What is Theta Network?

theta network

Theta is a blockchain platform specifically designed for decentralized video delivery. Traditional video streaming services often experience issues with “last mile” data delivery, where Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) require data centers to be located near viewers. However, due to the limited number of data centers, these may not always be close enough to viewers, causing issues such as choppy streams and poor picture quality.

Key Takeaways

  • Theta is a decentralized network designed for video sharing and delivery.
  • Theta Network aims to offer a decentralized video streaming infrastructure that is more cost-effective than centralized options.
  • The network uses a peer-to-peer network to improve video delivery and create a sustainable ecosystem for network participants.
  • Theta uses a dual-token model, with Theta Coin (THETA) for governance and Theta Fuel (TFUEL) for transactions.

To address this, Theta utilizes a peer-to-peer network where viewers are incentivized to share their excess computing power and bandwidth resources. By utilizing the resources of viewers’ devices, the last-mile delivery problem is addressed as the devices are much closer to each other compared to Content Delivery Network data centers.

The platform is open-source, allowing anyone to build on it, and content providers can develop specialized decentralized applications (DApps) for their audience.

These DApps can offer a range of entertainment options, such as movies, TV shows, music, esports, live streaming, and distance learning. The Theta Network already includes platforms like Samsung VR, Cinedigm, Shout! Factory, and THETA.tv.

How does Theta Network work?

Theta network relies on the participation of three groups of participants: Enterprise Validator Nodes, Guardian Nodes, and Edge Nodes.

  • Enterprise Validator Nodes are companies that commit THETA tokens in order to validate transactions on the network. Some notable examples of current validator nodes are Google and Samsung.
  • Guardian Nodes are users who perform tasks to guarantee the validity of the transaction blocks proposed by the Enterprise Validator Nodes.
  • Edge Nodes are users who contribute their bandwidth or act as relays for video streams on the Theta network in exchange for TFUEL.

The Theta Network uses a unique consensus mechanism called Multi-Level Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) which is based on a modified form of Proof-of-Stake. This approach allows for faster and more efficient approval of transactions compared to traditional Proof-of-Work networks.

The mechanism utilizes a small group of nodes known as the “Validator Committee” (composed of 10-20 nodes) to initially approve a transaction before it is passed on to the “Guardian Pool” for final validation. The Guardian Pool consists of a larger group of nodes and has the responsibility to fully validate transactions and add them to the Theta blockchain ledger. This design helps ensure a balance between high transaction throughput, consistency, and decentralization.

Core Features

Theta Network has three core features that enable primary data storage and delivery capabilities.

Off-Chain Micropayments Pool

This pool is off-chain and designed to facilitate the network’s core operations. It uses an aggregated signature gossip scheme where a group of community-run Guardian Nodes gather partial signatures from neighboring nodes and communicate the aggregated signature to the rest of the network.

This approach allows for efficient communication of signature shares among participating nodes while minimizing resource usage. With this system, any user can make withdrawals using off-chain transactions. This also allows for more node processing power to be available for core data storage, transcription, and delivery functions.

Edge Notes

In addition to Validator and Guardian Nodes, Theta Network also has Edge Nodes. These nodes are run by members of the Theta community and were introduced during Theta’s 2.0 mainnet launch. The Edge Nodes allow for transcoding, relaying video content, and sharing excess bandwidth and processing power on the network without the need for central servers.

These Edge Nodes form the community-driven core of Theta’s Edgecast platform, which supports the network’s peer-to-peer streaming dApps. As of early 2021, there were more than 7,000 Edge Nodes worldwide. These Edge Node operators are rewarded with tokens in exchange for participating in Theta’s global content-sharing ecosystem.

Theta Token Minter

Theta Token Minter is a feature introduced by Theta Labs in late 2020 as a means to leverage the new capabilities of flexible Turing-complete smart contract implementation on the Theta blockchain. The Token Minter allows any user to create new TNT-20 tokens without the need for smart contract expertise.

Users can input the name, ticker symbol, and supply parameters of their new token, and the Token Minter will automatically mint the new tokens. As these tokens can be created without technical expertise and configured to have either a fixed or variable supply, it opens a wide range of possibilities for new applications and assets to be created on the Theta blockchain.

Dual-token System

Theta Network is an open-source protocol that enables developers to build decentralized applications (dApps) on its platform. The Theta ecosystem operates with a dual-coin model that consists of two types of tokens:

Theta Coin (THETA)

This token is responsible for governing the Theta protocol. Users can stake THETA tokens to act as Validator or Guardian Nodes, helping to produce new blocks and participate in the protocol’s governance processes. The total supply of THETA coins is fixed at 1 billion and will not change.


Theta Fuel (TFUEL) is the token that fuels Theta Network. It serves a similar function to that of Ethereum’s gas. TFUEL coins are used for on-chain transactions such as rewarding Edge Nodes for sharing original content, relaying video streams to other users, and interactions with smart contracts on the Theta Network. Users that watch video content are rewarded in TFUEL.

Theta Network Development

Theta Network was created by Theta Labs, which has a team made up of experienced professionals in media and entertainment based in both Silicon Valley and Asia. The platform also has the support of notable corporations such as Sony, Samsung, and CAA, as well as traditional venture capital firms such as DCM and Sierra Ventures Fund.

The Theta team is advised by notable figures such as Steve Chen, co-founder of YouTube, and Justin Kan, co-founder of Twitch.

Theta was initially launched as an ERC-20 token. The project launched its own mainnet blockchain in March 2019 after raising $20 million USD in a private token sale in 2017. Even though it is now a standalone project, it is still ERC-20 compliant. This enables Theta to take advantage of Ethereum’s large user base and network benefits, while implementing its own proprietary technologies to improve video delivery and enhance the end-user experience.

Theta Network FAQ

Who are the founders of Theta Network (THETA)?

Theta was established in 2018 by CEO Mitch Liu and CTO Jieyi Long. Liu holds a degree in computer science and engineering from MIT, and a master’s degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Additionally, he has co-founded several projects, including mobile social gaming studio Gameview Studios, advertising, and app monetization platform Tapjoy, and live streaming dApp THETA.tv.

Long has a Ph.D. in computer engineering from Northwestern University and was a co-founder of THETA.tv along with Liu. He has developed several patented technologies, such as video game instant replays and virtual reality live streaming. The Theta leadership team also includes CPO Ryan Nichols, who has a previous experience as Director at Tencent for the Wechat app.

What makes Theta Network (THETA) unique?

Theta aims to apply blockchain technology to the video streaming industry, making the delivery of videos decentralized and improving their quality. The peer-to-peer network eliminates infrastructure bottlenecks as the demand for data increases and creates a sustainable ecosystem where network users are incentivized to participate. This is accomplished by a dual token economy that rewards users for both consuming network content and sharing network resources.

The project has introduced several groundbreaking technologies such as Multi-level BFT, a modified Byzantine Fault Tolerant consensus, to provide high transaction throughput; Aggregated Signature Gossip Scheme, to reduce messaging complexity; and Resource-Oriented Micropayment Pool, a double-spend resistant off-chain pool built specifically for video streaming.

Additionally, the protocol is open-source, enabling developers and partners to build dApps on the Theta blockchain. The Theta team’s own THETA.tv was the first dApp to be launched on the blockchain, and other platforms have since followed suit, such as Samsung VR, Cinedigm, Shout! Factory, Pandora.tv, and Play Labs.

How do I buy THETA?

  1. Set up a wallet that supports Theta, such as Ledger, Trezor, or MyEtherWallet. Make sure to secure your wallet and make a backup of your private key.
  2. Choose a cryptocurrency exchange that supports Theta. Some examples are Binance, Huobi Global, and Bitfinex.
  3. Create an account on the chosen exchange and complete the necessary verification process.
  4. Add a payment method to your account, such as credit/debit card, bank transfer, or another cryptocurrency.
  5. Search for Theta (THETA) on the exchange and select the option to buy.
  6. Enter the amount of Theta you want to buy and review the total cost, including fees. THETA price is determined by the market cap and circulating supply of the currency.
  7. Confirm the transaction and wait for the exchange to process the purchase.
  8. Once the transaction is complete, the purchased Theta will be credited to your exchange account. You can then store it in your wallet or trade it for other cryptocurrencies.


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