Streaming video accounts for two-thirds of all internet traffic today, and that figure is expected to grow to 82% by 2020 per Cisco’s Visual Networking Index report. The introduction of 4K, 8K, and VR content will only accelerate the increase in the need for video delivery bandwidth. For a site with significant video content like YouTube or ESPN, the cost of this bandwidth is massive and getting larger by the year. That’s great news for the existing Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) like Akamai and Amazon Cloudfront but bad for video platforms!
That’s where the Theta Network comes in. Theta is creating a decentralized video delivery network that will leverage peer-to-peer video sharing and the blockchain to dramatically reduce the bandwidth expenses for video streaming, by as much as 80%. Users on the Theta Network with unused bandwidth will share video streams with others on the network, reducing dependence on centralized CDNs. Think of it as AirBNB for bandwidth, with unused resources being activated to create a more efficient system. At the same time, the peer-to-peer network can deliver higher quality streams to areas where CDN coverage is weak. In exchange for relaying video streams, users will earn Theta Tokens, which can be used to purchase premium content and services or reward content creators. It’s a win-win-win for all stakeholders in the ecosystem.
The Theta Labs team, based in Cupertino, CA and led by CEO Mitch Liu and CTO Jieyi Long, developed the project out of their experience building SLIVER.tv, and esports streaming site that counts more than 5M site visits per month. With 24/7 content and VR gaming tournaments, SLIVER.tv’s CDN costs quickly approached 30-40% of company expenses. After building the solution to this real-world problem they were faced with, the Theta team will have the opportunity to share the Theta Network with streaming video platforms across the world.
In addition to co-founding SLIVER.tv, Mitch Liu was co-founder of Gameview Studios (acquired by Japanese gaming company DeNA ) and Tapjoy. His experience in the Silicon Valley entrepreneur community led to key advisors joining the Theta project, such as YouTube co-founder Steve Chen and Twitch cofounder Justin Kan. Investors in the Theta project include top firms such as Danhua Capital, Sierra Ventures, and DCM Ventures, SamsungNEXT, and Sony Innovation Fund, as well as aelf, a decentralized cloud computing blockchain network.
The Theta team is currently focused on the upcoming launch of the Theta Network testnet, slated for June. This will include the release of the Theta source code and Software Development Kit, as well as a test channel on SLIVER.tv where users can see first-hand how much bandwidth they are sharing and the number of Theta Tokens they are earning. Following that, the release of the Theta wallet, P2P mesh streaming client, block explorer will lead up to our full Theta Network launch in Q4 2018. The full roadmap can be viewed here.
We’re excited for everyone to join us on our journey to decentralize the way video content is delivered! For more info and to stay connected with us on social media, check out the following links: