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What is Theta Fuel? What is the Theta testnet channel? Initial FAQs

Theta Labs
Jun 27, 2018 · 5 min read

With the introduction of Theta Fuel into the Theta protocol and the launch of our testnet channel, we know the community has lots of questions. These initial FAQs should provide some guidance, and we will continue to update the community as we further develop the token economics through the Theta testnet phase. You can also stop by our Telegram channel here for the latest news and to discuss with the Theta team!

Theta Fuel FAQs

What is Theta Fuel and what will it be used for?

Theta Fuel is the operational token of the Theta protocol. Users will use Theta Fuel to complete transactions like paying a relay node to provide you with a video stream, or for deploying or interacting with smart contracts. Relay nodes earn Theta Fuel for every video stream they relay to other users on the network.

How will Theta Fuel be generated? At what rate?

The genesis distribution of Theta Fuel will happen when then Theta mainnet launches on March 15th. For each Theta Token that you hold when the Theta Mainnet launches, you will also receive 5 Theta Fuel to seed the ecosystem. To ensure you receive this initial distribution, make sure to follow our mainnet token swap procedures. After the initial distribution of 5,000,000,000 TFUEL (5 for each of the 1 billion Theta Tokens), the supply will increase at an initial annual target rate of 5%. The new supply rate will be determined at the protocol level, and can be adjusted as needed by protocol consensus to provide the appropriate amount of new supply as demanded by platforms on the Theta Network.

Will each viewer need to pay Theta Fuel to pull video streams on the Theta Network?

Technically that’s true at the protocol level, but the actual model implemented on SLIVER.tv, and our initial partners like MBN and Samsung VR, is that the cost of TFUEL falls on the video platform. Platforms subsidize users with the TFUEL necessary to pull video streams from relayers on the Theta Network. This makes sense, because video platforms are the ones most directly gaining from getting more viewers to pull their video stream from the Theta Network, in the form of lower CDN costs and higher user engagement. We think it’s critical that the end-user never has to go out and purchase any TFUEL tokens just to watch videos on the Theta Network — it’s just too much of a friction point for adoption.

What’s the difference between the Theta Token and Theta Fuel?

Theta Token (THETA): The governance token of the Theta protocol. THETA is used to stake as a Validator or Guardian node, contributing to block production and the protocol governance of the Theta Network. By staking and running a node, users will earn a proportional amount of the new TFUEL generated. The supply of THETA is fixed at 1 billion and will never increase. THETA currently exists as an ERC20 token and is traded on major exchanges. At Mainnet launch on March 15th, ERC20 THETA will be replaced by new THETA tokens on the Theta blockchain at a 1:1 ratio.

Theta Fuel (TFUEL): The operational token of the Theta protocol. TFUEL powers on-chain operations like payments to relayers for sharing a video stream, or for deploying or interacting with smart contracts. Relayers earn TFUEL for every video stream they relay to other users on the network. You can think of Theta Fuel as the “gas” of the protocol. At Mainnet launch on March 15th, TFUEL will be created as a native token on the Theta blockchain.

Why introduce a second currency at all?

The primary reasons are to separate the uses of staking/governance (with Theta) and operations/transactions (with Theta Fuel), and to enhance protocol security. You can read more about this reasoning in our blog post on governance here.

Theta testnet channel FAQs

What is the Theta testnet channel?

The testnet channel is the first example of the Theta blockchain and streaming protocol being integrated with a video platform, SLIVER.tv. Users can share bandwidth with other peers, earning (test) Theta Fuel. This channel allows the Theta team to gather data on how the blockchain and streaming protocol are performing, so we can optimize and scale the protocol ahead of our mainnet launch on March 15th.

What browsers and operating systems are supported for the testnet?

Currently, the testnet channel supports Chrome and Firefox on PC and Mac. Support for iOS/Safari and Android will also be coming soon.

Why am I not relaying my stream to peers / pulling my stream from peers?

Since Theta Network is a peer-to-peer protocol, it is possible that you don’t have any nearby peers and/or the peers you are connected to are too far away to share bandwidth effectively.

I am sharing streams with my peers, why am I not earning any Theta Fuel?

One reason you may not be earning Theta Fuel is because when users show up on the test channel page, they immediately attempt to pull streams from other users on Theta Network. But, their computer isn’t linked to a specific Theta Fuel wallet until they login to SLIVER. So what’s happening is they are pulling streams from you, you are sharing your bandwidth with them, but because they have no Theta Fuel wallet attached you aren’t getting Theta Fuel in return!

This couldn’t happen on the mainnet of course, because the protocol would require them to compensate you with Theta Fuel! We could cut off the non-logged in users, but for the moment we want to err to the side of maximizing peers so we can maximize bandwidth offload. We are also working on an alternative fix that should make sure each users earns Theta Fuel for the bandwidth they are sharing.

Will Theta Fuel I earn on the testnet be carried over to the mainnet when it launches in Q1 2019?

Yes, as of February 20th any Theta Fuel you have will be carried over to the testnet and will be real on-chain Theta Fuel.

The test channel isn’t working!

If you are having issues with the test channel, please fill out this Google form to tell us about it! Your feedback will help the Theta engineering team improve the protocol and make for a successful mainnet launch.

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