03 May 2023•
6 min read
Welcome to the latest edition of the Wormhole Chains series, where we introduce the latest blockchain that has been added to the Wormhole network. Today, May 3rd, marks the launch of Sui, a novel L1 blockchain, which Wormhole is supporting as its canonical bridge from Day 1.
Sui (pronounced swē) is an L1 blockchain designed to achieve exceptional speed and scalability while also supporting a wide range of next-generation, latency-sensitive decentralized applications. Sui is being developed by Mysten Labs, a company founded by former Meta employees who previously worked on Project Libra and Facebook's Novi research division.
The Sui platform is built with Sui Move, a programming language that is derived from the core Move language. To achieve fast transaction finality and scalability, Sui takes advantage of the fact that a large number of blockchain transactions involve non-overlapping states. Sui is able to process transactions in parallel while removing the need for consensus in simple transactions altogether. More details on this approach will be discussed later.
What does “Sui” mean?
Sui (swē) is the water element in Japanese philosophy. The power of the sui element lies in its fluidity—its ability to easily adapt to and transform any environment. Similarly, the Sui platform seeks to provide a flexible network that you can leverage to shape the Web3 landscape.
(from Sui’s documentation)
Like most other blockchains, Sui is operated by a set of independent validators, each running its own instance of the Sui software (nodes) on a separate machine (or a sharded cluster of machines operated by the same entity). A validator participates in the network by handling read and write requests sent by clients.
But unlike traditional blockchains which rely on “fire-and-forget” broadcasts, Sui's design enables requestors or proxies to proactively communicate with validators to finalize transactions, resulting in a series of advantages regarding performance, cost, programmability, and usability.
Furthermore, Validators can scale horizontally via intra-validator sharding. As a result, nodes can scale by devoting more resources - this could be through CPU, memory, storage within a machine, or by utilizing multiple machines. Network capacity grows in proportion to the increase in Sui validators' processing power by adding workers, resulting in low gas fees even during high network traffic.
Let’s have a look at the specifics of Sui:
In contrast to many other blockchains where storage is centered around accounts and each account contains a key-value store, Sui's storage is centered around programmable objects, each with a globally unique ID. Those objects are created and managed by Move packages, also known as smart contracts.
Each of those objects has an owner field that indicates how this object is being owned. The ownership dictates how an object can be used in transactions. Exploring the details of object classification would go beyond the scope of this blog post, but you can learn more about Sui Move objects here.
The validators on the Sui blockchain do not require consensus to process transactions involving exclusively owned objects. Instead, they execute transactions in parallel at high throughput, utilizing Byzantine Consistent Broadcast. For objects that involve shared objects, the validators employ Bullshark, a high-throughput DAG (directed acyclic graph)-based consensus protocol.
You can learn more about Sui’s architecture and design here.
Sui enables parallel transaction processing and eliminates the need for consensus in simple transactions, removing a critical bottleneck in existing blockchains: the requirement to achieve global consensus on a total-ordered list of transactions. But how does this work?
Many blockchain transactions do not have complex interdependencies, as they operate on disconnected parts of the state. Consequently, Sui adopts an approach that involves locking, or "stopping the world," only for the relevant data, rather than the entire chain. For example, the sender’s address is locked, as it can only send one transaction at a time. Sui extends this approach to more complex transactions that may explicitly depend on multiple elements under the sender's control, utilizing an object model ****and leveraging Move’s robust ownership model. By requiring dependencies to be explicit, Sui employs a "multi-lane" strategy for transaction validation, ensuring that independent transaction flows can progress without interference from others.
Sui runs in a sequence of non-overlapping, approximate fixed-duration (e.g. 24-hour) epochs. Each epoch is administered by a validators' committee, and the set of validators participating in any given epoch and their voting power is fixed. From one epoch to the next, the permission-less validator set gets rearranged. At the start of each epoch, validators vote on a network-wide reference price for gas that does not change until the next epoch. This method gives users the advantage of having more predictable and stable gas fees.
This summary only scratches the surface of what Sui is capable of and its approaches to solving current blockchain challenges. For a deep dive, please refer to the Sui documentation.
Sui is written in Rust and supports smart contracts written in Sui Move, a variation of the Move language. Sui Move is safe and expressive, with its type system and data model inherently supporting the parallel agreement and execution methods that enable Sui's scalability.
Find a more thorough explanation of Move’s features in:
Wormhole Connect is an open-source frontend SDK that lets Web3 developers embed asset bridging directly into their apps or websites. With Connect, developers can simplify their users’ end-to-end bridging experience and customize the UI so that the widget can feel native to their environment.
You can learn more about Wormhole Connect and how to easily integrate bridging mechanics into your app or website here. (Spoiler: you only need to copy & paste 3 lines of code.)
Sui is developed by Mysten Labs, a Web3 infrastructure organization, which was founded in September 2021 by four former Meta engineers—Evan Cheng, Sam Blackshear, Adeniyi Abiodun, and George Danezis. The co-founders previously worked in Facebook's Novi research division. Cheng, who held the position of Director of Research and Development at Novi, now serves as Mysten Labs' CEO.
The blockchain’s native token is “SUI”. With a total supply of 10 billion, the SUI token serves four primary roles:
Stay up to date with Sui by following their social channels:
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If you’re new to Wormhole, here’s what you need to know:
Wormhole is the industry standard cross-chain messaging protocol powering applications across Web3. Wormhole provides developers access to liquidity and users on over 20 of the leading blockchain networks, enabling use cases that span DeFi, NFTs, governance, and more. Wormhole enables a growing suite of products to build on its messaging layer - Wormhole Connect is a key asset layer product, providing developers an in-app bridging widget that can be integrated in as few as 3 lines of code. The wider Wormhole network is trusted and used by teams like Circle and Uniswap, and to date, the platform has facilitated the transfer of over 35 billion dollars through hundreds of millions of cross-chain messages.
Learn more on wormhole.com.
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