Bitcoin was the first payment network that allowed transactions to occur without a centralized authority. It opened people's minds and forever changed the way we look at money and the systems that support it. In the ten years since its inception, hundreds of new cryptocurrencies have been created to innovate nearly every industry, from real estate to cross-border payments. Despite the saturation of the market, Bitcoin still reigns.

That is unless a new cryptocurrency has its way. A group of professors from seven universities including Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and the University of California have joined forces to create a rival digital currency to Bitcoin called Unit-e.

The next Bitcoin?

The group behind the new digital currency, Distributed Technology Research, is funded largely by blockchain fund Pantera as well as private individuals. Its members include the best and brightest from the fields of economics, computer science, and cryptography. The all-star team is hoping to solve Bitcoin’s biggest problems.

The mainstream public is aware that these networks don’t scale,’’ Joey Krug, co-chief investment officer at Pantera Capital, who is also a member of the DTR council, said to Bloomberg. “We are on the cusp of something where if this doesn’t scale relatively soon, it may be relegated to ideas that were nice but didn’t work in practice: more like 3D printing than the internet.’’

Today, according to Bloomberg, Bitcoin can only process an average of between 3.3 and 7 transactions per second. Critics and supporters alike have often worried that because of these constraints Bitcoin isn’t scalable enough to be used as an everyday payment method. Unit-e on the other hand aims to process as many as 10,000 transactions per second. If successful, it would beat out even Visa, a centralized network, which handles around 1,700 transactions per second.

Unit-e does not have an easy road ahead of them, but if it can succeed at doing what Segwit, Zcash, and many others couldn't, it may just be the next leading cryptocurrency.

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