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Opinion: stop trying to build a better Bitcoin

A group of professors from the best US universities came together to create a new decentralized payment system globally. But with Bitcoin it is already proving to work as expected for ten consecutive years, a "Best Bitcoin" could also have a chance?

MIT and Standford Teachers who develop Unit-E

The professors set up a non-profit foundation based in Switzerland called Distributed Technologies Research, supported by Credit Suisse and Pantera Capital.

Unit-e, the cryptocurrency that it intends to launch by the end of the year, will process up to 10,000 transactions per second (tps). This compares with about 7 tps for Bitcoin and a 1,700 tps that Visa processes on average.


To achieve such speeds, DTR has looked at every aspect of blockchain technology and tried to improve it. The result should be almost unrecognizable from the current cryptocurrencies, with "innovation" through consensus, sharing, payment channels, security and incentives.

DTR's vision for a research manifesto, "Decentralized payment systems: principles and design", introduces the Unit-e architecture, and will be available as a book.

It is interesting to note that there are no null results for everything related to knots and mining in the press release, despite all the talk about the possibility of climbing better than Bitcoin. In addition, Visa can actually process up to 45,000 tps, or more than four times as much as promised by Unit-e.

So, if we're talking about payment and speed capabilities here, Unit-e already seems a non-starter compared to Visa, which is instantaneous and already ubiquitously adopted.

Beating Bitcoin will not be easy, if not impossible

Even more difficult will launch a new layer-based protocol in today's competitive cryptocurrency market. Firstly, the ten-year advantage of Bitcoin as a globally recognizable brand and the overall advantage of first mover can not simply be replicated overnight.

Its network includes not only an impressive hash rate but also hundreds of skilled volunteer developers, thousands of nodes and millions of users.

This gives Bitcoin an advantage in terms of Schelling compared to mass adoption and its unparalleled 99.98 percent increase in the last decade provides a valid argument for the Lindy effect.

block satellite coverage

Satellite coverage of the Bitcoin network

It is undoubtedly the most fought blockchain today. He suffered social engineering attacks, forks, corporate acquisition attempts, government bans, media slings, etc. He simply shrugged off the hundreds of obituaries from characters like Paul Krugman, Warren Buffet, Jamie Dimon, etc.

Bitcoin has proven to be an anti-brittle beast, which only grows stronger from the disorder and perceived chaos of having no leadership.

Does the unit-E have a chance?

Firstly, the necessary support from the community must be found to guarantee a decentralized ecosystem of miners and nodes. DTR says it is committed to growing the research group and the developer community, with ongoing support and funding. But this is not an easy task.

Riccardo Spagni, one of the main developers of Monero, He says:

Today I do not envy anyone who is trying to start a basic protocol enough. It is difficult and impossible, which is why I strongly support the new protocols to be launched as merge sidechains.

But even if the product proves technologically superior, this is not a guarantee of success. The story is littered with examples of better technologies that fell into oblivion after failing to adopt mass.

Sony BluRay has eliminated the best HD-DVD thanks to coming with every new PS3. In the 70s, the company's top-quality BetaMax lost to VHS, despite being the first on the market.

C & # 39; is any need?

Unit-e is far from the first cryptocurrency to deal with the speed of the transaction or any other Bitcoin limitation. Since Bitcoin was launched, people have launched faster, more fungible, more private, and more coins [insert your own favorite quality here] etc.

Just last week, a company called Devvio was exhibiting at CES, claiming the ability to process over 8 million global public transactions per second, on-chain. They also claimed better privacy than Zcash, stability over Tether and smart contracts compared to Ethereum.

BItcoin nodes

Of course, these statements seem great on paper. But succeeding in the real world is something else.

Even Bitcoin is not a static technology. The sidechains and the second level protocols have been developed as Lightning Network (with millions of tps) for the downsizing, exploiting the effect of Bitcoin network.

So DTR is already too late for the table?

Of course, their connection with the academic world could give them an advantage in some way. But in the end, specifications such as transactions per second are secondary to Bitcoin's main strength as a proven Neutral and non-authorized monetary network on which so many applications can be built.

Can the university produce a true Bitcoin competitor or is it too late? Share your thoughts below!

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