Announcing Theta Mainnet 2.0 and the 2020 Theta Roadmap
The Theta blockchain mainnet was successfully launched in March 2019 and has now been in operation for 6 months. While it’s a major milestone to launch a new blockchain from scratch, it was only the first step. To take the Theta blockchain to the next level, we must give the Theta community the tools to innovate and build upon our foundation. The community needs to govern the Theta blockchain with Guardian Nodes in addition to our Enterprise Validator Nodes, create new Theta use cases with full smart contract support, and have a robust block explorer with real-time analytics to monitor the blockchain. Altogether, these community-focused updates make up our vision for the next phase of our growth — Theta Mainnet 2.0.
Before we get into the updated roadmap, let’s talk about why we are creating the Theta blockchain to begin with. Our long-term vision for the Theta Network is a decentralized end-to-end protocol for processing and delivering data, not just video but all types of data. Decentralized data delivery, at the edge, powered by you. That vision encompasses three main components that are to be powered by Theta edge nodes, run by our community:
Data Delivery — Initially focused on video delivery, and implemented on THETA.tv and multiple other video platforms coming soon. But the scope of decentralized data delivery goes beyond video into file updates, game patches, OS and app updates, web content, and any other form of data delivery.
Data Storage — As Theta expands from livestreaming applications to Video-on-Demand (VoD), app updates, and game patches, it becomes necessary to have a decentralized solution to data storage. Theta nodes can cache the most in-demand live and static content and files to ensure they are able to contribute to the network and earn TFUEL.
Data Encoding — By allowing Theta nodes to perform ingest/encoding of raw video and data as close to the source as possible, particularly for live events (professional sports, concerts, conferences, for example), the Theta Network will truly become an end-to-end solution for video and data. Building out this functionality is a natural extension for the Theta team, based on our experience encoding live VR events in 2016 for SamsungVR, Intel IEM, ESL, and others.
For performing each of these three services (or all three at once), users earn TFUEL as a reward, incentivizing them to support and grow the Theta Network. If you are one of the 2,690 users running the PGN / Beta Edge Cacher client now, you are part of the very beginning of this edge network encompassing end-to-end data transfer. Contributing your excess bandwidth to THETA.tv is just the beginning! But there’s a lot that needs to be built to realize that vision. To get there, here is a look at our updated high-level project roadmap through 2020:
- Guardian Node selection and launch on testnet
- Edge Cacher beta client improvements
- Concurrent Video-on-Demand (VoD) support on THETA.tv
- Theta Explorer upgrades — analytics, visualizations, staking information
- Release of specialized smart contract support
- Theta streaming protocol supports full Video-on-Demand (VoD)
- Theta Mainnet 2.0 goes live with Multi-BFT consensus mechanism and growing number of enterprise validator nodes
- Guardian Nodes launch on Theta Mainnet 2.0
- Beta launch of decentralized data storage
- Beta launch of decentralized file delivery of any content type, such as game patches, applications, OS updates
- Beta launch of Theta protocol adapted to Smart TVs and IoT devices
- Release of generalized Turing-complete smart contract support
- Beta launch of decentralized encoding protocol
- Production release of the end-to-end Universal Edge Cacher
The most significant change from our previous roadmap is extending the launch date of Guardian Nodes, which we know the Theta community is eager to run, but the process for the first users to get onboarded will happen shortly. In Q4, we will release the full Guardian Node software for use on Theta testnet, and a small group of users (likely starting with 100 nodes, with a second batch of 100 to follow a few weeks later) will be able to run these nodes that will fully participate in Theta’s Multi-BFT consensus. These Guardian Nodes on testnet will generate Theta Fuel (TFUEL) at the normal rate they will on mainnet (initially, new TFUEL generation at 5% annual of total supply). For any TFUEL a user earns by running a Guardian Node on the testnet, they will get the same amount of actual TFUEL on the Theta mainnet, even during this testing period before Guardian Nodes move to mainnet. It is extremely valuable to have real users testing the Guardian Nodes, both to test the software and evaluate user behavior. To do that the right way, users need to have real economic incentives!
The final criteria for selection of the first 100 Guardian Nodes to participate on testnet will be released shortly. The most likely process will be to start with all the PGN participants who meet the hardware requirements to run a Guardian Node and have staked the minimum 10K THETA. Then, both the number of THETA staked and uptime history will be weighted to get to a final ranking of the top 100. We are still fine tuning that formula to ensure it is as fair as possible and will share that soon. Note — since the PGN has only been released for Windows, we will reserve a portion of the spaces for Mac/Linux users out there! Also, remember that just because you are selected in the first 100 doesn’t mean it’s permanent; you do still need to be a responsible and consistent Guardian Node, and if you are included in the first 100 and run the node unreliably or maliciously on the testnet, your node will be removed from the Guardian Node set and another user will get the chance to step up.
As we move toward the release of Theta Mainnet 2.0 in Q2 2020, we’ll be increasing our global marketing with a series of Theta meetups, blockchain conferences, and other initiatives to raise awareness. The “Road to Theta Mainnet 2.0” campaign will showcase innovative features of the Theta blockchain and how it will achieve mass user adoption to the broader community, so stay tuned for more details this fall. As always, the team appreciates your support, your feedback (good and bad!), and your contributions to the Theta Network.
The Theta team