Theta Labs Granted 2nd US patent for Ultra-high Transaction Throughput Micropayments to Support Decentralized Video and Data Delivery

Theta Labs
Mar 16 · 4 min read

Theta Labs has now been granted a 2nd U.S. patent for its groundbreaking designs for decentralized blockchain-based video and data delivery.

U.S. patent number 10,951,675, “Methods and systems for blockchain incentivized data streaming and delivery over a decentralized network”, was granted on March 15th 2021. The applicant listed for this patent is Theta Labs, Inc., and the invention is credited to Mitchell C. Liu and Jieyi Long. This new patent focuses on the unsolved need to design an unique and trusted payment system powered by blockchain technology. It builds on Theta Labs US patent number 10,771,524, “Methods and systems for a decentralized data streaming and delivery network” that was granted on September 8, 2020, which laid the groundwork for a hybrid peer-to-peer network implementation on top of a CDN comprised of viewer nodes, edge cacher nodes and tracker servers.

Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) are predicted by Cisco to carry 72% of Internet traffic by 2022, and they play an important role in distributing web content and streaming video data, by providing a backbone infrastructure to deliver data streams to end users. A major limitation of today’s CDN networks is the so-called “last-mile” delivery problem, where a “last-mile” link between a limited number of Point-of-Presence (POPs) data centers and end users presents a bottleneck in the data streaming and delivery pipeline and often leads to less optimal user experience, including noticeable delays, choppy streams, poor picture quality, and frequent rebuffering. Another major concern is the CDN bandwidth cost, which can easily reach tens of millions of dollars per year for popular sites. These issues become more prominent with the coming era of high resolution digital media, for example 4K, 8K, and 360 degree VR streaming, and upcoming technologies such as light field streaming. Bandwidth requirements of today’s mainstream 720p/HD streams jump by orders of magnitude for newer systems.

To overcome such bandwidth limitations, Theta’s decentralized peer-to-peer data streaming and delivery platform has been developed based on self-organizing and self-configuring mesh networks. End users may share redundant or unused computing, bandwidth, and storage resources. Motivating and incentivizing users to actively share available resources require a secure and minimally delayed payment method that is compatible with the decentralized nature of the peer-to-peer network. Also important is the ability to economically handle frequent, minuscule payments for small, individual data chunks transmitted to or received from one or more peers.

Therefore, in view of the aforementioned difficulties, there is an unsolved need to design a payment system for decentralized data streaming and delivery, including decentralized video streaming, with support for ultra-high transaction throughput. In addition, it would be necessary to detect, prevent, and penalize fraudulent activities such as double spending.

To this end Theta Network has created methods and systems for micropayment support to blockchain-incentivized, decentralized data streaming and delivery. To receive a blockchain-based payment for streaming a data resource to multiple users, a caching node first joins a peer group and a TFUEL micropayment pool is created. After delivering a portion of the data resource to each user, a receipt signed by the recipient user is obtained, and submitted to a payment server together with a payment authentication certificate. An updated off-chain transaction is obtained from the payment server, for later submission to the blockchain to claim a total TFUEL payment from the micropayment pool.

Figure 3 is a network diagram illustrating a hybrid network architecture combining peer-to-peer networking with a traditional CDN

Figures 4A and 4B are illustrative network diagrams showing a decentralized data streaming and delivery network (“hybrid network”) with smart trackers and a payment server, according to one embodiment of the present invention.

The diagram below illustrates ultra fast transactions through a resource-oriented micropayment pool established by a content distributor, showing an edge cacher receiving off-chain payments from multiple viewers relative to the video platform, tracker, payment server and blockchain.

With continued innovation in the decentralized delivery of video and data, Theta Labs is creating the building blocks to connect millions of devices in the emerging global edge networks. Theta blockchain enables the micropayments that will incentivize all of these devices to share data in a more efficient, flexible network than the existing top-down infrastructures of today. With each new user joining the Theta Edge Network, you make this possible! Download the Theta Edge Node app today to get started.

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