MIT and Stanford academics team up to build cutting-edge cryptocurrency

Top US university professors are teaming up to build a cutting-edge cryptocurrency, called Unit-e, which is not limited by scaling issues

Professors from seven top US colleges including Stanford, MIT, and University of California, Berkeley have teamed up to build a new, cutting-edge cryptocurrency, according to a recent report by Bloomberg.

Their aim is to build a cryptocurrency that does not have the scalability issues that Bitcoin does. They are hoping to accomplish this without compromising on decentralisation – one of the founding principles behind Bitcoin.

The digital asset will be called ‘Unit-e,’ and is part of an initiative known as Distributed Technology Research (DTR).

DTR is a non-profit foundation that has received financial support in the shape of a hedge fund by Pantera Capital Management LP to develop decentralised technology.

Currently, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin can only process a finite amount of transactions per second. This is why Layer 2 scaling solutions are so desperately sought after, as they can alleviate these issues to a certain extent.

The aim of Unit-e is to process as many as 10,000 transactions per second. For context, without scaling solutions such as the Lightning Network, Bitcoin can only process between 3-7 transactions per second, on average.

It is believed that DTR plan to launch Unit-e in the latter half of 2019.

Joey Krug, co-chief investment officer at Pantera Capital and member of DTR, notes: “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.”

Pramod Viswanath, a researcher on the project and professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, states the team have deconstructed the underlying blockchain technology behind most cryptocurrencies, and in doing so, they claim to have “improved almost every aspect of it.”

Viswanath believes that Bitcoin was a “breakthrough that has the capacity to change human lives, but that won’t happen unless the technology can be scaled up.”

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