the deployment of content to the internet.

And as content creators and content demand are on a continuous rise, Theta supplies a need for decentralization and better service. 

Furthermore, content creators get to earn more from streaming their productions in this environment, and content watchers also get to earn tokens for viewing.

What is Theta?

What is Theta

First, let’s get this out of our way. The Theta denomination is not exclusive to crypto. 

Theta (uppercase Θ / lowercase θ) is a letter in the Greek alphabet used in math to represent an angle and/or the growth of different functions. The notion is also used in computer sciences, meteorology, and Finance (especially but not limited to trading).

Theta in Finance 

In Finance, according to Investopedia, Theta refers to the rate of decline in the value of an option due to time passage. It’s usually employed to determine the risk of loss of value for an option before it reaches maturity.

In trading, Theta affects the option buyers and the sellers differently.

Option sellers usually profit over Theta decay while buyers are likely to take a loss. But that’s not always the case as this rate of decline in value of an option is non-linear, especially when it gets closer to expiration.

The Theta Crypto

As for the Theta Crypto, it is the current leader in the decentralized video streaming space

For traders, the project is primarily known for its performant Theta token. 

For end-users (especially gamers and crypto enthusiasts), it’s known for the content streaming platform, Theta.tv.

And for tech folks, Theta is known for the ambitious technology that aims to create a decentralized video streaming platform using blockchain that can be integrated with current popular content-streaming brands.

Theta and decentralized TV

Theta and decentralized TV

Theta is a project initiated and developed by Theta Labs. The company is based in San Francisco and specializes in decentralized video streaming. 

The project was started in 2017 to solve the issues they were bumping into with their first video streaming platform, Theta.tv.

Since 2019, Theta Labs managed to host its streaming platform within a network of nodes and create its own Theta blockchain. Furthermore, the project’s fast pace managed to bring improvements, with Theta being ready to launch Mainnet 3.0 in 2021.

The decentralized TV solution Theta is proposing to stream 4k and 8k video content with minimal buffering at a minimal cost. That is achieved by broadcasting video streams using a network of local nodes that caches video data and relays streams to viewers. 

The nodes are incentivized to participate in the network with the Theta Fuel token. 

Tfuel works a lot like Gas on Ethereum. It is used to pay fees on the Theta blockchain, can be staked and earned by content creators to provide their work on the platform, and by viewers for simply watching streams or opening reward boxes.

Besides Theta.tv’s streamed and hosted content, Theta has also developed a network of edge nodes that relay video on a peer-to-peer stream basis that cannot be censored. But more on that later.

Theta and Theta Fuel (Tfuel)

Theta and Theta Fuel

Theta and Theta Fuel are the native tokens of the Theta blockchain. 

The two tokens are native to the same blockchain; however, they have different use cases and tokenomics.

Theta token

Theta is used for staking and governance. The Theta token has a max fixed supply of 1 billion.

The staking reward is of 1% yield and is paid out in Tfuel. Although the APR may seem low, this rate prevents the rapid devaluation of the Tfuel token.

How do you stake Theta?

You only have to deposit a stake in a Guardian Node within the Theta Wallet app. The stake has been reduced from at least 10,000 to at least 1,000 to encourage further decentralization. 

As for the enterprise validator nodes, that’s a little more complicated. It involves partnering up with Theta Labs on enterprise-level and staking a lot more than a guardian node.

Tfuel token

Tfuel is used for paying transaction fees on the blockchain, earned by Theta stakers, and given as rewards to websites hosting Theta-based streams, content creators, and viewers. 

The Tfuel token started out with an initial supply of 5 billion, increasing due to the inflationary mechanism (5% annual rate). Inflation is necessary to cover the appropriate amount demanded by platforms on the Theta Network. 

Mainnet 3.0 is bringing more Tfuel with an update that will allow Edge Nodes to stake their earned tokens and introduce burning for network fees. 

The Theta network

The Theta network

Theta Labs developed the Theta blockchain to offer top-notch decentralized streaming services. The Theta network can provide high-quality streams by employing interconnected local nodes.

The blockchain uses a multi-level byzantine fault tolerance mechanism to achieve consensus, creating three types of nodes: Validator, Guardian, and Edge Nodes.

The Theta protocol

As mentioned before, Theta uses a protocol that’s called a multi-level byzantine fault tolerance mechanism.

In essence, this means that the blockchain is achieving consensus and assuring security on multiple levels. 

The first level, the Validators, are confirming transactions as fast as possible, and the second level, the Guardians, are verifying the secured transactions’ authenticity.

Furthermore, instead of competing against each other to confirm a transaction, the nodes collaborate to determine an operation’s correctness.

On the first level, 20-30 Validators create blocks as fast as possible. On the second level, there are thousands of Guardians meant to finish the blocks.

And while anyone holding 1,000 Theta can become a Guardian, only trusted partners can become Validators. In this regard, we can see Theta as being relatively centralized. 

However, the said validators are actually big companies such as Google, Binance, Blockchain Ventures, and Gumi Cryptos that stake large amounts of tokens and are less likely to sell.

Another type of node present in Theta is the Edge node. The Edge Nodes are assuring the functionality of the Theta Edge Network that provides peer-to-peer streaming. 

Users can simply download the Edge Node app and use it to access Edge Streams, cache and relay others’ streams, or stream their own content. 

Mainnet 1.0 -> 2.0 -> 3.0

As mentioned before, the Theta blockchain was launched in 2019. That represented the Mainnet 1.0 version of the network. 

However, since 2020, Theta has been running on Mainnet 2.0. It came as several updates that added:

  • The Theta Live Embed, making it possible for websites to stream content from Theta.tv;
  • The Theta.tv mobile app, allowing mobile devices to become a relay node on the network to share bandwidth and optimize streams for nearby viewers;
  • The possibility for Guardian nodes to participate in the block production.

In 2021, Theta is preparing to launch Mainnet 3.0. The third major update is focusing on the Edge network particularly. 

As the Edge nodes are rewarded only for relaying videos, the incentives are pretty low. Therefore, Theta Mainnet 3.0 aims to give Edge nodes the ability to stake Tfuel and become Elite Edge Nodes to earn more tokens based on network uptime and stake.

Additionally, with the Mainnet 3.0, 25% of the fees made on the edge network will be burned to create a certain degree of deflation.

Theta Smart Contracts, Ethereum, and NFTs

Theta smart contracts have been available since December 2020. With smart contracts, Theta Labs aims to bring better copyright content management and create an oracle to offer transparency. 

The Theta smart contracts will be interoperable with Ethereum smart contracts, facilitating the creation of DEXes, staking pools, and dApps.

By making smart contracts available, Theta also added NFT creation capabilities, allowing the minting of collectibles. And given Theta’s connection to e-sports, NFTs are becoming more and more significant.

Is it hard to create a smart contract on Theta? 

Not at all. Anyone can go forward and create a new smart contract, and namely an NFT, within Theta’s wallet.

Key takeaways

  • As mainstream platforms face increasing costs for delivering high-quality content, Theta Network employs the power of blockchain to revolutionize the deployment of content to the internet.
  • Theta is used in Finance to refer to the rate of decline in an option’s value due to time passage. 
  • In the cryptocurrency space, Theta crypto is the current leader in the decentralized video streaming space.
  • The network has two tokens, Theta and Theta Fuel, both native to the Theta blockchain. The two tokens have different use cases and tokenomics. The token is used for staking and governance, while Tfuel is used for fees and soon staking.
  • The blockchain uses a multi-level byzantine fault tolerance mechanism to achieve consensus, creating three types of nodes: Validator, Guardian, and Edge Nodes. And although it was launched in 2019, the network will soon be updated to Mainnet 3.0.

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