Blockchain technology has become a mainstream term in the past decade and the demand for decentralization to facilitate data transfers securely has become overwhelming. Blockchain technology is edging into every existing digital application, most recently, aiming to revolutionize the ways we consume digital content by addressing lackluster content delivery networks.
Theta network has become the focal point of the crypto industry after surging 17,000% in the past year, reaching an all-time high of $14.61 and breaking into the Top-10 coins by market capitalization, surpassing projects such as Chainlink and Dogecoin. Theta network is not the only project that aimed to decentralize CDN (content delivery networks). D.Tube was one of the first blockchain projects to address such issues and provide a blockchain network to disrupt content delivery and ownership; however, Theta’s proposal proved to be more appealing to investors.
Theta as the future of decentralized content delivery
Founded in 2016 by computer scientists Mitch Liu and Jieyi Long, Theta network aimed to create a decentralized network that improves video quality, rewarding those that offer their resources to the network and improve video delivery through blockchain technology. Theta’s primary advisors include Steve Chen, co-founder of YouTube, and Justin Kan, co-founder of Twitch.
Theta Network is a subsidiary of the leading VR platform, SILVER.tv, which helped develop the native blockchain for Theta. Initiated as a centralized project, in 2017 Theta Network converged into a decentralized hybrid-blockchain. According to Crunchbase data, Theta.TV, the forefront product of Theta, has received multiple Series A funding rounds to develop their offering.
Theta Network’s goal is to diminish content delivery networks’ costs as demand for higher quality 4K streams increases. By rewarding users for their bandwidth and contribution to the network, Theta creates a self-serving network where the end-user is the facilitator of power in the ecosystem, thus developing a cost-effective solution. While platforms such as Netflix or Youtube face latency and higher costs in their delivery in parts of the world with an unequal internet connection, Theta brings a viable alternative through their decentralized peer-to-peer self-organizing network.
Aimed towards the growing Web 3.0 infrastructure, Theta increases its validator nodes that encompass enterprises such as Sony Europe or Sierra Ventures to contribute to the network expansion. In 2020 the company announced a partnership with Google, which according to Forbes is a “game-changer” as the global enterprise slowly dipped its feet into blockchain technology.
On the Flipside
- Decentralization on the Theta network is facilitated by Fortune 500 validator nodes which contradicts the notion of decentralization.
- Theta.TV developed as a centralized business and migrated towards a hybrid-blockchain which doesn’t guarantee centralization is ensured.
- Investors in Theta have a questionable reputation in China.
- The top 10 holders can influence the price movement and spike in Theta as they control 61% of the total tokens in circulation.
A new meta for content delivery
Demand for a decentralized future is growing, and companies such as Samsung or niche digital content enterprises acknowledge its importance. Theta creates new means for Youtube, Amazon Video, Netflix, or any CDN to facilitate data transfer through a user network. The proposed infrastructure generates efficiency, while rewards through tokenization keep the network active and worthwhile, according to Theta’s Head of Platform, Timothy Li.
With the emergence of NFT’s and digital assets into the blockchain space, Theta will jump on a new endeavor into the growing marketplace. According to their roadmap, Theta will be developing an NFT marketplace ahead of their Mainnet 3.0 release, which includes a new economic model for staking and burning TFUEL tokens.
Theta.TV usage has increased drastically as the company has partnered with Hollywood studio Lionsgate to deliver content on the platform. With a growing demand for NFT’s the company will offer the possibility to intertwine existing IPs such as movie characters and create unique offerings to movie fanatics as one-of-a-kind assets. According to Theta, they are entering an untapped market which can see Theta become a central player for movies and gaming devotees.
Is Theta’s price reflective of their value?
According to their head of strategy Wes Levitt, the price increase could be a form of speculation for the potential of Theta. However, users are currently “buying into anticipation” of a new stage for Theta with the release of their Mainnet 3.0. Although anticipation plays a significant role in crypto, Theta’s value has been recognized since 2020, given their innovative take on content distribution and reward.