Hey guys :) I’m back with another comprehensive Q&A piece, this time for the popular decentralized streaming network, platform, and token – Theta (THETA).
Theta is a next-generation video delivering platform powered by a decentralized peer-to-peer blockchain network. The project has the potential to disrupt today’s online video streaming industry by offering improved video delivery at much lower costs.
Hope you enjoy!
The list of Q&A is kind of long so first comes the list of questions that I have prepared the answers to:
- What is Theta?
- Who and When Created Theta?
- What is THETA Token Used For?
- What is tFUEL token?
- Who are some notable Investors in Theta?
- What are some notable Advisors and Partners of Theta?
- Does Theta Have Its Own Blockchain?
- Can You Stake Theta?
- Where to Store Theta?
- Where to Buy & Sell Theta?
1. What is Theta?
Theta website homepage
Theta is an open-source protocol that powers a decentralized peer-to-peer video streaming network and platform that incentivizes people to share bandwidth to increase video streaming speed and quality and reduce costs.
Decentralized applications (dapps) can be built on top of the Theta platform to enable online video streaming delivery at low costs. Through these dapps, Theta enables unique use cases that span esports, entertainment, and peer-to-peer streaming.
The Problem with Live Video Streaming Today
In today's day and age, Video streaming is a part of everyday life. People stream videos from YouTube, Netflix, TikTok, Twitch, and countless other video streaming and social media platforms.
This immense amount of streaming requires a lot of bandwidth, especially for high quality and fast loading streaming. And the problem with today’s content delivery networks (CDNs) is that they have:
- Poor Quality
They Lack reach in less developed countries, causing video rebuffering and high load times.
- Sky Rocketing Data Needs
They cannot meet the data needs of users, people demand 4k, 8k, and higher quality streams.
- Centralized and Inefficient Systems
They have a centralized and inefficient system, meaning less revenue flows back to content creators and platforms.
The Theta Solution to Live Video Streaming
Theta provides a decentralized peer-to-peer video delivery system where the user earns rewards and benefits from better quality video streaming and reduced costs. See the Theta solution below:
1) Viewers Earn Rewards
Viewers are rewarded in TFUEL (Theta’s secondary token) for sharing excess bandwidth and resources. So, instead of the CDN powering the network and getting paid to do so, it's powered by users and they get rewarded for participation.
2)Higher Quality Streaming
The decentralized peer-to-peer Theta network provides high quality and efficient streaming globally.
3) Reduced Costs of Delivering Video Streams
Video platforms no longer need to build or lease expensive infrastructure. This removes the barrier to entry for video streaming platforms and services and will result in improved innovation and unique business models.
The Theta Solution – “In the end, users benefit by sharing their bandwidth and building a community. Content creators and platforms all earn more with lower streaming costs.”
2. Who and When Created Theta?
Theta Founders, Mitch Liu, and Jieyi Long respectively
Both Liu and Long are highly educated and driven individuals, and they both co-founded Silver.TV (now called Theta.TV) prior to launching Theta.
As for individual accomplishments, Liu has a BS in Computer Science & Engineering from MIT and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business. In addition to co-founding Theta.TV, Liu also co-founded Tapjoy and Gameview Studios prior to Theta.
Long is just as accomplished as his partner Liu, he has a BS in Microelectronics that he acquired from Peking University and has a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from Northwestern University. Long has extensive experience with video streaming technologies as he Developed multiple patented technologies including VR live streaming as well as instant replays for video games.
Joining Liu and Long in Theta’s leadership role is the project’s Chief Product Officer, Ryan Nichols. As for the rest of the team, it consists of 10 core team members.
Theta Launch and Issuance:
Theta launched THETA as an ERC-20 token via an initial coin offering (ICO) carried out through September 26, 2017, to December 27, 2017.
The total supply of Theta is 1,000,000,000 THETA tokens and 30% (300,000,000 THETA) was available for sale in the ICO at a price of $0.067 per THETA. The Theta team raised a total of $20,000,000.
As for the rest of the THETA tokens, the distribution is as follows:
- 7.49% was allocated to the team
- 1.23& allocated to Advisors
- 12.5% allocated to Partners
- 12.5% allocated to Network Seeding
- 36.28% allocated to Theta Labs Token Reserves
Moreover, it should be noted that the THETA ERC-20 tokens could be swapped for mainnet THETA tokens on March 15, 2019, when the Theta mainnet went live.
3. What is THETA Token Used For?
The THETA token has the following use cases:
- Stake, Secure, and Govern the Theta Blockchain Network
- Reward Viewers for Engagement and Content Creators for Content
- Payment for Premium services
Stake, Secure, and Govern the Theta Blockchain Network
Validators and guardian nodes in the Theta Network are required to stake THETA tokens to validate transactions, contribute to block production and provide protocol governance of the overall Theta Network.
Staking THETA tokens helps to secure the network by ensuring validators and guardian nodes perform their functions properly. Staked THETA increases the cost of a malicious actor acquiring sufficient stake to threaten the network.
Reward Viewers for Engagement and Content Creators for Content
Within the Theta Network, viewers can optionally earn Theta Tokens from Advertisers for their attention and engagement, and influencers can earn Theta Token as “tips” directly from viewers.
Payment for Premium Services
Dapps built on top of Theta can drive new revenue through the sale of premium content and services paid for in THETA.
4. What is tFUEL token?
A simplified example of how TFUEL flows through the Theta ecosystem
Theta Fuel (tFUEL) is the “gas” or payment token of the Theta Network. It powers on-chain operations such as payments to relayers for sharing a video stream or deploying or interacting with smart contracts.
tFUEL was introduced when the Theta mainnet launched in March 2019 and plays a critical role in the Theta Network. There is a total supply of 5 billion tFUEL tokens (5 for each of the 1 billion THETA), and this supply will increase at an annual target rate of 5%.
tFUEL Use Cases
Video viewers on the Theta Network are incentivized to share redundant computing and bandwidth resources in exchange for tFUEL. Caching nodes can earn tFUEL tokens as they relay video streams to other viewers.
Since users are rewarded with tFUEL, this attracts more users to the network, which leads to incremental revenues from user engagement.
Also, since tFUEL acts as gas for the Theta Network, video platforms that want to build on and leverage the Theta Network must purchase tFUEL tokens or stake THETA tokens to generate their own tFUEL.
5. Who are some notable investors in Theta?
The most notable investors in Theta include:
- Sony Innovation Fund
- Sierra Ventures
Full list of Theta Investors:
- Sierra Ventures
- The Venture Reality Fund
- Colopl VR Fund
- Green Pine Capital Partners
- ZP Capital
- Advancit Capital
- Creative Artists Agency
- Heuristic Capital
- Sony Innovation Fund
- Nirvana Capital
- ZMT Capital
- Synapse Capital
6. What are some notable Advisors and Partners of Theta?
Media Advisors to Theta:
- Steve Chen - Co-founder of YouTube
- Dennis Fong - Founder Plays.tv, first esports celebrity
- Clifford Morgan - CEO GFUEL
- Sam Wick - Head of Ventures, United Talent Agency
- Justin Kan - Co-founder of Twitch
- Karen Huh - Senior Vice President of CJ Hello
- Kyle Okamoto - Chief Network Officer at Verizon Digital Media
- Jonathan Wong - Director of Product at Rakuten Viki
Blockchain Advisors to Theta:
- Dovey Wan - Founding Partner of Primitive Ventures
- Travis Skweres - Founder CoinMkt, one of the first US bitcoin exchange
- Fan Zhang - Founding member, Sequoia Capital China
- Ma Haobo - CEO of aelf
- Riz Virk - Executive Director at Play Labs at MIT
Theta Platform Partners:
- Samsung VR
- CJ Hello
- Sizzle Popcorn
- Eastern Media GG
- God Mode Unlocked
- Cruz Ctrl
- Zetetic News Network
7. Does Theta Have Its Own Blockchain?
Yes, Theta has its own blockchain.
When the Theta project first launched, the THETA token was initially issued as an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain. But once the Theta mainnet went live on March 15, 2019, THETA ERC-20 tokens could be swapped for mainnet THETA tokens attached to the native Theta blockchain.
The distributed Theta blockchain is used as a ledger to track how much data is moving between hands (like an accounting system). It’s also used to prevent fraud and outside manipulation to the network/payment system, something which is commonly seen with centralized applications due to hackers, malware, and internal theft.
It’s important to note that Theta’s blockchain does not actually transmit video, rather the blockchain is solely used to:
- Track which data goes where
- Secure the peer-to-peer video transmitting system
- Introduce incentivization through novel tokenomics
8. Can You Stake Theta?
Yes, you can stake Theta (THETA) tokens and receive Theta Fuel (tFUEL) tokens as a reward for doing so.
THETA is the main token of the Theta Network and it’s used in Theta’s Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm. Validator nodes (Guardian nodes) in this system are required to stake THETA tokens to process blocks and secure the blockchain and also to provide protocol governance of the Theta Network.
When a user stakes THETA, they earn tFUEL in exchange for their services. Anyone can stake THETA to earn tFUEL rewards, so long as they stake at least 10,000 THETA.
How to Stake THETA?
If you want to participate in the Theta network through staking, you will need to use one of the official THETA token wallets (see next section below). Once you create a wallet and deposit THETA tokens, you simply navigate to the “Stakes” tab and then click “Deposit Stake”.
You will need to stake at least 10,000 THETA tokens and according to stakingrewards.com, staking THETA returns an annual reward of 1% in tFUEL tokens.
In addition to staking THETA through the official Theta Wallets, you can also leave THETA tokens on certain cryptocurrency exchanges that support staking.
For instance, Binance, one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges, enables THETA token holders to simply leave their tokens on the Binance exchange and automatically receive tFUEL staking rewards. Other cryptocurrency exchanges and some custodial wallets may support this type of automatic staking as well.
However, to receive the most staking rewards and have full control of your THETA funds, stalking through the official Theta Wallets is recommended.
9. Where to Store Theta?
Theta Wallet Android
The best cryptocurrency wallets to store Theta (THETA) are the official Theta Wallets for Android, iOS, and Web.
The above listed Theta Wallets support both, THETA Mainnet tokens as well as the old THETA ERC-20 tokens. The official Theta Wallets’ put the user in control of their own private keys, they are beautifully designed, they support THETA staking, and they are easy to use.
Best Multi-Cryptocurrency Wallets Supporting Theta Mainnet Tokens:
- Trust Wallet (mobile)
- Ledger Nano S (hardware)
- KeepKey (hardware)
- Exodus (mobile, desktop)
- Freewallet (mobile)
Theta launched its mainnet on March 15, 2019, and with it the swap from ERC20 (Ethereum) Theta Tokens to native Theta Tokens on the Theta blockchain. That said, some of the popular ERC-20 token supported wallets no longer support the Theta mainnet tokens.
10. Where to Buy & Sell Theta?
Theta (THETA) can be bought and sold on a peer-to-peer (P2P) basis but the most popular way to buy, sell, or trade Theta is through cryptocurrency exchanges.
You can buy THETA with cryptocurrency or fiat at the following top exchanges. In most cases, you will have to fund your account with fiat, buy Bitcoin or Ethereum, and then use BTC or ETH to buy Theta (symbol THETA).
- Binance - BTC, ETH, BNB, USDT
- Huobi Global - BTC, ETH, USDT
- OKEx - BTC, USDT
- Bithumb - KRW
- UpBit - KRW
In addition to the exchanges listed above, Theta (THETA) is also traded on a wide array of other exchanges and platforms that enable people to buy, sell, or trade cryptocurrencies.
Hope you enjoyed that read :) Let me know if I have missed something in the comments.