When FTX, Andreessen Horowitz, and Coinbase Ventures fund a new layer 1 (L1) blockchain platform, something big is probably being developed. But not much media attention has been given to Sui as of today. But considering that smart money is assembling around it, this might actually be the next big L1.
Sui is a decentralized permissionless smart contract platform biased towards low-latency management of assets. It uses the Move programming language to define assets as objects that may be owned by an address. Move programs define operations on these typed objects including custom rules for their creation, the transfer of these assets to new owners, and operations that mutate assets.
What is Sui?
Sui is a new proof-of-stake (PoS) and general purpose L1 blockchain that boasts high throughput, low latency, robust security, instant finality, and low fees. Through these ideal combinations, it aims to bring a high-performance network for broad adoption. The new kid on the blockchain is spearheaded by Mysten Labs, composed of founders involved in developing Meta’s previous Novi, Libra, and Diem initiatives.
The Sui blockchain operates at a speed and scale previously thought unimaginable. Sui assumes the typical blockchain transaction is a simple transfer and optimizes for that use. Sui does this by making each request idempotent, holding network connections open longer, and ensuring transactions complete immediately. Sui optimizes for single-writer objects, allowing a design that forgoes consensus for simple transactions.
Instead of the traditional blockchain’s fire-and-forget broadcast, Sui ensures a two-way handshake between the requestor and approving validators, with simple transactions having near instant finality. With this low latency, transactions can easily be incorporated into games and other settings that need completion in real time.
Furthermore, Sui supports smart contracts written in Move, a language designed for blockchains with strong inherent security and a more understandable programming model. In a world where the cost of bandwidth is diminishing steadily, we are creating an ecosystem of services that will find it easy, fun, and perhaps profitable to ensure transaction voting on behalf of users.
Sui has the following main features:
- Sui is able to scale horizontally without any upper bounds. This enables them to meet application demand whilst maintaining extremely low operating costs per transaction.
- The design of Sui is groundbreaking in that it eliminates a critical bottleneck in existing blockchains. In traditional blockchains, transactions (though independent of each other) are pushed into sequential blocks which creates wasteful computational power. Sui’s innovation is that they will organize data into independent objects, meaning that transactions can be executed in parallel.
- The network is also able to scale throughput horizontally because it enables parallel agreement on causally independent transactions. They achieve this through Byzantine consistent broadcast, which eliminates the overhead caused by global consensus yet without sacrificing safety and liveness guarantees.
Sui’s unique features mean there will be unmatched scalability and instant settlement of transactions. The platform can scale horizontally to meet the increasing demands of applications. Sui’s authorities can add workers to increase processing power in order to meet growing network capacity. The result of this would be lower gas fees even when network traffic is high, and thus better user experiences for web3 apps.
Move: The Programming Language For Transaction In Parallel
The programming language also has a “Move Prover” feature, which lets developers accurately monitor if their codes function according to their design. By alerting developers that their codes are “misbehaving,” they can quickly act and mitigate the effects of any bugs or exploitations in real time. Sui heavily leverages the Move data model for performance. Sui's persistent state is a set of programmable Move objects that can be updated, created, and destroyed by transactions. To be blunt, even if we preferred the EVM/Solidity to Move, we could not use them in Sui without sacrificing the performance breakthroughs that make Sui unique.
Consensus Engine: Narwhal and Tusk
Narwhal and Tusk is the high-throughput mempool and consensus offered by Mysten Labs with:
- a high-throughput data availability engine, with cryptographic proofs of data availability at a primary node
- a structured graph data structure for traversing this information
- a scaled architecture, splitting the disk I/O and networking requirements across several workers
The Tusk consensus offers a zero-message overhead consensus algorithm, leveraging graph traversals.
$SUI is the platform’s native utility token, which participants can use to pay fees to execute transactions or stake them to earn passive income while contributing to network security. The token, which has a 10 billion supply, can also be utilized for governance voting, such as network upgrades and other actions within the ecosystem.
The SUI token has four core functions on the Sui platform. First, within an epoch, SUI may be staked in order to use the proof-of-stake mechanism. Second, SUI is the asset currency required to pay for the gas expenses associated with executing and storing transactions or other operations on the Sui platform. Third, SUI may be used in a variety of applications, including as a conventional cash function – a unit of account, medium of exchange, or store-of-value – and more complicated functionality enabled by smart contracts, interoperability, and composability across the Sui ecosystem. Finally, the SUI token has a significant role in governance since it gives you the right to take part in on-chain voting on issues such as protocol upgrades.
Since the SUI token is limited in supply, if Sui uncovers numerous applications and millions of users join the platform, the same quantity of tokens will need to be utilized across more economic activities in the long term. Furthermore, because a larger storage fund is required as a result of increased on-chain data requirements, the amount of SUI in circulation decreases.
In summary, the SUI token has various utilities out there such as native asset for the platform, gas fee, storage cost, incentivize and reward, and governance. SUI has many use cases and utilities, and may be further expanded in the future as the ecosystem expands. And there will be reasons for holding and accumulating the token for a long time.
Team & Backers
Sui has a relatively experienced background and is supported by a bunch of giant backers of the industry. Sui blockchain is developed by Mysten Labs, a team of former Novi/Diem developers who are experts in cryptography, programming languages, and distributed systems.
Mysten Labs’ founders are Evan Cheng, Adeniyi Abiodun, Sam Blackshear, George Danezis, and Kostas Chalkias, who were all part of Meta’s Novi development team.
Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), web3’s most recognized venture capital firm, invested $36 million in Mysten Labs’ Series A funding last December 2021. For the start-up’s Series B funding in July 2022, FTX Ventures committed $140 million. Mysten Labs’ other early investors include Samsung NEXT, Redpoint, Coinbase Ventures, Scribble Ventures, and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
Thoughts On Sui
It is still too early to say whether the Sui blockchain is better than others like Solana, or its neighbor Aptos. The project has been developing rapidly and has done an excellent job of optimizing its current design. But whatever the case is, Move technology is most likely here to stay as it shows a lot of promise in blockchain scalability and security.
Along with that the project has a number of teams from Diem, creating a big advantage over competitors when their experience to build a layer 1 is possible. It can be said that this is the second opportunity that appears to help them overcome and correct mistakes from the previous project. Moreover, further strengthened when the powerful backers are behind both financially and technologically, Sui will surely become a new potential project when the old generation layer 1 are constantly facing problems of network congestion, transaction fees and user experience.
It is worth keeping an eye on this project as it has the potential to change the way we interact with blockchain technology.