Theta has risen dramatically in the market cap rankings over the past couple of months — a 22% gain in the last 24-hours sees it leapfrog Chainlink to take the tenth spot.
Theta launched relatively recently, in March 2019. It describes itself as a blockchain video streaming platform that aims to disrupt the streaming industry using decentralized technologies.
The network is built on innovations that share user bandwidth and computing resources on a P2P basis. But perhaps its biggest draw is in leveling the playing field for all stakeholders. Centralized platforms, such as youTube, often catch flak for their unfair treatment of content creators, especially when it comes to distributing advertising revenue. As well as censorship concerns.
With Theta, viewers can earn TFuel by watching content, content creators get a fairer slice of the pie, and video platforms can save on building network infrastructure.
Theta began 2021 at $1.95 with a market cap of $2.3 billion. Since then, surging interest has pushed the price to $13.30, making a $12.9 billion market cap – a 660% increase.
This unbelievable run of form has attracted critical comments of the platform. One Reddit user claimed Theta’s limited capacity and low viewership does not justify its price.
“THETA + Tfuel currently have a combined market cap of +$14B and this for a streaming platform that is basically dead at this point. Have a look for yourself at their website. They average around 1000 concurrent live viewers at peak times and the videos barely get watched.”
Another user dismissed these claims saying the platform does handle more than 1,000 live viewers and features video quality better than Twitch.
What’s coming up in April?
First publicized in December 2020, the Theta team has recently confirmed April 21 as the launch date for Mainnet 3.0.
Theta Mainnet 3.0 is coming April 21st! Start running an Edge Node today: https://t.co/Dgn0dzVC7C and stay tuned for more updates on the road to Mainnet 3.0 pic.twitter.com/jPpLMazvKN
— Theta Network (@Theta_Network) March 2, 2021
Mainnet 3.0 will bring two additional innovations. First is the tokenization of internet bandwidth and availability. This essentially means users will be able to stake their TFuel to a network node to earn more TFUEL.
The idea is to incentivize the growth of nodes to increase network capacity and improve video quality. The minimum staking requirement is 10,000 TFUEL, which is likely why TFUEL has also enjoyed a spike in price in tandem with Theta. As yet, no details on the staking reward are known.
“We believe Uptime Mining and Proof-of-Relay are effective incentivization mechanisms for boosting the footprint of the edge network to meet the needs of major video platforms.”
Also, the mainnet upgrade will introduce a burn mechanism to counter TFuel inflation.
The run-up to the mainnet launch may well see additional price appreciation for Theta and TFuel as investors hunt profits.
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