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THETA Review

Livestreaming platforms have seen tremendous growth over the past decade, but the key hubs of livestreaming still operate in an extremely centralized manner. Due to the increased demand for both livestreaming software and decentralization, a number of new projects have decided to combine the art of livestreaming with blockchain technology. One such project is known as Theta.

With Theta, the centralized content delivery model controlled by the likes of YouTube and Twitch is replaced by a peer-to-peer (P2P) model. It’s sort of like comparing the more centralized file-sharing platform Napster to the more decentralized, Bittorrent-based file sharing that goes on today. In addition to decentralizing the base structure of livestreaming platforms, Theta also believes the P2P model can actually improve the quality of video streams. Additionally, Theta enables experimentation with a variety of new content monetization models that are made much more efficient through the use of a native cryptocurrency.

Let’s take a closer look at the overall Theta platform and the underlying THETA token that powers this potentially-exciting new venture.

THETA Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Decentralizes video streaming on the internet

  • Looks to reduce the costs of streaming video by up to 80%

  • Goal of improving video quality in online video streams

  • Steve Chen, who was a co-founder of YouTube, is an advisor to Theta

  • Partnership with Samsung VR

Cons

  • Testing Theta.tv included a large amount of video buffering

  • This is still a young project overall

  • Highly centralized and private initial coin offering

  • Relatively low liquidity

Why Was THETA Created?

The popularity of livestreaming has exploded over the past decade, but there are still a variety issues that persist with this emerging technology. With a combination of the Theta network and the underlying THETA token, this project wants to improve the existing livestreaming infrastructure and create new possibilities through the use of cryptoeconomics.

According to the team behind Theta, there are currently three key issues with livestreaming as it exists on the internet today. First of all, the quality of the video used in livestreaming is still extremely poor, even as high-speed internet is becoming more widely available around the world. Many parts of the world are unable to access high quality video streams because the more centraled content delivery networks (CDNs) that are used today simply do not care to cover ever corner of the globe.

A second issue with livestreaming today is tied in with that first issue, in that viewers are demanding increasingly higher definition video streams in a world where much of the world cannot even keep up with the bandwidth demands of the lower quality streams that are already being used today.

Thirdly, the current, centralized version of livestreaming platforms acts as a sort of middleman between content creators and their audiences. One of the key concepts behind Theta is to cut out those middlemen and create lower costs for consumers and higher revenue streams for content creators.

History of THETA

The Theta network has its roots in the initial coin offering (ICO) bubble of 2017. Originally launched as an ERC-20 token on top of the Ethereum blcokchain, Theta’s own blockchain with its own, native THETA token was launched in March of 2019.

The token sale that initiated the creation of the Theta project was completed in 2017, but it was a private token sale that was not open to the public. This is part of the reason that the project did not receive serious buzz until the launch of the Theta mainnet in early 2019. Mitch Liu, who is the CEO and co-founder of Theta.tv, has a long history in the fields of gaming and online streaming.

Where to Buy THETA

While THETA is not available for trade on a wide range of exchanges, it is available on a sufficient number of platforms where most crypto traders may already have an account. Most of the trading takes place on Binance via the THETA-USDT trading pair, although there is a large amount of activity around the THETA-BTC trading pair as well. Here is a list of some of exchanges where there is a fair amount of liquidity for trading THETA:

THETA Ratings

Price

All-Time Low Price: $0.04

All-Time High Price: $2.46

Market Cap

All-Time High Market Cap: $2,460,000,000

Current Market Cap: $2,149,025,546

Supply

Current Supply: 1,000,000,000 THETA

Max Supply: 1,000,000,000 THETA

Network Speed

Network Speed Rating: N/A

Network Speed: Unknown

Disbursement

Disbursement Rating: Low

Disbursement Rating Reason: While the THETA token was originally launched via an ICO, the reality is that this token sale was completely private. Thirty percent of the total THETA token supply was reserved for these private investors, and an additional 22.5% was set aside for the Theta reserve. The original disbursement of THETA tokens was extremely centralized, which creates additional risk for new investors.

Developer Engagement

Developer Engagement Rating: High

Developer Engagement Rating Reason: Despite the high level of centralization surrounding THETA tokens, the development team behind the project is highly engaged. They have been crushing it in terms of releasing new software on a regular basis, which is how they were able to move away from Ethereum and launch their own network rather quickly. A roadmap for future developments around the Theta network is also available at thetatoken.org.

Liquidity

Liquidity Rating: Low-Medium

Liquidity Rating Reason: There is not much THETA liquidity available on cryptocurrency exchanges, and this likely has a lot to do with the high level of centralization found in the initial token distribution. 20% of trading takes place between the THETA-USDT trading pair on Binance, and this only amounts to a little less than $20 million worth of trading per day. On most days, less than $100 million worth of THETA changes hands.

Advantages of THETA

The biggest advantages of the Theta project, at least for now, can be found on the tech side of things rather than the cryptoeconomics. With supports like a co-founder from YouTube and partnerships with the likes of Samsung VR, it’s possible that there’s something of real value here in terms of improving the state of online video streaming networks. If you are someone who is interested in creating a new online stream or you’re just a viewer of video streams, then you may want to check out the platforms built on top of the base Theta network to see if there are efficiencies in terms of lower costs for viewing and higher revenue for creating content. That said, content creators and their audiences are more likely to interact with TFUEL than THETA.

Disadvantages of THETA

There are a number of disadvantages to look at in terms of the actual THETA token that underlies the overall Theta network. The most obvious issue is that the original token sale was not open to the public, which has led to an extremely high level of centralization around the initial distribution of THETA tokens.

In addition to the issues around token centralization, the general economics of the system in terms of how THETA is supposed to increase in value as more people use the network are unclear. THETA is basically a governance token for the overall Theta network, and the token is staked by Guardian Nodes and Validator nodes. However, these validators must be approved by Theta Labs. This brings into question whether a new cryptocurrency needed to be created for the Theta Network in the first place.

A problem with the token right now is that a large percentage of the tokens are still in the hands of early investors, so those investors cashing out could have a much bigger (and negative) impact on the price than any potential growth that the network sees. Additionally, it’s possible that a similar (or even more decentralized) system that uses bitcoin rather than the much less liquid THETA token could be created. There is also another token, known as TFUEL, that acts as the main medium of exchange on the network, so there are actually two different tokens to worry about here.

THETA Frequently Asked Questions


The point of the THETA token is to be used for staking by validating nodes on the Theta network. Additionally, advertisers can pay for their ad spots on Theta.tv with THETA tokens.


THETA is one of two tokens that is involved in the Theta Network, which is a new content delivery network that works in a more P2P manner with a heavy focus on video streaming.


THETA originally launched as an ERC-20 token, but the token now resides on its own native blockchain.


While THETA is not available for trade on a large number of different cryptocurrency exchanges, it is available on some of the most popular exchanges such as Binance and OKEx.


Two other platforms that are operating in the blockchain-based video streaming space are VideoCoin Network and LBRY. Of course, the traditional, centralized systems, such as YouTube and Twitch, need to be considered here as well. That said, it’s possible these streaming giants of today will eventually move over to a more decentralized content delivery network.


No, you cannot mine THETA. All of the THETA that will ever exist have already been created.


THETA can be stored in a wallet that has been developed specifically for the Theta Network. Since it uses its own blockchain, support among wallets not specifically focused on THETA is low.