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Rising Star of the Crypto World: Can Sui deliver its promising tech?

Daniel Urbánek
Daniel Urbánek
April 20, 2023
News, Community, Engineering

Built on the solid foundations of a former blockchain project by Meta (Facebook), Explore what innovations can the L1 smart contract platform Sui bring into the mix.

Sui Network is a new-generation L1 smart contract platform, which emerged during the last few months. It offers a state-of-the-art consensus engine, achieving high security with almost unlimited scalability thanks to parallel transaction execution. Being a very new project, the mainnet is not live yet, however, all users can try the permanent testnet. In this article, we will have a closer look at what can Sui bring to the mix and how it stands in comparison with other chains.

TL;DR:

  • Sui is an innovative L1 smart contract platform built on the Rust-based programming language Move
  • It originated in Meta's abandoned blockchain initiative Diem (or Libra), where some developers continued on Sui and others on Aptos
  • Sui offers very high transaction throughput with high-security thanks to the Narwhal and Bullshark consensus
  • The native asset is called SUI and serves mainly for paying gas fees in the network and rewarding participants in the PoS mechanism

What's the Hype about?

There seems to be a rising focus on projects using the Move programming language. This language was developed by the former blockchain initiative of Meta (Facebook). It grants a degree of efficiency to the projects, improving the overall user experience. 

Move was created in order to fix the shortcomings of Solidity (the language of Ethereum), which is why Sui is sometimes marked as an Ethereum killer. Sui uses its own alternative, Sui Move, for creating and deploying smart contracts with the infrastructure built on Rust.

Both scalability and security are promised to be very high on Sui, promoting innovative practical applications and easier mass adoption. Once the mainnet is alive, we will see if Sui will deliver the promised results.

The Origins

Sui Network is being built by Mysten Labs, a multidisciplinary group of people focused on the development of Web3 tools. They promote a decentralized future with immutable ownership of data and assets.

Some of the members of Mysten Labs previously worked on the Diem initiative in Meta. After Diem finished, the developers kind of split into Mysten Labs and Aptos Foundation, where they continued to work on Move-based blockchains.

Check out our take on the Aptos Network.

Features and Core Concepts of Sui

The uniqueness of Sui stems mainly from its technological aspects like the consensus engine, programming language, security, and transaction throughput.

Sui Move

We have already mentioned that at the heart of Sui is the Move programming language. Move works in a fundamentally different way compared to Solidity. Move allows for the direct addressing of objects (like assets or smart contracts), which is essential for creating a smooth native ecosystem.

Consensus Engine

The consensus engine of Sui is separated into two parts, where each part solves a particular problem. These parts are called Narwhal and Bullshark.

  • Narwhal - Is a DAG-based (Directed Acyclic Graph) mempool. You can imagine it as a waiting room for transactions that are not yet finalized. Thanks to the DAG implementation Narwhal can finalize many transactions at once (in parallel).
  • Bullshark - Acts as the own PoS consensus engine. The network maintains a BFT (Byzantine Fault Tolerant) set of validators, which are replaced and voted on in regular cycles.

By combining Narwhal and Bullshark the Sui network can in theory process as many as 125 000 transactions per second (TPS) with very low fees. The Parallel transaction execution gives such networks an edge against linear blockchains such as Ethereum (around 30 TPS).

The SUI Token

SUI is the native asset of the Sui Network. It is used mainly to incentivize honest behavior and prevent certain attacks among the validator set. Users of the network pay gas fees in SUI, which are then redistributed as rewards for stakers (validators + delegators) in the PoS mechanism.

Further applications involve smart contracts eventually deployed on the Sui network, such as swaps, yield farming, collateral for loans, and so on. SUI has a hard-capped total supply of 10 billion tokens, with new tokens entering circulation by staking, eventually reaching the cap.

How Does Sui Compare to Other Chains?

One of the big differences from other blockchains is the object-centric foundation of Sui. By leveraging the Move programming language, objects can be directly referred to, as opposed to Solidity. Ethereum does not know objects, like assets for example. Instead in Solidity smart contracts are deployed to carry a set of characteristics, which translate into balance in the wallet.

When it comes to speed and reliability, Sui claims that they can top even the fastest blockchains available by parallel transaction execution. For comparison Solana, known for its high speed has a current TPS of around 4K, Visa can process 24K TPS, while Sui should reach even 125K TPS.

Disclaimer: The content of this piece reflects the writer's opinion. This article is not intended to provide financial advice and is meant solely for entertainment and educational purposes. Investing in cryptocurrency involves significant risk. Capital is at risk, and returns are not guaranteed. Always conduct your own research.

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