The following interview took place between Sui Foundation staff and Managing Director Greg Siourounis in the days before the launch of Sui Mainnet.
Before we discuss Sui, can you talk a little bit about the value of decentralized technology generally?
A decentralized network takes power out of the hands of a central authority and puts it back in the hands of the individual, particularly when it comes to control of data and ownership of assets.
Open, decentralized networks are trustless and permissionless. Trustless because a network’s security relies on the system as a whole. There is no need to trust any single entity; the network is designed to withstand malicious or incompetent behavior from some subset of operators. Permissionless because no central authority dictates who can participate in the network. Network incentives keep operators in check.
Web3, the decentralized web, is an opportunity to remove middlemen and intermediaries from products and services. An opportunity for creators to better reap the rewards of their labor.
So that’s why decentralized tech is important, generally. Let’s talk about Sui, specifically. What is the vision for Sui?
The vision for Sui is to be THE decentralized infrastructure for applications, products, and services that solve genuine problems in people’s lives. To do that, Sui must be fast enough, cheap enough, secure enough, and dynamic enough to support billions of users performing a vast array of activities.
While this vision is clear, it isn’t simple to achieve. The blockchain trilemma [the tension between decentralization, security, and scalability for high-performing blockchains] is a trope for a reason. That is why when building Sui, a wholesale evaluation of current blockchain technology was required. It was imperative to investigate what was working and what was holding the industry back from breaking through to mass market use.
How is Sui designed differently?
Sui was built from the ground up because it was clear there were inherent flaws in blockchain design across the board. From smart contract programming language to tokenomics, every facet was reconsidered.
For example, Sui uses an version of Move, a smart contract programming language, adapted to Sui's data model. The modifications were made because some aspects of Move were not ideal for Sui and made the implementation of some fundamental smart contract use cases difficult.
Move on Sui is both expressive and composable which enables developers to build with unprecedented ease while their code remains inherently secure. They are not inhibited by complex infrastructure or esoteric programming languages. Developers at any experience level can focus their attention on writing high quality, compelling code that makes for the best user experience.
As another example, Sui uses an object-oriented data model, meaning instead of assets being stored in an account, assets are objects owned by an account. To transfer ownership, the chain only needs to rewrite that single value in the asset’s metadata. This allows for the major technological breakthrough of parallel processing. Most transactions on a blockchain can be processed in any order because they are causally independent. Sui processes these simple transactions in parallel, increasing the speed and throughput of the network as a whole. Consensus, which is necessary for causally dependent transactions, isn’t necessary.
These are just two among many of the ground-breaking technologies that make Sui a game-changer for developers and users alike.
Can you tell us more about the benefits of Sui for developers?
The developer experience is paramount for Sui. At a programming level, Move on Sui is designed to help developers ramp up quickly to writing dynamic and safe smart contracts. Features, such as programmable transaction blocks, allow for complex, coordinated transactions to take place within a smart contract without decreasing speed or increasing cost.
Beyond the technology itself, the Sui Foundation knows that many people don’t want to just open documentation and start building. Many want to learn through guides or tutorials, both visual and written, so our team is creating a robust set of tools and resources for everyone to level up their skills.
The builder community has grown tremendously over the past year. It's been a marvel to watch the care and support people offer one another as they get started building on Sui. Everyday on our Discord channel, which currently stands at over 700K members, builders from around the world support one another as they learn and create on Sui.
And of course there are Builder Houses and meetups around the world to bring learning, networking, and collaboration to a more intimate setting.
The launch of Mainnet is a clear inflection point in the life of Sui. What’s next and what is the role of the Sui Foundation in getting there?
Mainnet launch is definitely the beginning of the next big phase for Sui. Exciting new projects will be launching over the next weeks and months that will help usher new people into the Sui community allowing it to continue to flourish.
Our role as the Sui Foundation and member of the Sui community is to educate and support it. To provide the knowledge and tools that can bring even more builders and users into the fold and open up the technology and the platform to ideas beyond. To build beyond!
We oversee a series of programs aimed at supporting the advancement and adoption of Sui. From developer grants to educational series at all levels of the education cycle, we will continue to marshall resources to enable widespread access to this incredible technology and educate the global community so that they can use this technology to answer questions that ultimately improve everyday life.
Tell us more about the programs the Sui Foundation currently offers to support the builder community. Any additional programs you expect to offer in the near future?
We, along with fellow community members, are always assessing the community to determine what programs would be the most beneficial for everyone.
These builder programs are the most extensive and they include:
- A Developer Grants Program that awards funding to amazing developers building apps on Sui that have value for the whole ecosystem.
- An Ambassador Program offers support to community members who are already contributing and openly sharing their knowledge of Sui to the wider community.
- The Sui Builder House Tour that is bringing in-person opportunities for the community to learn, share, and network together to 10 cities around the world in 2023.
- The Sui Buildathon which is the Sui Foundation's own version of a hackathon to encourage and reward development around Sui and Move differentiators. This will be rolling out soon after Mainnet launch.
- The Sui Education Series where we partnered with Encode Club, a web3 education community, to create a series of educational videos for the developer community on the Sui network.
In addition, we just launched a program for academics and researchers called the Sui Academic Research Awards. These grants are offered to individuals and teams intending to do research on the advancement and adoption of web3 with a very wide scope that align with the mission of Sui.
Anything else you would like to share?
The Sui community is just getting started. It's a marathon not a sprint. We deeply appreciate our fellow dedicated community members that have contributed to Sui already and those who continue to do so. Such a dynamic community will thrive in the long run!