Some professors at U.S. universities are designing a cryptocurrency more powerful than Bitcoin. This superiority allows processing thousands of transactions a second. This cryptocurrency design team is composed of professors from seven prominent U.S. universities such as Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California and Berkeley.
Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency and payment network which has made the possible direct transaction without the need to a central custodian; however, due to a limitation in performance and flexibility, its function has decreased as a payment mechanism. Therefore, the researchers expect to resolve this problem through designing a new cryptocurrency which can process financial transactions even faster than Visa.
This new cryptocurrency is called Unit-e and is the first innovation of a non-profit foundation launched by the professors working in this project. This foundation is named Distributed Technology Research and financed by Pantera Capital Management LP to develop decentralized technologies. It has been mentioned in the formal statement about Unit-e that thousands of current cryptocurrencies face application limitation. Hence, this technology improvement is a requirement to become an application for traders and users. Unit-e unique design will provide needed flexibility to enter the mainstream.
DTR foundation intends to launch Unit-e in the second half of current year with the ability to process ten thousand transactions in a second. Currently, Bitcoin processing speed is between 3.3 to 7 transactions per second, and it is 10 to 30 transactions per second for Ethereum. Moreover, the aimed processing speed in Unit-e project is many times more than that of Visa which is 1700 transactions per second itself. According to this foundation, the distributed cryptocurrency will support smart contracts too.
According to Pro. Pramod Viswanath, one of DTR members, the research team will redesign Blockchain technology which supports many cryptocurrencies to reach more speed and flexibility and attempt to optimize all its components. He said that this team would, at first, diagnose Blockchain performance limitations to design technologies with the ability to operate near these limitations.
Among the features, this unit-e research team has studied on is Sharding. This feature divides the Blockchain database and provides the possibility of maintaining a part of it on each nod; the result is increasing transaction processing speed.
The problem of processing speed in the Bitcoin network and other cryptocurrencies is not a new issue, and there has been some research in this field in recent years. One of the salient studies in this regard is Lightning Network which, for the first time, was proposed in an article by Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryaja in 2015. Afterward, its various versions were developed and implemented by some startups. This idea reduces processing speed and its charges through providing a direct channel between transaction parties in Bitcoin network.
Seg Wit is another idea which has been designed to increase transaction processing speed in Bitcoin by one of Bitcoin development team members. This idea decreases Bitcoin transaction size through removing related data to the signature in it and allows replacing more transactions in a block, as a result.
As Pro. Viswanath pointed out, Bitcoin proved that distributed trust is possible, but it is not just the dimensions’ increase which makes it global indeed. This success has the potential of changing human life, and it cannot take place unless there is a performance improvement.