Ivy League academics are creating a 'globally scalable' cryptocurrency, launching this year

Blockchain investment-fund Pantera Capital is backing seven US professors quietly collaborating on a new digital currency that can process 'thousands of transactions a second', Bloomberg reported Wednesday.

The academics, drawn from the likes of MIT and Stanford, have announced the Unit-e coin, which hopes to rival bitcoin by addressing its transaction-speed and scalability issues. They form part of Distributed Technology Research (DTR), a non-profit foundation, which is working on decentralized technologies and alternative payment networks. The team, based in Berlin, say they have scrutinised the inbuilt payment-processing issues behind bitcoin, which can only handle 7 transactions per second (TPS). Meanwhile, Visa which can process an average of 1,700. DTR told reporters the new blockchain technology behind the Unit-e coin will be faster than both, aiming to process up to 10,000 TPS.

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“Bitcoin has shown us that distributed trust is possible but its just not scaling at a dimension that could make it a truly global everyday money,” one researcher on the project, Pramod Viswanath, told Bloomberg.

Transaction speeds are a key research focus elsewhere too, preoccupying initiatives like the Lightning Network and Raiden.

DTR hopes to launch Unit-e in the second half of 2019. The foundation hopes the coin will make crypto 'mainstream.'

About Author

Isabel is The Block's London and European reporter. She previously reported for Reuters in Madrid and London, following on from her time as a freelance journalist for the Guardian and the New York Times. She has a Bachelors in War Studies from King’s College London and a Master of Philosophy from the University of Oxford. Conflict of Interest: Edward Woodford, the CEO of SeedCX, is Isabel's brother. She does not report on any issues related to Seed or advise other authors in any regard.

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