The blockchain realm has welcomed a new addition to its distributed ledger squad. The Sui blockchain looks rather promising and comes with its own set of distinguishing features. But how far will it go?
As the Web3 space keeps on evolving, the interest in blockchain technology shows no signs of fading away and it is expected that the total blockchain market value will hit $67 billion by 2026. As a result, lots of new, state-of-the-art platforms have been introduced recently, Sui being one of them.
But what is so special about this newcomer and what goals is it looking to achieve?
Read on to find out more about the Sui blockchain, its architecture, key features, and tokenomics model, and consider what prospects it has.
What is the Sui blockchain?
Sui is a permissionless, PoS-powered Layer 1 blockchain that has been designed in an attempt to provide instant settlement and high throughput as well as empower a multitude of next-gen latency-sensitive decentralized applications.
The Sui blockchain is the brainchild of Mysten Labs, an R&D company founded by former senior executives at Meta’s Novi Research and lead architects of the Diem blockchain and Move programming language. The firm is set to redefine the Web3 landscape and produce high-end solutions that will prove to be a hit with developers and creators regardless of their backgrounds.
Mysten Labs has already managed to raise $300 million in the Series B funding round and is well placed to keep moving forward.
Here is what Evan Cheng, Co-Founder and CEO at Mysten, says about the company’s inaugural Sui blockchain platform:
“Current Web3 infrastructure is in the dial-up era — it’s slow, expensive, capacity constrained, insecure, and simply hard to build for. With Sui, we are endeavoring to build a blockchain that scales with demand and incentivizes growth, eliminating middlemen, and enabling users across applications to seamlessly integrate and interact with their favorite products.”
What is Sui’s architecture?
According to Sui’s technical documentation, the blockchain consists of three main components:
- Objects. Sui possesses programmable objects built and managed by Move-enabled smart contracts, which are referred to as objects too. Sui’s objects are also categorized into mutable data values and immutable packages.
- Transactions. Transactions describe any changes and updates made to the Sui ledger.
- Validators. The entire Sui network is handled by independent validators. Each of them runs their own instance of the Sui software on a separate machine.
Another aspect worth highlighting is the Sui Consensus Engine, which comprises Narwhal and either Bullshark or Tusk.
Narwhal is responsible for ensuring the availability of data submitted to consensus.
Bullshark or Tusk is used to agree on a specific ordering of this data.
What is the Sui Explorer and what does it offer?
Launched in August 2022, the Sui Explorer is a special tool for users and developers who are eager to start building on Sui. Its key goals are as follows:
- Store and handle relevant and accurate on-chain data, activity, and performance metrics
- Enable the verification and tracking of all assets and contracts
- Serve as a robust tool for debugging and auditing
- Facilitate trouble-free smart contract development and introduce unique features to Move
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What language is Sui based on?
The Sui blockchain is written in the Rust-based Move programming language.
Move is a bytecode language that enables the development of customizable transaction logic and smart contracts. It is considered to be platform-agnostic, enabling shared libraries and tools as well as the formation of developer communities across various blockchain platforms.
Move is centered around the idea of bringing greater safety and security and facilitating a hassle-free transition from Web2 to Web3. It is also considered strong at tackling issues related to poison tokens, re-entrancy vulnerabilities, and spoofed token approvals.
As well as this, Move’s type system and data model support Sui’s parallel agreement, which in turn makes the blockchain highly scalable. So, as of March 19, 2022, it was claimed that an unoptimized single-worker Sui validator running on an 8-core M1 Macbook Pro could execute and commit 120,000 token transfer transactions per second (TPS).
What are the features and benefits of the Sui blockchain?
According to its developers, Sui comes with its own set of unique technical features, some of the most interesting of which are parallel transaction execution, a simplified developer experience, a unique approach to security, and enhanced UX for Web3 solutions.
Parallel transaction execution
By using the Byzantine Consistent Broadcast, Sui is able to circumvent consensus and parallelize the execution of numerous unrelated transactions, which results in minimized latency and higher throughput.
In addition to this, compared to many other blockchains where transactions are batched into traditional blocks, Sui validates them individually. Upon successful execution, each transaction is given a certificate of finality that guarantees that the transaction will not be revoked.
Simplified developer experience
Sui’s blockchain-oriented Move programming language eases the developer experience. This should mean that programmers will be able to write less boilerplate code and make fewer errors with foundational concepts.
Another great benefit to Sui developers is that the blockchain empowers them to effectively implement composable objects or dynamic NFTs that can be upgraded and/or grouped in an application-specific manner. This contributes to more sophisticated in-game economies and produces better feedback.
Unique security approach
In comparison with many other blockchains, Sui is not focused on strong synchrony assumptions on the network. As a result, the platform can maintain its security properties under unfavorable network conditions and circumstances such as network splits or DoS attacks.
Enhanced user experience and leading-edge Web3 solutions
Sui’s developers claim that it will enable engineers to produce top-notch UX in the Web3 realm by providing them with numerous high-end tools from the Sui Development Kit (SDK).
Crucially, the blockchain promises to facilitate the development of:
- On-chain DeFi and traditional finance (TradFi) primitives
- Reward and loyalty programs
- Complex games and business logic
- Asset tokenization services
- Decentralized social media networks
- More valuable and upgradable NFTs
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Sui blockchain tokenomics model: what to know?
The Sui blockchain tokenomics model consists of three key participants: users, SUI token holders, and validators.
- Users send transactions to the Sui platform to create, modify, or transfer digital assets or communicate with more sophisticated applications powered by smart contracts.
- SUI token holders are able to delegate their tokens to validators and take part in the Proof-of-Stake mechanism. They can also participate in Sui’s governance.
- Validators handle transaction processing and execution on the Sui platform.
What are the key components of the Sui economy?
The Sui tokenomics model comprises five core components. These are the SUI token, gas fees, Sui’s storage fund, the Proof-of-Stake mechanism, and on-chain voting.
The SUI token is the Sui blockchain’s native asset. The total supply of SUI is capped at ten billion tokens.
SUI performs four functions:
- It can be staked to take part in the PoS consensus
- It is used to pay gas fees to carry out transactions and other operations
- It is viewed as a liquid asset that underpins the entire Sui blockchain economy
- It gives its holder a right to participate in on-chain voting
On top of that, the blockchain offers the Sui Wallet which can be installed as a Google Chrome extension. The wallet empowers users to create addresses as well as manage their assets on the network.
Gas fees are charged for operations executed on the Sui network. An outstanding feature of Sui’s gas mechanism is that it allows users to pay fees for execution and storage separately. It also provides a satisfying user experience and helps users leverage the reference price as a reliable anchor when submitting their transactions.
Sui’s storage fund
Sui’s storage fund is responsible for shifting stake rewards over time and compensating future validators for the on-chain storage costs of data that was stored previously. The platform’s well-thought-out design helps ensure that the storage fund never faces the risk of depletion and works as it should.
The Proof-of-Stake mechanism
Validators and SUI delegators leverage the PoS consensus mechanism to choose and engage users and reward their honest behavior.
During a fixed-duration epoch, operations are handled by a fixed set of validators, each possessing a specific stake awarded by SUI holders. Delegating SUI means that tokens are locked for an entire epoch and can only be extracted when the epoch closes and validators reach agreement over all transactions performed during the epoch.
Notably, SUI holders can un-stake their tokens and even choose a different delegate validator when the epoch changes.
In Sui, on-chain voting is used in the blockchain protocol’s governance and upgrades, and SUI token holders have the ability to take part in these processes. As of writing, the Sui team has stated that it is planning to release further details on protocol governance soon.
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What are the downsides of Sui?
Just like with the other blockchains, Sui comes with its engineering trade-offs.
- First, compared to other traditional blockchains that require the implementation of just one consensus protocol, Sui needs to apply both Byzantine Consistent Broadcast to manage simple transactions and a consensus protocol to handle transactions with shared objects. As a result, Sui developers are obliged to keep a considerably larger codebase.
- Second, because Sui forgoes consensus for numerous transactions to enable multi-lane processing and remove head-of-line blocking, the sender is allowed to submit only one transaction at a time.
- Third, Move, Sui’s proprietary programming language, is new, which means that at present there are relatively few professional Move developers able to help enhance and enrich the Sui ecosystem.
However, all these challenges and others are likely to be addressed once Sui gains wider traction. As of now, it is reasonable to expect the complexities to be outweighed by the blockchain’s performance and usability perks.
Can Sui become a game-changer and should you invest in it?
Given that Sui is still nascent, it is yet to demonstrate its full force. It also has to withstand intense competition from other leading blockchain protocols such as Ethereum, Solana, Flow, and so on if it wants to ride the wave.
Because it is new and does not yet have a wide audience, the Sui blockchain is known to underpin a relatively small number of projects so far, with SoWork and Lucky Kat Studios being the most prominent.
SoWork is a virtual co-working startup that is set to build the workplace metaverse. It has chosen Sui as the underlying blockchain platform to provide fast and cost-effective minting of composable, mutable NFTs to its customers.
SoWork is planning to launch two features on Sui:
- Employee achievement NFTs will enable companies to reward their employees with NFTs based on tailored parameters with unlockable perks. These NFT rewards can be merit-based, value-based, or event-driven. Teammates can present NFTs to each other, thus empowering team building.
- NFT minting via Mapmaker will assist creators in producing custom and mutable NFTs (e.g. clothing or furniture items) and transfer them to their metaverse.
Lucky Kat Studios
Located in the Netherlands, Lucky Kat Studios has a mission to create cool and sophisticated mobile games. The company has decided to embrace the Sui blockchain in order to enrich its PanzerDogs NFT gaming project with more high-end features.
The company has opted for Sui since it believes that the blockchain’s programming model is a perfect match for decentralized gaming and allows for the smooth running of in-game assets.
Chiefly, Sui’s design offers on-chain data storage which means that in-game customizations and upgrades are provided directly on the Sui chain. As a result, these features make Sui a perfect chain for underpinning games such as PanzerDogs, where NFTs and gameplay are closely tied.
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The Sui blockchain looks rather promising, and its technical features, development approach, and aspirations seem to have hit it off with a number of blockchain evangelists.
It is also true to say that Sui will have to endure stiff competition from other blockchains and must continue upgrading its ecosystem if it wants to enjoy wider adoption.
Whether you have set your sights on Sui or another blockchain platform as a base for your blockchain project-to-be, reach out to our team of professional blockchain developers and consultants.
With almost 10 years of experience in the blockchain domain, we can advise you on selecting the most suitable blockchain platform and working out a comprehensive implementation strategy, and help you develop a robust, leading-edge blockchain solution from scratch.