The gaming industry is now worth more than the film and music industries combined – but just how far is it progressing?
With the integration of blockchain technology into gaming, we have already seen massive improvements in the gaming space, such as the introduction of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the ability to retain in-game items indefinitely.
While NFTs might be on the rise, over at Sliver.tv – an online streaming platform – a new method of streaming is emerging.
Perhaps the two biggest sources of gaming content are Twitch and YouTube. However, now that the true power of blockchain technology is starting to be realised, there could be a monumental shift in the status quo.
Theta usage is ramping up nicely as channels on https://t.co/6Tk7ZrF8oY start running on Theta! MB shared continues to increase, which directly correlates with users earning TFUEL and platform CDN cost savings. Once all https://t.co/6Tk7ZrF8oY runs on Theta these numbers will 10x pic.twitter.com/wFvncp4mOw
— Theta Network (Not giving away ETH/BTC) (@Theta_Network) March 11, 2019
What is Theta?
Theta is the native token of Sliver.tv. Fundamentally, Theta is used to reward activity on the Sliver network.
It was originally created as a solution to ongoing issues in the video content world. On its website is a quote from Steven Chen, a co-founder of YouTube and a media adviser to Theta, which states:
“Theta’s innovation is set to disrupt today’s online video industry much in the same way that the YouTube platform did to traditional video back in 2005. One of the biggest challenges had been the high costs of delivering video to various parts of the world, and this problem is only getting bigger with HD, 4K, and higher quality video streams.”
Chen is now helping Theta create a decentralised peer-to-peer (P2P) network that can offer improved video delivery at lower costs using tokenised bandwidth sharing.
The issues with current streaming models today are the low quality of video, the high costs of the streaming infrastructure, and the inefficient centralised ecosystem.
Sliver.tv believes today’s content delivery networks (CDN) lack reach, which results in buffering, pauses, skips, and overall lower quality content.
It also believes that the publisher soaks in the high cost of operating a CDN, giving less revenue to pass on as user rewards.
The inherent centralised nature of many streaming publishers also creates less revenue flow back to the content creators, which leads to less innovation.
Theta’s solution is to provide a new model for bandwidth sharing – the viewer can opt-in to share bandwidth and resources, giving them access to rewards while simultaneously improving the quality of the stream which is hosted on a P2P decentralised CDN.
This in turn reduces the cost of delivering video streams because the platform no longer needs to develop an expensive infrastructure, which gives more breathing room for innovation and unique business models.
Our child has officially turned 1 month! @Theta_Network
? Looking forward to the future pic.twitter.com/SwA9EdMna4
— SLIVER.tv (@SLIVERtv360) April 16, 2019
The Theta token and Theta Fuel
This new model for streaming is centred on a smooth-running ecosystem using ‘Theta Fuel’, which in theory will allow the network to become self-sustaining.
Theta Fuel is similar to ‘gas’, which is used to support the Ethereum blockchain. It is a quintessential aspect of the ecosystem which is given as a reward.
Like with many blockchains, nodes (computer devices) are required to help run the network, specifically validator nodes and guardian nodes.
Validator and guardian nodes are able to stake Theta tokens (Theta’s cryptocurrency) and earn Theta Fuel in return. This Theta Fuel can then be sold to an exchange.
Once the exchange owns the Theta Fuel, it can be sold to video platforms such as Sliver.tv or Samsung VR.
The video platforms can then distribute the Theta Fuel to the viewer who can then use it to pay the relayer for video segments.
The relayer then has two options: spend the Theta Fuel on the platform or sell it to an exchange.
If the model is running optimally, the Theta Fuel will always be redistributed because the video platform will award it to the viewer. Any Theta Fuel sold to the exchange will ultimately be bought by the video platform and then distributed back to the viewer.
Fundamentally, this model enables the viewer to both earn Theta Fuel and reduce the cost of delivering video streams while the content creators and platform will earn more as well.
In effect, Theta is trying to push a win/win scenario where centralised governors no longer benefit the most.
Viewers will be earning Theta Fuel for every minute they spend watching streams on Sliver.tv, which are powered by the Theta network. As they are watching the stream, Theta will use their excess upload bandwidth to share the stream with other viewers.
The @SLIVERtv360 store has been upgraded! Now you can use TFUEL to buy items, or as a partial discount on items + pay the rest w/ fiat. Our partners coming to mainnet are excited about using this feature for discounted monthly subscriptions, content, etc.https://t.co/iA1X6AOIC1 pic.twitter.com/hHEHT3mmwc
— Theta Network (Not giving away ETH/BTC) (@Theta_Network) April 4, 2019
Sliver.tv is a video platform where content creators host their streams to viewers. Theta Fuel can be bought through the Sliver website.
For the viewer, one could argue its biggest attraction is the ‘watch and win’ mechanic. It enables the viewer to win Theta Fuel by successfully answering questions.
The questions are tailored to both the streamer and the game being streamed. For example, in a game of Apex Legends, one question might be “Will x get a win before 13:00 CET?”
While this particular question pertains to the streamer and whether they will win a game, another question might ask about the game itself.
In this scenario, it will require the user to actually know about the game, providing incentive for them to stick around and watch the streamer if they have not played the game themselves.
As outlined in the tokenised bandwidth sharing model, the questions are leveraged to the viewer in a bid to keep the Theta Fuel circulating around the ecosystem. The viewer might choose to donate Fuel to the streamer, thereby supporting them.
Each relayer will also be rebroadcasting the stream elsewhere, helping to reduce the cost of hosting it.
Any stream on Sliver.tv with an orange Theta Fuel logo means that Theta Fuel can be earned through watching that particular stream.
Using the example of Sliver, it is easy to see how essential each part of the ecosystem is:
- Without the nodes staking Theta tokens, there is no Theta Fuel
- Without the video platform or content creator, there is no stream
- Without the viewer or relayer, the model loses its P2P nature
?? We're are LIVE with our EU #SLIVERShowdown CS:GO Grand Finals
Streaming on the @Theta_Network – Earn TFuel while watching!
Current Giveaway Prize – AK47 Vulcan (FT)
— SLIVER.tv (@SLIVERtv360) April 5, 2019
Virtual reality streams in 3D
The next step in the Theta revolution is its partnership with Samsung VR (virtual reality).
The Samsung VR website hosts VR streams relayed from Sliver.tv. Effectively, it acts as another video platform in the Theta ecosystem.
While watching a stream on the website, you will see an in-stream TV which broadcasts another stream being held elsewhere – such as on Sliver.tv.
At the same time, the viewer will be able to look around the game in VR. This means the viewer will be using VR to see inside of the game they are watching on stream.
Sliver.tv has patented its 360 VR video technology. It is certainly unique and something that mainstream platforms such as YouTube and Twitch do not offer at this moment in time.
While watching the 3D VR stream on Samsung VR, you will actually be rebroadcasting the content to others in the network and earning tokens in the process.
Great @PlayApex stream with my @SLIVERtv360 pals @Joe_Fosho_ and Paragon who's Twitter I can't find. Pulled off this Pathfinder grapple escape which is one of my best so far. I'll be back on @Twitch playing Apex from 3-7EST tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/YHLh988wCA
— MayorReynoldsTV (@MayorReynoldsTV) April 15, 2019
You can never do too much homework
Please be advised that we are an independent publication and do not recommend any cryptocurrency or project in particular. Always make sure to do adequate research before committing to any project since the crypto space is notoriously volatile, and ultimately you are responsible for any decisions you make.
Interested in reading more about the blockchain gaming space? Discover more about the powerful non-fungible token (NFT) asset class, which is widely used in blockchain games.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.