MIT, Stanford Academics Claim to Have Created a Better-Than Bitcoin Blockchain And Visa Both
A Blockchain That Is Better Than Bitcoin And Visa Both?
A group of scholars from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the University of California, Berkeley and the Stanford University, which were formed as a nonprofit by the hedge fund Pantera Capital are on a mission to make crypto transactions faster.
Bitcoin may be amazing for a lot of reasons, but one problem that it has, is that it is simply not as fast as some other forms of payment like credit cards, for instance, which can process more than a thousand transactions per second.
This new token, Unit-e, was created by Distributed Technology Research, a study group funded by Pantera Capital. The main idea was to improve upon the concept of Bitcoin. While BTC can make transactions without trusting on a central authority, it is slow. So, they tried to follow the same idea of Bitcoin and to make it faster so the general public would be more interested in it.
Much of the design of Bitcoin was simply not made to be very fast and this has caused several scalability issues that started to make the community worried from 2017 onwards, when the usage of Bitcoin went through the roof.
This, the researchers believe, diminishes the usefulness of the token as the network becomes too clogged and the transaction cost is high when too many people use it. January 2018 was a great example of this. However, Unit-e is being designed to be even faster than Visa and to be able to make thousands of transactions per second.
Joe Krug, an investor from Pantera Capital, told Bloomberg that the public is aware that cryptos do not scale well and that they might lose their relevance if time passes and they do not solve this issue. According to him, cryptos want to be the new internet, but they do not scale, they can end up being 3D printers, awesome, but not largely used.
10,000 Transactions Per Second
The plan of the research group is to launch Unit-e in the second half of 2019. Bitcoin can only make 3 to 7 transactions per second while Ethereum, which is arguably faster, can make 10 to 30. Centralized networks like Visa can make 1,700 transactions in a single second. Unit-e, however, is set to make 10,000 transactions per second if everything goes according to the plan.
To be able to get better results than Bitcoin was able to, the team deconstructed the Bitcoin tech and tried to improve its elements by understanding its limits and operating as close to them as possible, which incredible increased the speed of the network.
They implemented new consensus mechanisms which are more efficient and created a new sharding process, all to be able to make everything quicker.
Some initiatives like the Bitcoin Lightning Network were made to remove some o the slow issue and make the networks more efficient, but none of them really worked very well so far or at least not as well as it was needed to be able to let cryptos be mainstream.
Success Is Not A Guarantee
Unit-e sounds awesome. However, you know what also sounded incredible? All the Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) that appeared in 2017 and 2018 and many of them were utter ugly failures. Hype is not a guarantee of success, as we have seen, and many cryptos fail to gain any real traction.
A good technology will get you far, but it has to be really good and to be recognized as such. The main risk here is that hardcore crypto users will simply continue to stick to their Bitcoin and Ethereum while the mainstream public will continue to be wary of cryptos. If this happens, it’s goodbye Unit-e.