Table of Contents

Introduction

Theta is a decentralized blockchain that is focused on delivering video streaming while also reducing costs associated with video streaming and preventing content censorship. 

 

The video streaming industry is expected to reach $59.14 billion in 2021, and with 82% of all internet bandwidth being used towards video streaming, it is evident that video streaming is a very important part of the internet. There’s a few crucial issues that video streaming faces at the moment:

– Poor Quality: The current networks we use lack geographical reach and therefore there is a lot of buffering and high load times for much of the world. 

-Data Requirements: With 4K and 8K video around the corner, video streaming will only become more data demanding. These high data requirements cause infrastructure bottlenecks. 

-Censorship: Similar to all centralized platforms, the central authority has the ability to remove all 

-Centralization: With centralization comes lack of ownership for creators and less money flows back to the users of the network. 

What’s the solution to the above?

Theta Image 1 Theta Image 1

Innovation

Highly recommend checking out Theta’s whitepapers which can be found here.

This project makes three main promises to solve the issues described above:

1) Viewers can earn rewards as Theta Fuel.; users can share extra bandwidth and resources are rewarded accordingly

2) Higher quality, smoother video streaming and streams are delivered efficiently

3)Reduced cost of delivering video streams: video platforms no longer need to build expensive infrastructure, which means more innovation and unique business models

 

Components

 Theta Network uses a Proof of Stake Consuses to validate transactions in a fast and cheap manner. Theta’s network achieves this consensus through a two-layer structure of its nodes:
  • Enterprise Validator Nodes
  • Guardian Nodes

Enterprise Nodes produce new blocks in the blockchain  whereas Guardian nodes double check the consensus of Enterprise nodes and monitor Validator Nodes.

 

Enterprise Validator Nodes: The network has a limited space for validator nodes as these are the main nodes which have powerful computing sources. The enterprise  validator committee is dominated by centralized companies like Google, Sony, Samsung, Binance, Blockchain etc. 

Guardian Node: These nodes make up the second layer of security and validation of the network. Guardian Nodes have the role of downloading the blockchain created by the Enterprise Nodes and come to a consensus. There are far more guardian nodes then there are enterprise nodes which helps with transaction speed and network security. 

Transactions are finalized one the Enterprise Nodes and Guardian Nodes achieve consensus. 

 

Edge Node: Edge Nodes are a recent addition for Theta and an important one. In my blog post on Web3.0 I mentioned that one of the defining characteristics of Web3 is edge computing which is where the computation of a network is moved closer to the source of access. In Theta’s case, Edge Nodes will allow users of the network to contribute their excess bandwidth towards the network and receive TFUEL in return.  

 

Theta Node Breakdown Theta Node Breakdown

Theta's Tokeconomics

Theta uses a dual token model, similar to other crypto projects like VET. 

Theta token: Used for governance and staking with a max supply of 1 billion tokens

  •  Vote for on protocol decisions, upgrades etc.
  • Staking, validators and guardian nodes rely on Theta tokens for taking to secure the proof of stake protocol
 
TFUEL: Inflationary token used to pay transaction fees and staking rewards
  •  5 billion initial supply that inflates at 5% per year
Theta
Theta Token Distribution, taken from InvestAnswers(Youtube)

Growth and Associated Risks of Theta

Growth 

  •  Theta was first privately funded in 2017 where over 20 million was raised
  • An additional $100M has been brought in from VCs
  • Mainnet was launched in March 2019
 

Risks

  • Validator centralization is an issue
    • 10M Theta required to be a validator, at $7 per token that would require 70M
    • Guardian nodes have been implemented to help remedy this issue
    • Enterprise validator Nodes: Google, Sony, Samsung, Binance, Gumi
  • A lot of the tokens lie in the hands of Theta
  • Validators are centralized 
 
 
Theta Roadmap Theta Roadmap

Team and Investors

Founders

The founders of Theta are Mitchell Liu and Jieyi Long. Both individuals are prominent figures in the gaming and video streaming as they have founded Gameview studios, THETA.tv, and Theta labs. Additionally, they are experts in gaming, virtual reality and large scale distributed systems. 

Theta Founders Theta Founders

Investors:

Theta Investors Theta Investors

Media Advisors

Theta Media Advisors Pt1 Theta Media Advisors Pt1
Theta Media Advisors Pt2 Theta Media Advisors Pt2

Conclusion

It’s easy to say that Theta Network is a crypto project everyone should have their eyes on for the next decade. Founded by experienced tech entrepreneurs, backed by HUGE brands, part of a big industry(video streaming) with a solid solution and fundamentals, Theta is far ahead of its competitors in the decentralized video streaming space. The burning question is; is Theta actually decentralized. At a glance, it doesn’t appear to be.

Not only is the Theta Token supply heavily held in the Theta foundation, its partners and Enterprise nodes are large Web2 conglomerates alongside its media advisors who are executives at large tech companies. This isn’t a bad thing to be clear, but for the crowd in crypto that only cares about decentralized projects, Theta might not be the best pick. 

In my opinion, Web3 will have an ecosystem where both centralized and decentralized projects will coexist and build off of one another. Theta is most certainly a dominant player in the centralized sphere.

Pros

  • High quality Investors, team and partnerships
  • Far ahead of the competition
  •  Solid roadmap with big things coming in 2022

Cons

  • Currently centralized in many ways
  • Potentially high competition in the future(big tech can jump in any moment)
  • Tokeconomics is heavily skewed towards Theta Foundation
 

Conclusion

Definitely bullish on this project for the next 5 years to see how it develops and plays out. Video streaming is only going to become more relevant as internet expands and Theta is in a solid position to capitalize on this growing demand. 

 
8.5/10