On January 17, Distributed Technologies Research (DTR), a Switzerland-based non-profit foundation that funds the research and development of "distributed technologies," announced its launch and its first initiative: a globally scalable decentralized payments system called Unit-e.
According to a press release from DTR, the foundation was created to facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration between industry experts and academia. Giulia Fanti, a lead researcher for DTR and assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, outlined how DTR will operate:
"Our approach is to first understand fundamental limits on blockchain performance, then to develop solutions that operate as close to these limits as possible, with results that are provable within a rigorous theoretical framework."
Using this approach, DTR's first project to address scalability will be the research and development of Unit-e.
Scalability is perhaps the greatest challenge faced by blockchain developers. This barrier must be overcome if the technology is to be adopted globally. DTR hopes that by bringing together some of the brightest minds in America – including professors and researchers from MIT, Stanford University, and UC Berkeley – it will be able to conduct the research necessary to achieve "real scalable performance." DTR hopes this will have wide-reaching benefits for numerous "decentralized financial applications."
The Unit-e development team is comprised of engineers based in Berlin, Germany, with an average of 10 years of experience "building protocols, developer tools, APIs and high-scale software across multiple industries." The team is responsible for ensuring the Unit-e code is secure and up-to-date, and that the is platform ready to be used by anyone.
DTR hopes to launch Unit-e in the second half of 2019.