Theta Network’s Roadmap, which I highly recommended, most interesting project from the current quarter (Q2) is the beta release of their “Universal Edge Cacher” (UEC) client. Theta is still a relatively unique and complex blockchain project involving multiple areas of technology: networking, video, social, tokenomics, B2B2C Biz Dev, etc. Thus, understanding the importance of the UEC will provide insight into the scalability and adoption of the Theta Network on a global level.
The Universal Edge Cacher is similar to a torrent (p2p) app, but you actually earn real money, and don’t have to deal with leechers. With a torrent app, you can download a file found online, and anybody around the world that has that file and a similar torrent app will “seed”, or upload, you the file. As you download the file, you immediately begin seeding the file to others. As I explained in previous posts, public torrent services have no method to reward generous bandwidth donators vs punishing leechers who grab and go, without sharing back with others. The current format of the Theta Network requires users to watch a stream (Sliver.tv currently) in order to relay that stream to others which is how one can earn Theta Fuel. Here is where the UEC makes the network much more exciting.
The UEC allows anybody, anywhere in the world, to instantly turn “on” their computer and bandwidth to share any data that is in demand in a proximity of ~300–500 miles (this is only my guess). To further explain, when your UEC is “on”, you agree to participate in the whole Theta Network (regardless if its Sliver, MBN, CJ Hello, Nasa, or any other broadcast). If someone near you is watching any stream that utilizes the Theta Network, you are telling Theta Network “I want to help share my bandwidth with anybody around me that needs it, and in exchange I will earn Theta Fuel as a reward for “serving” data to the network. The network rewards the user/streamer at whatever rate is determined by the network economics (I believe this is the key to their network, along with having an agnostic network, which makes the barrier of entry for major tech companies much more difficult than one may think). The faster the connection, the more data streamed, and more data streamed earns more Theta Fuel.
The Universal Edge Cacher is platform agnostic, which bolsters the mesh network bandwidth because the it’s not proprietary to one network. Netflix or Amazon could essentially do this same thing, but it wouldn’t have as powerful effect on the mesh network, which is where the peak of value savings in server/CDN operating costs comes into play. In other words, Theta Network is building a global p2p bandwidth which works alongside CDNs. This network is more valuable to an individual platform than that platforms network would be on its own because Theta brings more users which grows at scale on a mesh network.
Also benefiting from network growth is how the average user will learn of Theta. There are two ways one can learn of Theta. If you use an application, device, or service that utilizes the Theta Network, you may be prompted “Would you like to earn tokens of value in exchange for sharing excess bandwidth?”. Another way is via word of mouth. There is still a common misconception that in order to “mine” cryptocurrency you need a massive server which leads to expensive electricity bills. Theta streaming can catch on quickly when people start telling their friends about how they are earning tokens worth actual money that can be traded on exchanges, without any ASIC mining rigs or costly electricity bills!
Streaming on the UEC requires having a computer with an unlimited internet connection. Most people’s internet connection is unlimited, and we already use our computers, TVs, and devices so much as it, that there is not much of an extra burden on operating cost from a user standpoint. There are estimates that a user streaming (separate from the more technical form of “staking” Theta) on the UEC can earn up to $16 a month depending on their network speeds and where they live. If you live in a big city and there are lots of network platforms/users in your area, there are opportunities to earn lots of TFuel! Intl Football is huge around the world, so big matches will have great international reach as well as domestic interconnectivity. This type of network is brilliant because it supports itself and thrives when it’s being maximized.
People are going to be setting up UECs on their work computer, grandparents computer, parents computer, dorm computer, etc. This can take off like wildfire and become a whole new technology sector.
This is just the beginning for the Theta Network. Stay tuned for Part 2 on what’s to come in Q3 and Q4!
Disclaimer: This is not financial advice. Trade at your own risk. Full disclosure, I own Theta Token and Theta Fuel.