US Academics Start Developing Cryptocurrency More Stable than Bitcoin (BTC)

Blockchain investment fund Pantera Capital has backed the so-called Unit-e project, which is slated for a launch in the second half of 2019.

Academics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, and five other top US universities have launched a cryptocurrency project which claims to resolve some of main problems of the Bitcoin (BTC) network, including scalability. The new digital coin, called Unit-e, is the first project by Distributed Technologies Research Foundation (DTR), the non-profit organization launched by the academics on Thursday and supported by blockchain venture investment company Pantera Capital.

DTR, based in Switzerland’s crypto hub Zug, plans to issue the new cryptocurrency in the second half of 2019 as an open-source project.

DTR lead researcher Giulia Fanti, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, said:

“Our approach is to first understand fundamental limits on blockchain performance, then to develop solutions that operate as close to these limits as possible, with results that are provable within a rigorous theoretical framework.”

According to DTR’s manifesto, Unit-e would offer solutions to scalability and speed problems as crypto mass adoption is held back by concerns about the capabilities of existing blockchains to handle a large number of transactions. Unit-e would process between 5,000 and 10,000 transactions per second compared to 3.3-7 for BTC and 10-30 for the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain, the academics claim. Moreover, Unit-e would be faster than Visa, which can settle about 1,700 transactions.

“To achieve our target throughput figures, we rely on a combination of novel consensus mechanisms, entirely new ways of sharding, and payment channel networks. We propose new sharding algorithms based on coding the blockchain data which achieve optimal tradeoffs in security, storage, and computation,” the manifesto reads.

Along with academics from MIT and Stanford University, the DTR team also includes professors and young researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, University of California, Berkeley, and the Universities of Washington, Southern California, and Illinois Urbana–Champaign.

DTR did not disclose the amount of Pantera Capital’s investment. Joey Krug, co-chief investment officer of the fund, is a council member of the project. Babak Dastmaltschi, managing director at Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse, is chairman of the body.

After Unit-e is issued, DTR plans to tackle problems related to smart contracts.

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