Theta Fuel (TFUEL) is a cryptocurrency made by Mitch Liu and Jieyi Long in 2019. It is the second token (gas token) of the Theta protocol and is used in conjunction with the Theta (THETA) token.
While the THETA token is used for governance of the Theta protocol and staking as a Validator or Guardian node, Theta Fuel (TFUEL) is the operational token of the Theta protocol. In fact, Theta Fuel has even more utility than Theta’s primary token. TFUEL powers on-chain operations like payments to relayers for streaming video, or for deploying/interacting with smart contracts. Users earn TFUEL for relaying video streams to other users on the network and viewers can earn TFUEL as a direct reward just for participating in the network.
Theta Fuel was only launched in March 2019 when the Theta mainnet went live. During its launch, for each Theta token that was held by users/investors, they received 5 Theta Fuel to seed the ecosystem. A total of 5,000,000,000 TFUEL was distributed to Theta token holders (5 for each of the 1 billion Theta Tokens). Now, the supply is set to increase at an initial annual target rate of 5% with the new annual rates being determined at the protocol level.
A common question among the crypto community is why did Theta introduce a secondary currency (TFUEL) at all? According to the Theta team, the primary reason is to separate the staking/governance and operations/transactions usage of the token. Theta’s two token model also reportedly enhances the protocols security.