Mysten Labs Launches Blockchain Platform Sui

Company founded by ex-Facebook employees designs layer-1 to solve space’s “pain points”


From left: Mysten Labs’ Sam Blackshear, Evan Cheng, Adeniyi Abiodun | Source: Mysten Labs


key takeaways

  • Sui says its use of what it calls “casual ordering” differentiates it from other blockchains
  • Ethereum’s total value locked dominance for DeFi applications fell from 97% in January 2021 to 55% earlier this month

The Web3 infrastructure company recently founded by four former Facebook employees has launched a decentralized blockchain platform.

Called Sui, the layer-1 platform is designed to facilitate instant settlement and deliver the high throughput, low latency and low cost needed to power applications for billions of users, according to a Tuesday company announcement. 

Mysten Labs CEO Even Cheng had spent the last 16 years at tech companies such as Apple and Facebook, which is now known as Meta. He and three other former Facebook employees — Sam Blackshear, Adeniyi Abiodun and George Danezis — worked on Meta’s Novi Financial team to help develop the Diem stablecoin and Move programming language.

Move, a bytecode language used to implement custom transactions and smart contracts, powers Sui’s programming model. 

“Existing technology suffers from restrictive storage methods and inherently unsafe programmability models, which force developers to compromise on functionality and user experience,” Cheng said in a statement. “Sui solves the most notorious problems in blockchain by delivering unrivaled scalability, premium security, and simplified user experience at the lowest cost.”

How is Sui different?

Ethereum’s total value locked (TVL) dominance for decentralized finance (DeFi) applications fell from 97% in January 2021 to a record low of 55% earlier this month, according to Defi Llama data. Ethereum’s TVL is currently roughly $120 billion.

Created to solve the most common blockchain “pain points,” Sui uses horizontal scalability to maintain low gas fees and high transaction processing capacities beyond legacy payment rails such as Visa and Swift.

One of the layer-1’s main differentiators from other blockchains is its use of what it calls “casual ordering,” according to Sui’s website. Unlike other blockchains, Sui forgoes consensus for most transactions, allowing it to parallelize the execution of them and reduce latency.

While Sui is designed to perform well with direct sender transactions, it comes at the cost of added complexity in what it considers to be less common use cases, the informational document adds. 

“Sui’s system design breakthrough eliminates a critical bottleneck in existing blockchains: the need to achieve global consensus on a total-ordered list of transactions,” Mysten Labs Chief Product Officer Adeniyi Abiodun told Blockworks in an email. “This computation is wasteful given most transactions are not contending for the same resource against other transactions.”

The architecture, according to the team, will make it “the first and only permissionless blockchain that has horizontal scalability [with] no upper limit on network throughout.”

Use cases

Sui’s use cases, according to Mysten Labs, include facilitating airdrops to millions of people in a single, low-cost transaction; creator-owned decentralized social media networks; and developing blockchain gaming interactions such as equipment crafting, character leveling and battle records stored on-chain.

A spokesperson for Lucky Kat Studios, the creators of a game called Panzerdogs, said that Sui’s ability to mirror NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and handle on-chain assets opens up new options for blockchain gaming.

“Imagine importing all your NFTs into a game, upgrading them into new, usable assets and enhancing the gaming experience and the in-game economy,” the Lucky Kat representative said in a statement. “Not only do the NFTs become a part of the gaming experience, but the game also becomes a part of the NFT.”

SoWork, which offers virtual workspaces in the metaverse, uses Sui to mint composable, mutable NFTs to its customers.

“We’ve come a long way with Ethereum, but it really feels like Sui is what gets us as startups, consumers, and creatives to the next level of decentralization, because it goes beyond simple NFT minting,” a SoWork spokesperson said.

Mysten Labs previously said Sui will go to mainnet later this year following its test and beta net phases. The company anticipates developer activity on-chain by April or May.

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