Sui is the first permissionless Layer 1 blockchain designed from the ground up to enable creators and developers to build experiences that cater to the next billion users in web3. Sui is horizontally scalable to support a wide range of application development with unrivaled speed at low cost.
Sui is a smart contract platform maintained by a permissionless set of validators that play a role similar to validators or miners in other blockchain systems.
Sui offers scalability and unprecedented low-latency for simple use cases. Sui makes the vast majority of transactions processable in parallel, which makes better use of processing resources, and offers the option to increase throughput with more resources. Sui forgoes consensus to instead use simpler and lower-latency primitives for simple use cases, such as payment transactions and assets transfer. This is unprecedented in the blockchain world and enables a number of new latency-sensitive distributed applications, ranging from gaming to retail payment at physical points of sale.
Sui is written in Rust and supports smart contracts written in the Move programming language to define assets that may have an owner. Move programs define operations on these assets including custom rules for their creation, the transfer of these assets to new owners, and operations that mutate assets.
- Unmatched scalability, instant settlement;
- A safe smart contract language accessible to mainstream developers;
- Ability to define rich and composable on-chain assets;
- Better user experience for web3 apps;
- Narwhal and Tusk DAG-based mempool and efficient Byzantine Fault Tolerant (BFT) consensus.
Sui is the only blockchain today that can scale with the growth of web3 while achieving industry-leading performance, cost, programmability, and usability. As Sui pushs towards mainnet launch, Sui will demonstrate capacity beyond the transaction processing capabilities of established systems — traditional and blockchain alike. Sui can be regarded as the first internet-scale programmable blockchain platform, a foundational layer for web3.
Why Choose Sui? -Unparalleled Scalability, Immediate Settlement
Today, users of existing blockchains pay a considerable tax as network usage increases due to limited throughput. In addition, high latency limits the responsiveness of applications. These factors contribute to the bad user experiences that are all too common in web3:
- Games are slow and prohibitively expensive to play;
- Investors lose funds when they can’t liquidate undercollateralized loans in Decentralized Finance (DeFi);
- High-volume, low-value, per-transaction mass-market services like micropayments and coupons are priced out of the network;
- Artificially high floor prices on assets due to high gas prices.
Sui scales horizontally to meet the demands of applications. 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. This scalability characteristic is in sharp contrast to other blockchains with rigid bottlenecks.
By design, Sui validators (nodes) can effectively scale the network throughput infinitely to meet the demand of builders and creators. In other words, Sui can do for web3 what broadband internet did for web2.
Sui has a native token called SUI, with a fixed supply. The SUI token is used to pay for gas, and is also used as delegated stake on validators within an epoch. The voting power of validators within this epoch is a function of this delegated stake. Validators are periodically reconfigured according to the stake delegated to them. In any epoch the set of validators is Byzantine fault tolerant. At the end of the epoch, fees collected through all transactions processed are distributed to validators according to their contribution to the operation of the system. Validators can in turn share some of the fees as rewards to users that delegated stake to them.
The total supply of SUI is capped at 10,000,000,000 (i.e. ten billion tokens). A share of SUI’s total supply will be liquid at mainnet launch, with the remaining tokens vesting over the coming years or distributed as future stake reward subsidies. Each SUI token is divisible up to a large number of decimal places.
Since the SUI token is available in finite supply, the same amount of tokens will need to be used across more economic activities in the long run if Sui unlocks many use cases and millions of users migrate to the platform. In addition, the storage fund’s presence creates important monetary dynamics in that higher on-chain data requirements translate into a larger storage fund, reducing the amount of SUI in circulation.
The SUI token serves four purposes on the Sui platform:
- SUI can be staked within an epoch in order to participate in the proof-of-stake mechanism.
- SUI is the asset denomination needed for paying the gas fees required to execute and store transactions or other operations on the Sui platform.
- SUI can be used as a versatile and liquid asset for various applications including the standard features of money — a unit of account, a medium of exchange, or a store of value — and more complex functionality enabled by smart contracts, interoperability, and composability across the Sui ecosystem.
- SUI token plays an important role in governance by acting as a right to participate in on-chain voting on issues such as protocol upgrades.
Sui’s Gas-Pricing Mechanism
Sui’s gas-pricing mechanism achieves the triple outcomes of delivering users with low, predictable transaction fees, of incentivizing validators to optimize their transaction processing operations, and of preventing denial of service attacks.
This delivers good user experience to Sui users, who can focus on using the Sui network without worrying about having to forecast the current market price of gas fees. Since validators agree on a network-wide reference price at the start of each epoch, Sui users use the reference price as a credible anchor when submitting their transactions. Moreover, the price setting mechanism is designed to reward good validator behavior, thus aligning incentives between SUI token holders, the network’s operators (i.e. the validators), and its users.
Sui’s Storage Fund
Sui includes an efficient and sustainable economic mechanism for financing data storage, which is important given Sui’s ability to store arbitrarily large amounts of on-chain data.
Sui’s economic design includes a storage fund that redistributes storage fees from past transactions to future validators. When users transact on Sui, they pay fees upfront for both computation and storage. The storage fees are deposited into a storage fund used to adjust the share of future stake rewards distributed to validators relative to SUI delegators. This design is intended to provide future Sui validators with viable business models.
Storage Fund Rewards
Sui’s proof-of-stake mechanism calculates total stake as the sum of delegated stake plus the SUI tokens deposited in the storage fund. Hence, the storage fund receives a proportional share of the overall stake rewards depending on its size relative to total stake. The majority of these stake rewards — a share — are paid out to current validators to compensate for storage costs while the remaining rewards are used to reinvest in the fund. In other words, stake rewards accruing to the storage fees submitted by past transactions are paid out to current validators to compensate them for data storage costs. When on-chain storage requirements are high, validators receive substantial additional rewards to compensate for their storage costs. Vice versa when storage requirements are low.
- The storage fund is funded by past transactions and functions as a tool for shifting gas fees across different epochs. This ensures that future validators are compensated for their storage costs by the past users who created those storage requirements in the first place.
- The storage fund pays out only the returns on its capital and does not distribute its principal. That is, in practice, it is as if validators were able to borrow the storage fund’s SUI as an additional stake and keep the majority of stake rewards (a %). But note that validators do not receive funds directly from the storage fund. This guarantees the fund never loses its capitalization and can survive indefinitely. This feature is further buttressed by the % of stake rewards reinvested in the fund.
- The storage fund includes a deletion option by which users obtain a storage fee rebate whenever they delete previously stored on-chain data. Note that, if a user deletes data, they obtain a partial refund of the storage fees paid originally. This feature is justified by the fact that storage fees exist to pay for storage throughout the data’s lifecycle. There is no reason to keep charging for storage once data is deleted, and so these fees are rebated.
Storage Fund Mechanics
The storage fund’s size is fixed throughout each epoch with its size changing at the epoch boundary according to the net inflows accumulated throughout the epoch. Inflows and outflows correspond to:
- Inflows from the storage fees paid for transactions executed during the current epoch.
- Inflows from reinvestments of the fund’s returns into new principal. Specifically, the share of stake rewards accrued to the storage fund that is not paid out to validators.
- Outflows from storage fee rebates paid to users who delete the data associated with past transactions.
The key property of the rebate function is that it limits storage fund outflows to be always less than the original storage flow, at the individual transaction level. This mechanism guarantees that the storage fund is never depleted and that its size moves in line with the amount of data held in storage.
Storage Fund Incentives
The storage fund introduces various desirable incentives into the Sui economy:
- Its mechanics incentivize users to delete data and obtain a rebate on their storage fees when the cost of storing such data exceeds the value obtained from maintaining that data on-chain. This introduces a useful market-based mechanism where users free storage when it becomes uneconomical for them to keep it.
- It creates deflationary pressure over the SUI token in that increased activity leads to larger storage requirements and to more SUI removed from circulation.
- It is capital efficient in that it is economically equivalent to a rent model where users pay for storage through a pay-per-period model.
Sui enables developers to define and build：
- On-chain DeFi and Traditional Finance (TradFi) primitives: enabling real-time, low latency on-chain trading；
- Reward and loyalty programs: deploying mass airdrops that reach millions of people through low-cost transactions
- Complex games and business logic: implementing on-chain logic transparently, extending the functionality of assets, and delivering value beyond pure scarcity
- Asset tokenization services: making ownership of everything from property deeds to collectibles to medical and educational records perform seamlessly at scale
- Decentralized social media networks: empowering creator-owned media, posts, likes, and networks with privacy and interoperability in mind
Move vs. Solidity
Currently, the main player on the blockchain languages scene is Solidity. As one of the first blockchain languages, Solidity was designed to implement basic programming language concepts using well known data types (e.g. byte array, string) and data structures (such as hashmaps) with the ability to build custom abstractions using a well-known base. However, as blockchain technology developed it became clear that the main purpose of blockchain languages is operations with digital assets, and the main quality of such languages is security and verifiability (which is an additional layer of security).
Move was specifically designed to address both problems: representation of digital assets and safe operations over them. To provide additional protection, it has been co-developed along with the Move Prover verification tool. This allows Move developers to write formal specifications for the key correctness properties of their application, then use the prover to check that these properties will hold for all possible transactions and inputs.
One fundamental difference between the EVM and Move is the data model for assets:
- EVM assets are encoded as entries in owner_address -> <bytes encoding asset> hash maps. Asset updates and transfers work by updating entries in this map. There is no type or value representing an asset, and thus an asset cannot be passed as an argument, returned from a function, or be stored inside of another asset. Only unstructured bytes can be passed across contract boundaries, and thus each asset is forever trapped inside the contract that defines it.
- Move assets are arbitrary user-defined types. Assets can be passed as arguments, returned from functions, and stored inside other assets. In addition, assets can flow freely across contract boundaries without losing their integrity thanks to Move’s built-in resource safety 1 2 protections.
Sui heavily leverages the Move data model for performance. Sui’s persistent state is a set of programmable Move objects that can be updated, created, and destroyed by transactions. Each object has ownership metadata that allows Sui validators to both execute and commit transactions using the object in parallel with causally unrelated transactions. Move’s type system ensures the integrity of this ownership metadata across executions. The result is a system where developers write ordinary Move smart contracts, but validators leverage the data model to execute and commit transactions as efficiently as possible.
This is simply not possible with the EVM data model. Because assets are stored in dynamically indexable maps, a validator would be unable to determine when transactions might touch the same asset. Sui’s parallel execution and commitment scheme needs a language like Move with the vocabulary to describe structured assets that can flow freely across contracts. To be blunt: even if we preferred the EVM/Solidity to Move, we could not use them in Sui without sacrificing the performance breakthroughs that make Sui unique.
One of the main advantages of Move is data composability. It is always possible to create a new struct (asset) Y that will hold initial asset X in it. Even more — with addition of generics, it is possible to define generic wrapper Z(T) that will be able to wrap any asset, providing additional properties to a wrapped asset or combining it with others.
Difference between Sui Move and Core Move
- Sui uses its own object-centric global storage;
- Addresses represent Object IDs;
- Sui objects have globally unique IDs;
- Sui has module initializers (init);
- Sui entry points take object references as input.
The security features of the Sui system ensure a number of properties:
- Only the owner of an owned asset can authorize a transaction that operates on this asset. Authoritzation is performed through the use of a private signature key that is known only to the asset owner.
- Everyone can operate on shared assets or immutable assets, but additional access control logic can be implemented by the smart contract.
- Transactions operate on assets according to predefined rules set by the smart contract creator that defined the asset type. These are expressed using the Move language.
- Once a transaction is finalized, its effects — namely changes to the assets it operates on or new assets created — will be persisted, and the resulting assets will be available for further processing.
- The Sui system operates through a protocol between a set of independent validators. Yet all its security properties are preserved when a small subset of the validators do not follow the protocol.
- All operations in Sui can be audited to ensure any assets have been correctly processed. This implies all operations on Sui are visible to all, and users may wish to use multiple different addresses to protect their privacy.
- Validators are determined periodically through users of Sui locking and delegating SUI tokens to one or more validators.
A transaction in Sui is a change to the blockchain. This may be a simple transaction affecting only single-owner, single-address objects, such as minting an NFT or transferring it or another token. These transactions may bypass the consensus protocol in Sui.
More complex transactions affecting objects that are shared or owned by multiple addresses, such as asset management and other DeFi use cases, go through the Narwhal and Tusk DAG-based mempool and efficient Byzantine Fault Tolerant (BFT) consensus.
Parallel Agreement — A Breakthrough in System Design
Sui scales horizontally with no upper bound to meet application demand while maintaining extremely low operating costs per transaction. Its system design breakthrough eliminates a critical bottleneck in existing blockchains: the need to achieve global consensus on a total-ordered list of transactions. This computation is wasteful given many transactions are not contending for the same resource against other transactions.
Sui takes a significant leap in scalability by enabling parallel agreement on causally independent transactions. Sui validators commit such transactions using Byzantine Consistent Broadcast, eliminating global consensus’s overhead without sacrificing safety and liveness guarantees.
This breakthrough is possible only with Sui’s novel data model. Thanks to its object-centric view and Move’s strong ownership types, dependencies are explicitly encoded. As a result, Sui both agrees on and executes transactions on many objects in parallel, while a minority of transactions that affect shared state are ordered via Byzantine Fault Tolerant consensus and executed in parallel.
A Safe Smart Contract Language Accessible to Mainstream Developers
Move smart contracts power Sui applications. Move is a programming language initially developed at Facebook for writing safe smart contracts. It is a platform-agnostic language that enables shared libraries, tooling, and developer communities across blockchains. Move’s design prevents issues such as reentrancy vulnerabilities, poison tokens, and spoofed token approvals that attackers have leveraged to steal millions on other platforms. Its emphasis on safety and expressivity makes it easier for developers to transition from web2 to web3 without understanding the intricacies of the underlying infrastructure.
Ability to Define Rich and Composable On-Chain Assets
Sui’s scalability is not limited to transaction processing. Storage is also low-cost and horizontally scalable. This enables developers to define complex assets with rich attributes that live directly on-chain instead of introducing layers of indirection into off-chain storage to save on gas fees. Moving attributes on-chain unlocks the ability to implement application logic that uses these attributes in smart contracts, increasing composability and transparency for applications.
Rich on-chain assets will enable new applications and economies based on utility without relying solely on artificial scarcity. Developers can implement dynamic NFTs that can be upgraded, bundled, and grouped in an application-specific manner, such as changes in avatars and customizable items based on gameplay. This capability delivers stronger in-game economies as NFT behavior gets fully reflected on-chain, making NFTs more valuable and delivering more engaging feedback loops.
DevNet and Testnet
Sui DevNet — to gain operational experience with the Sui software in a public setting.
Sui Incentivized Testnet — will feature a menu of incentives to encourage and reward meaningful participation during the Testnet waves.
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