Today we announce three major updates for the Theta project! This blog will serve as a high-level guide to what’s new in our November release.
1. Theta blockchain Mainnet source code and revised white paper released
We’re proud to release the code to version 1.0 of the Theta Mainnet blockchain to GitHub, along with a revised white paper detailing the significant developments we’ve made to the project.
Major technical developments include:
- The introduction of the upgraded Theta consensus mechanism: Multi-Level BFT, a modified Byzantine Fault Tolerant consensus mechanism which allows thousands of nodes to participate in the consensus process, while still supporting very high transaction throughput. In addition to the core validator nodes that propose and approve blocks, the consensus mechanism includes a second layer of 1,000+ “guardian nodes” that finalize the chain at regular intervals.
- The Theta blockchain will come with native support for a smart contract runtime environment compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine. This will allow Solidity-based Ethereum smart contracts to be ported to the Theta Ledger with little effort, and more broadly make it much easier for platforms to build dapps, collectible items using Non-Fungible Tokens, or even fully-fledged new token ecosystems on top of the Theta blockchain.
2. Theta Network token mechanics
The revised white paper also addresses several features of the Theta (the protocol governance token) and Theta Fuel (the operational token of the protocol), summarized here:
- At Mainnet launch, all ERC20 Theta tokens will be swapped to Theta tokens on the Mainnet blockchain on a 1:1 basis.
- The number of Theta tokens will remain fixed at 1 billion on the new Theta blockchain. No new Theta tokens will ever be created.
- An initial supply of Theta Fuel will be distributed to all Theta token holders, seeding the network with enough Theta Fuel for the network to function effectively. The projected distribution is 5:1 Theta Fuel tokens for each Theta token held.
- Theta Fuel will increase in supply approximately 5% per year, subject to adjustment based on network demand. Validator nodes and guardian nodes that stake Theta to the network will earn these new Theta Fuel tokens, proportional to the amount of Theta they stake relative to the total amount of Theta staked.
- To help maintain a balanced equilibrium of Theta Fuel in circulation, all Theta Fuel used as gas to deploy or interact with smart contracts will be burned.
- To achieve the optimal set of guardian nodes, we expect to set a range of approximately 100,000–1,000,000 Theta tokens permitted to be staked per guardian node. These figures may be adjusted based on further testing and community feedback between now and Mainnet launch.
3. Version 1.0 of live Mainnet launch set for March 15, 2019.
While we have released the Theta Mainnet code to GitHub, we decided to delay the Mainnet launch until March 15 for several key reasons:
- Our partnerships and initial work with Samsung VR, MBN, and CJ Group (plus a few others we’re excited to announce soon!) have led to early feedback that requires additional extensions to our platform. What started out as a Tendermint-based blockchain with enhanced features built in for video delivery, developed into a new blockchain built from the ground up with the potential to expand beyond video into all forms of content and data delivery. Our primary goal with these early partnerships is to learn what platforms want out of a decentralized content delivery network, and incorporating these changes will strengthen these existing partnerships and aid future Theta Network adoption.
- Ensuring that major exchanges support our token swap is important to the existing Theta tokenholders, and based on current workload/backlogs at exchanges it looked like only some exchanges would be ready to support the Theta token swap by end of year. By waiting until a March 15 launch, we can ensure all major exchanges that list Theta will support the swap, making this process easier for the Theta community.
- Code audit, security and scalability testing. This a critical one. As seen from our GitHub update we have finished constructing the Mainnet blockchain already, but now that we have major partners ready to push to Mainnet, we can’t afford to take chances with the stability and security of the Theta blockchain. We prefer to move back the Mainnet launch date and push stable, secure, and scalable code. There have been several mainnet launches in 2018 that were hampered by early failures, and we’d like to avoid those mistakes.
A major upgrade after Mainnet launch will support guardians nodes; further details and timeline will be provided as we get closer to Mainnet launch.
We know there will be plenty of questions about all this news, so please join our Telegram for further discussion with the Theta team. The most important part of designing the Theta protocol is ensuring that all stakeholders in the network are fairly represented, and we need community feedback to do that!
The Theta Team