Sui and Aptos

Blockchains typically handle consensus, data availability, and executing transactions all on the same layer and this is known as a monolithic chain. Issues with these type of chains include low scalability and inefficient execution.

Enter modular blockchains, which focuses on handling a select few duties and outsources the rest to one or more separate layers. For example on Sui, a “multi-lane” approach is taken to validate transactions for independent transactions (user sending tokens to another user) can progress without impediment from the others. If these blockchains are able to overcome the scalability trilemma as they claim, they can be the next frontier in crypto enabling mass adoption for the technology.

The tech behind Aptos and Sui

Both blockchains are built by the original team behind the Diem blockchain which was incubated at Meta. They use the Move programming language which has been designed for safe resource management and verifiable execution on the blockchain. They pride themselves with having 3 key factors with regards to transaction execution:

  • Deterministic and hermetic: all transaction output is completely predictable and state change is untainted
  • Metered: plays a pivotal defence role to prevent DoS attacks at the transaction execution level

Since the Move language was built for safe resource management, this enables easy customisation of properties for assets while ensuring important information is protected, not copied or accidentally destroyed.

Aptos offers security through the 3 factors mentioned above (deterministic, hermetic and metered) while they offer scalability through an improved leader-based rotation Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) engine where validators are able to be synchronized rapidly. Another reason why Aptos is able to scale is because it decouples the consensus protocol from the transaction execution through parallel execution engine which synchronize eventually. The Aptos team is led by Mo Shaikh who is the CEO and former Head of Partnerships at Meta and Avery Ching, the CTO and former Principal Software Engineer at Meta.

Sui is also an incredibly high performance blockchain with claims that a validator on an M1 Macbook Pro can process 120,000 token transfers per second. It is able to do this via parallelisation of transactions where sequential execution (commonly found in monolithic blockchains) is removed and instead enabling parallel agreement on independent transactions using Byzantine Consistent Broadcast. This allows Sui to scale horizontally to meet any application demands with extremely low operating cost per transaction. The Sui team is led by Evan Cheng who is the CEO and former Director of Engineering at Meta and Adeniyi Abiodun, the CPO and former Product Lead at Meta.

Analysing differences in language and use cases

With regards to the differences between the languages, the Move programming language focuses more on programmable resources. Gaming and social media applications are more feasible to be built on the Move blockchain as gaming is able to leverage on Move’s safe resource management around digital objects; while social media apps can leverage on Move’s data storage capabilities to store any data directly on-chain. Move also has a verifier tool called Move Prover which allows developers to verify that their code executes exactly as per intended within minutes, allowing them to make constant upgrades to the code. There are no applications built on top of Aptos and Sui as of now.

Conclusion

Most of the chains mentioned above are still on devnet and entering its final stages of getting a workable mainnet launch (Soon.tm). As usual, these chains look good in theory but need to be battle tested first before they can be considered feasible solutions. All of the chains possess unique abilities and I am excited to see new functions and primitives that can push the capabilities of the current crypto space.

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Ash

Ash

Ashton is an active participant of DeFi and believes that it will be the next infrastructure that supports the world of finance.