General Theta Network Questions
You've got questions—we've got answers. This section contains a wealth of knowledge related to Theta, TFuel, and the ecosystem as a whole.
What is the Theta Network?
Theta Network is a decentralize video delivery network that allows users to share/relay video streams to their nearby peers p2p, earning tokens as a reward for contributing
their bandwidth and computing resources to the network.
The video platforms that use Theta benefit by reducing their video delivery costs, while gaining a more engaged user base that can earn tokens just for watching content like they were before.
Video platforms that use Theta can reduce their CDN costs (video delivery costs they pay to AWS, Akamai, etc.) by up to 50–60%, while the users that relay video from their device can earn $5 to $15/month for doing so, depending on how much video they relay and their local network
What is the difference between the THETA and TFUEL tokens?
Theta Token (THETA): The staking and governance token of the Theta protocol. THETA is used to stake as a Validator or Guardian node, contributing to block production and the protocol governance of the Theta Network. By staking and running a node, users will earn a proportional amount of the new TFUEL generated. The supply of THETA is fixed at 1 billion and will never increase.
Theta Fuel (TFUEL): The operational token of the Theta protocol. TFUEL is used for on-chain operations like payments to Edge Node relayers for sharing a video stream, or for deploying or interacting with smart contracts. Relayers earn TFUEL for every video stream they relay to other users on the network. You can think of Theta Fuel as the “gas” of the protocol. There were 5 billion TFUEL at genesis of Theta blockchain, and the supply increases annually at a fixed % set at the protocol level, currently 5%. Any TFUEL used for deploying/interacting with smart contracts is burned.
So THETA is the staking token that secures the network and gives governing power over Theta Network itself. From an end user perspective, TFUEL is the one that you will interact with more as it is the currency you earn for your network contributions, what you would use to purchase items on a platform, donate to streamers, etc.
Why do we need a blockchain for streaming video?
The project is trying to build a decentralized video streaming platform that aims to revolutionize the way video content is distributed across the Internet by taking advantage of the decentralized nature of blockchain technology. Users of the Theta platform are encouraged to share unused memory and computing power of their computers. In exchange for sharing bandwidth and resources, viewers will earn Theta tokens.
The goal is to provide high quality, smooth video streaming while at the same time reduce the cost of delivering video streams (source: Sasha Shilina, paradigm-fund). In short, video segments won't be stored on the blockchain. The blockchain is used to record the payouts for sharing bandwidth.
Here is an interesting analysis regarding streaming and blockchain technology.
Who are the advisors on this project?
That info can be found on the Theta Network website.
What partnerships has the Theta team made?
That info can also be found on the Theta Network website.
Where can I find the Theta Network whitepaper?
Right here. Keep in mind, whitepapers are released when projects launch. Over time the project evolves and information in the whitepaper may be out of date or no longer accurate.
The code for this project is open-source. What prevents another project from copying it?
There are two pieces to this project: the blockchain and the peering network. The blockchain code is open-source. The peering portion of the platform is not. In fact, Theta Labs owns a patent on that technology! In September 2020, Theta Labs was granted a U.S. Patent for its innovation in "Methods and systems for a decentralized data streaming and delivery network". This groundbreaking patent secures Theta Network as the first and only successful blockchain-based decentralized video protocol.
DeFi seems to be the "next big thing" in crypto. What is the Theta team planning in this area?
Theta Labs is excited about innovative ways that Theta blockchain could be used to more effectively seed streamers and content creators, by allowing fans and viewers to fund streamers in trustless and autonomous ways. Picture a mid-size streamer just getting started, with great content but a following that’s not sustainable yet. Early backers could seed this new streamer TFUEL to help them fund initial expenses, and in return receive a share of the TFUEL the streamer earns via THETA.tv or another Theta-enabled platform. Read more about that here.
How does Theta manage the streaming of inappropriate or copyrighted content?
Theta Network doesn’t manage content, just like AWS/Akamai/etc. generally don’t make any distinction between content types - that’s still the responsibility of the video platforms that use Theta to manage their content and decide what is inappropriate for their users. Theta can certainly also power platforms that aim to be censorship resistant. Theta Network is infrastructure, so it doesn't directly moderate content.
How many transactions per second can the network handle?
Currently the Theta Network can handle about 1,000+ TPS on-chain and 50,000+ TPS off-chain. The team believes that the numbers can exceed these with an upgrade, but that isn't needed until the network faces more traffic.
Can the Theta Network manage Smart Contracts?
Yes - any Ethereum smart contract can run (or be developed on) the Theta Network! Please read all about it here!.
What is the use case for adding the Smart Contracts feature to the main net?
Automated distribution of TFUEL rewards between viewers/streamers, NFTs that streamers can gift to their subscribers, NFTs as virtual "concert tickets" for live events, those are just a few of the use cases that Theta Labs has mentioned.
Regarding Smart Contracts, while TFuel gas cost be burned or will the VN's and GN's split the gas costs?
The gas cost will be burned - which will reduce the TFuel circulation supply.
How will 5G affect the Theta Network? Is this going to be a good thing or bad thing for the project?
5G should be a good thing for the platform! Theta Labs sees 5G as a huge strategic opportunity. Telcos have told Theta Labs that they have plenty of downstream use cases for 5G, but don’t really know what to do yet with all that upstream capacity. Theta aims to be the killer app for 5G up.
What is the Google partnership?
Google Cloud is also now the company’s preferred cloud provider, and users around the world will have the ability to deploy and run Theta nodes directly from Google Cloud Marketplace (GCP Marketplace) with just a few clicks. The turn-key cloud solution is live on GCP Marketplace, coinciding with the launch of Theta Mainnet 2.0. Read more here.
What is purpose of partnering with Chainlink to fight online video Ad fraud?
The core idea is that ad fraud is a massive issue that hurts both the advertisers, who overpay for nonexistent viewers, and platforms who in turn get paid less to compensate for their ad space. By taking streaming data from Theta blockchain (which does not contain specific users Personally Identifiable Information (PII)) and analyzing it, you can determine which streams and users are likely fraudulent/bots/etc., and which is legitimate. This info can then be broadcast by Chainlink oracles so that there is an immutable and tamper proof record of the data, which advertisers can trust to be honest. By using this, advertisers are better off because they only pay for ads in streams with legitimate viewers, and legitimate platforms earn more because there is no "fraud discount" applied when advertisers can be assured of legitimate viewership. This is another example of a problem we wanted to solve for Theta.tv, but that can also benefit many other video platforms
Token-Specific & Trading Questions
Where can I buy THETA/TFUEL?
Many exchanges have listed THETA and TFUEL for trading. Click here to see the list of current exchanges (See the "THETA Market Pairs" section). In addition to those exchanges, there are "swap" sites like SimpleSwap, Changelly, and CoinSwitch (to name a few) that often list THETA/TFUEL. You just need to check when they are available to swap.
Is THETA stil an ERC20 token? I still have some old ERC20 tokens - what do I do?
No, Theta is no longer an ERC20 token. THETA & TFUEL are on their own mainnet since March 2019. If you have THETA tokens that you've held prior to March 15th, 2019 then you can
convert those (if they haven't been already) to mainnet tokens. Read below for the common ERC20 recovery steps.
1. I missed the token swap, can I still get my mainnet token and TFuel?
If you hold your tokens in MEW or any other ERC20 token wallet on 12 March 2019, then your mainnet tokens and TFuel are in the Theta Wallet. You do not need to send your ERC20 tokens to Theta Wallet to do the swapping, all you need to do is just use your existing private keys to unlock your ThetaWallet via https://wallet.thetatoken.org/unlock/private-key
(Both Theta and Ethereum use SHA-3 hashing, so addresses and keys are same)
2. How to view your private keys with 24 mnemonic phrases?
If you login to MEW classic (https://vintage.myetherwallet.com/) and click View Wallet Info, you can see your private key.
3. I left my tokens on Ledger/Trezor, what should I do?
We just added hardware wallet support to the Theta web wallet (Ledger/Trezor)
Note: While waiting for native Theta app integration into Ledger Live, we have built an interface allowing you to access Theta mainnet tokens via the Ledger Ethereum app for now.
4. I accidentally sent mainnet Theta tokens or TFuel to ERC20 wallet, are they lost?
No, they are not lost. If you sent your mainnet Theta tokens or TFuel to ERC20 wallet, you can use the same private keys of that ERC20 wallet and import it into web theta wallet via https://wallet.thetatoken.org/unlock/private-key , you will be able to retrieve your mainnet Theta tokens and TFuel.
Where is the best place to store my tokens?
The best place to store your THETA and TFUEL is either the Official Theta Wallet or a hardware wallet such as Ledger or Trezor.
What is Theta.tv?
THETA.tv, the first video platform built on the Theta Network, leverages an existing user base of millions of esports viewers. It features 24/7 live esports streams, top crypto conferences like Consensus and Virtual Blockchain Week, and premium content like live World Poker Tour events. Every livestream on THETA.tv is powered by the Theta Network, and viewers earn TFUEL tokens for relaying the stream over the p2p Theta Network. In addition to the core THETA.tv site, THETA.tv is also streamed through THETA.tv Android TV app, Android and iOS mobile apps, the Littlstar PS4 app, as well as numerous partners sites like G Fuel, Sizzle Popcorn, and EasternMediaGG.
What is the difference between Theta.tv and the Theta Network?
The Theta Network (and blockchain) is the end-to-end infrastructure for decentralized video streaming and delivery. Theta.tv is a video platform that relies on that infrastructure.
How do I earn TFuel by watching Theta.tv?
You can read the Getting Started video to learn more. The basic concept is that you will earn TFUEL when you share data. The amount of data you share (and the amount of TFUEL you will earn) are based on the number of peers nearby as well as the amount of bandwidth you have available to share.
What types of content is currently on Theta.tv?
Originally theta.tv hosted solely eSports content, but that is no longer the case! You can watch a variety of content on THETA.tv, from esports and gaming, to crypto influencers and top conferences like BlockDown and Consensus, to special events like NASA space launches and MGM classic movie nights. And there is always new content and partnerships being added - so check back often!
Is Theta.tv really trying to replace YouTube and Twitch?
No, not quite. Initially Sliver.tv (now Theta.tv) was set up as a site that might try to compete with Twitch. The idea for Theta Network came about when the team was trying to solve the issue of high CDN
(content delivery) costs for THETA.tv back in 2017. An effort was made to figure out how to incentivize
users to help carry the network distribution via a peer-to-peer network, which became Theta
Network. Once Theta Labs saw the benefits blockchain technology brought, it quickly became obvious
there was a larger market opportunity even beyond Theta.tv.
The goal is not to compete with Twitch or YouTube. The goal is to get large streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube to utilize the Theta Newtork to offload their CDN costs and improve user engagement.
What does decentralized streaming mean?
Centralized streaming is the system that people are currently most familiar with. This is a platform like YouTube or Twitch that hosts all the content and takes a large
percentage of ad-revenue from the content creators that are doing the streaming/VODs.
Decentralized streaming is the opposite of that. It intends to create a level playing field for content creators and consumers alike. By removing the centralized platform, creators and consumers can connect directly and interact via payments on a blockchain. If you want to see it in action, you can download the Edge Cacher app, create your own stream key, and begin live-streaming on the Theta Network - completely decentralized!
What is Video on Demand (VOD)?
In the early days of Theta.tv (and sliver.tv before that) the platform only handled live streams - meaning videos could not be saved and replayed. That changed with the release of Video on Demand (VOD). Video on Demand allows content creators to upload and create their own libraries of videos allowing them to build up and establish a presence on Theta network in the same way they can upload videos to their channels on popular centralized platforms, such as YouTube and Twitch.
What does Theta.tv offer to Content Creators in regards to censorship and monetization? Why is it better for them to stream on THETA.tv??
Unlike other platforms, Theta.tv doesn't focus on demonetizing streamers for certain content, like cryptocurrency for example. The platform is transparent and streamer-friendly. Plus, since their users are earning TFUEL for relaying streams while they watch, content creators get some of that benefit too from user TFUEL donations. When you're a streamer that does this for a living, you need some assurance that you are going to be banned or demonetized out of nowhere, and Theta can give them that
How do I become a streamer on Theta.tv?
What can I do with the TFuel I earn by viewing content on Theta.tv? Can I withdraw it?
Streamers can withdraw their earnings (as of right now I don't know if it is un TFUEL or USD). Viewers currently cannot withdraw their TFUEL off the site. The TFUEL viewers earn can be used to redeem free subs, donate to your favorite streamers, or buy merch & gaming gear in the shop. Once laws and regulations are more clearly defined (at the federal and state levels) there may be an opportunity to withdraw TFUEL off the platform into your own wallet.
Staking & Guardian Node Questions
Read the Common Questions Below to Solve Your Staking and Node Issues
What is the difference between a Guardian Node and a Validator Node?
Theta's consensus and governance is made up of a smaller set of validator nodes that produce blocks, and a larger group of guardian nodes that finalize and verify blocks. It's a two-step process that helps balance speed of consensus with decentralization and security. Validator nodes are run by large platforms and Guardian nodes are run by individuals (or pools).
Where can I stake Theta?
Right now there are three choices to stake (more pools will likely be coming in the future.
1. Run your own Guardian Node
Directions here. This is recommended way to stake if you have over 10K tokens and have a dedicated staking machine.
GPool is a third-party pool where you can stake your THETA tokens. This is a good solution for people with under 10K THETA or those who do not wish to set up and run their own node.
3. Binance Staking
You can leave your THETA tokens in a Binance wallet and they will automatically earn you TFuel. Here's the documentation on that. It is recommended to keep your tokens off of Binance and in a safe wallet instead. "Not your keys, not your crypto" applies here.
What are the requirements to run a Guardian Node?
The most important thing to remember is that running a node requires a constant and reliable internet connection. Your node will be communicating with the rest of the network, so it is crucial that the node is always online. The recommended specs are below:
- Minimum token amount to stake: 10,000 THETA tokens
- Internet speed: 5Mbps+ up and down
- CPU: 4 cores or more
- Memory: 8 GBytes or more
How do I get started on my own Guardian Node?
There is an excellent overview here. This blog post contains links to the GitHub location for the downloads plus lots of terrific information regarding Guardian Nodes.
Is there a map of where all the Guardian Nodes are located?
What is GPool.io?
GPool is a third-party pool where you can stake your THETA tokens. This is a good solution for people with under 10K THETA or those who do not wish to set up and run their own node. There
is a handy guide for GPool here.
GPool was built by veterans of the crypto currency space and is based on a community-inspired vision to provide secure pooling services across numerous digital assets. The target audiences for GPool are individuals and institutions who do not wish to, or cannot, run nodes on their own yet still wish to capture a yield on their assets across multiple coins.
Are the minimum requirements for a Guardian Node going to be reduced to 1K instead of 10K?
There has been talk of reducing the minimum to 1K, but as of right now the threshold is still at 10K.
How much TFuel will I earn by staking?
Guardian Nodes earn a share of all the new Theta Fuel (TFUEL) generated on Theta blockchain, which is 250m annually. The proportion of TFUEL you earn as a GN depends on how much THETA you have staked relative to the total number of THETA. As an example, if you stake 100,000 THETA and the total network has 300m THETA stake, you are staking 0.033% of the THETA total staked to the network. That would translate into your node earning about 0.264 TFUEL per 100 block period, or 6,944 TFUEL monthly. The current ROI at any given time will depend on the ratio of THETA price to TFUEL price.
Here is the formula:
((your THETA staked / total THETA staked) x 250,000,000 TFUEL annually / 12 = your annual TFUEL
You can use the Staking Calculator to see real-time results.
How long do I need to stake for/is there a lockup period?
There is no fixed lockup period for staking to your Guardian Node, so you can choose to stop staking your THETA tokens at any time. However, from the point you unstake your tokens, there is a ~54 hour withdrawal period before your tokens will be available back in your wallet.
Can I stake on Windows, Linux, or macOS?
The Guardian Node software can be run on Windows, macOS, and Linux. There are both GUI and CLI interfaces.
What is the Edge Node?
The Edge Node is a piece of software that allows you to relay video streams over the Theta Network and earn TFUEL, providing support to THETA.tv and other upcoming video platforms using the Theta Network. With the latest update, you can now also broadcast your own video streams
and have them distributed over the Theta Edge Network! This allows you to stream entirely peer-to-peer without any centralized CDN involved.
You can learn more about it (and download it) here.
What OS can I run an Edge Node on?
Right now the Guardian Node software can be run on Windows and macOS. A Linux version is currently in the works.
Why is my Edge Node not earning very much TFuel?
On the edge node, you only earn for bandwidth shared. If no one around you is using a theta-enabled platform then you will not earn. As adoption increases the earnings from edge nodes will increase. You will see the TFuel build up under the "earnings" section of the Edge node at the top. It will say "1-job" on the Edge node if your sharing bandwidth, and "waiting" if there's no peers around you that need your bandwidth. If it says waiting more then 1-job you need to spread the word about Theta to the people around you to get more peers.
How do I add more THETA to my current Guardian stake?
You can add THETA to your staked amount by using the Deposit Stake function in your Theta Wallet. To find the Guardian Node Summary it asks you to enter, click the 'Stake to Node' option in the dropdown menu of the Guardian Node app. The minimum for each staking transaction is 10,000 THETA. This minimum may be lowered to 1,000 THETA in the future after further testing.
How do I withdraw my stake?
To withdraw your staked tokens, you can use the Withdraw Stake function in your Theta Wallet app. Read more here.
Once you withdraw it takes ~54 hours to show back up in your wallet. You can follow the withdraw process on GuardianMonitor.io with your Guardian Node address.
Is it possible to lose my THETA if I stake it?
Staked tokens are always safe as long as you keep your Theta Wallet secure. Guardian Nodes are designed so that the only way tokens can be withdrawn is to the wallet that staked them, so as long your private key / mnemonic phrase for that wallet is secure, staking is 100% safe. Even if your Guardian Node was somehow compromised, the only thing an attacker could do is send your tokens back to your wallet.
Can I stake TFuel as well?
No. TFuel cannot be staked.