Professors at MIT, Standord, UC Berkeley and four other US colleges are joining forces to build a cryptocurrency that’s faster than Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP.
The cryptocurrency is called the “Unit-e” and is the first project from Distributed Technology Research (DTR), a new non-profit backed by crypto hedge fund Pantera Capital Management.
Speaking to Bloomberg about popular blockchains and cryptocurrencies in general, Pantera co-CIO Joey Krug said,
“The mainstream public is aware that these networks don’t scale. We are on the cusp of something where if this doesn’t scale relatively soon, it may be relegated to ideas that were nice but didn’t work in practice: more like 3D printing than the internet.’’
The Unit-e is also designed to incorporate smart contracts, placing it as a direct competitor to Ethereum in addition to Bitcoin and XRP. Its designers say they’re creating new mechanisms to reach consensus and developing new ways of sharding to reach their transaction speed goal of 10,000 transactions per second.
In comparison, Bitcoin can currently process about 7 transactions per second. Ethereum can handle 15-20 transactions per second, and XRP powers 1,500 transactions per second. Reports on Visa’s transaction speed vary. Bloomberg currently clocks Visa’s transaction speed at 1,700 per second.
Says Pramod Viswanath, a researcher on the project and a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
“To achieve greater speed and scalability, DTR deconstructed the blockchain technology that supports most cryptocurrencies and sought to improve almost every element of it. The group first sought to understand the blockchain’s performance limits so as to design technologies that operate as close to these limits as possible.”
The Unit-e is set to be released later this year, with July as the earliest possible launch date.