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In recent weeks, since the Bitcoin spike which started happening in November 2020, the top charts for cryptocurrencies has been in the middle of a massive transformation. And this has led to a number of relatively unknown alt coins making the top charts. This week, the alt coin which will be discussed is one which seemingly came out of nowhere, known as Theta.
Theta is a decentralized video streaming service. Think of it a bit like Netflix except for it exists on the blockchain. Theta was built to solve problems in the current video streaming world—as it is difficult for the world’s servers to keep up with the large bandwidth users demand—and this demand is only growing with each passing year. Theta is a peer to peer video streaming service rather than using the content delivery network (CDN). So, if you have something on your computer which someone nearby wishes to stream, you can stream it to them and receive some Theta tokens for sharing. Users can use the Theta token to purchase streams of videos or TV shows.
Theta was invented in 2017 by CEO Mitch Liu and Jieyi Long, both of which have had extensive experience in the technology and video game industry. Both were involved in the SILVER.tv project before inventing Theta.
As VR, or Virtual Reality technology begins to take the world by storm, this is quickly going to eat up much of the world’s accessible bandwidth. This will effectively slow and diminish download features for everyone who likes to stream video games, movies, or tv shows. Theta doesn’t depend on this bandwidth to deliver streaming services, meaning it can provide high quality and fast streams to anyone in the world. Theta also revolutionizes the startup cost of video streaming services. Most companies, when they wish to offer streaming services, have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars up front to get started. Theta requires almost no initial investment and allows almost anyone to join.
Think of Theta a bit like the Airbnb of the streaming world. Airbnb was created to lower the barrier for entry as compared to building a hotel. Theta was built to lower the barrier to entry as compared to starting a new Netflix type business. Not only does this help more people enter the video streaming world, but it also increases innovation within the industry.
Think about a business which is a monopoly in your life. Are you having trouble thinking of one? Amazon, the power company in your state, or the cable company in your neighborhood. You probably have to use most, or all of these services. And that’s because they are monopolies which offer a service that you can’t refuse or shop elsewhere for. This increases the cost of said service while also lowering innovation because the companies know you have no alternative besides using their service so they have no incentive to make any changes or price cuts to their product.
Theta was invented to put a stop to the monopolies in the video streaming world. Netflix and HBOmax, along with Amazon video streaming, currently own the market. And although it may seem like they are in competition, they actually aren’t, as they all offer different TV shows. This means that you probably have to have a combination of two, or you have to have all three to watch all your favorite shows. Theta does away with this as you can stream any shows or video content that you would like.
Theta is built on something known as the mesh network, which is basically a connection of nodes which are able to quickly and easily communicate. These nodes are the backbone of the Theta system. New nodes can be entered into the system with ease and pull data from each other without having to access the content delivery network.
Each node is run by a user who has access to various types of equipment to provide video streaming services. Any node on the system can store or “cache” video content which can later be streamed anywhere in the world. Because the nodes are in various locations all over the world, this will cause geographic related issues while streaming to disappear. In essence, this means that if you request to stream a video from the Theta system, you will stream from the node closest to you which has the video you want to stream. And if a certain video is more in demand than others, more nodes will copy the video to meet the demand of streamers in the area.
The Theta blockchain is built on a proof of stake consensus mechanism but also employs a combination of a multi-level byzantine fault tolerance, aggregated signature gossip scheme, and a resource-oriented micropayment pool to function.
It’s important to note that the Theta project is still relatively new, and as of the writing of this article doesn’t have a whole lot to offer. But Theta is on its way up and is sure to become a large technology of the future, especially because of some recent company announcements.
In May 2020, Theta made a deal with Samsung that the Theta.tv app will be featured on all of their future devices. And once this program has launched, the app will also be added to 75 million existing devices. And because Theta is a network which is built on having more users and nodes, this could propel Theta into the big leagues, and fast. And once the user base gets to a certain size, the developers estimate this will result in an 80% decrease in streaming costs as compared to similar services such as Netflix. This is because Theta.tv can offer streaming services without the need to maintain massive data storage facilities. Theta also announced a partnership with Samsung VR to increase video game streaming services.
The Theta price is another indication of its growing viability as an alt coin. Since September 2020, the coin has gone from 50 cents a coin to $3.84 at the writing of this article, and the price is only continuing to climb.
If you want to use Theta’s video streaming services, then it’s probably a great idea to buy some Theta tokens so you can participate. As far as investing goes, it’s a bit too early to make a decision on Theta as it doesn’t have too much proof of concept yet. Once the Samsung app deal comes to fruition there will be a much clearer picture of how the average consumer responds to the app and it will become clear whether Theta is truly investment grade or not.
As always, remember that investing in any cryptocurrency can be extremely risky, and be sure to discuss any large investments with someone you trust beforehand.