The Qtum representatives of the open source project claim that their corporate blockchain called "QtumX" can host "more than 10,000" transactions per second (TPS), according to a press release recently shared with Cointelegraph.
With the addition of another player to the run for scalability, it makes sense to look back and see how the main blockchains and cryptocurrencies are compared to TPS and whether their numbers are actually authentic.
Transaction speed: how important is it?
Scalability is one of the main problems of cryptocurrencies, especially when it comes to older coins. In fact, one of the first public comments on the Bitcoin white paper (BTC) opened with the following line: "We very, very much need such a system, but in the way I understand your proposal, it does not seem to scale. "
Ten years later, the problem still persists: the original blockchain can process only about seven TPS, which eventually led to disastrous consequences. By the end of 2017, Bitcoin users had to pay about $ 28 in taxes, so their transactions would not take days to complete. These problems led to a difficult fork and a new Bitcoin-based currency, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), which went on to increase the maximum block size up to eight megabytes from one.
Many other more recent cryptocurrencies have attempted to create their own blockchains, which are supposedly faster and cheaper. Their main objective was often to beat the latest crypto-nemesis, the global centralized payment system Visa, which can process 24,000 TPS, according to the IBM study conducted in 2010. Many blockchain have passed that point during their scalability , but only on paper.
It is important to recognize that while TPS, confirmation time and scalability in general could be important for the mass adoption expected to come, they are not the only criteria. Many cryptocurrencies claim to have high TPS performance these days, but the speed of the transaction is often reliable and is generally difficult to measure, especially with real-time traffic rather than with test networks, with ideal latency conditions. As a result, many of the TPS declared are different from their actual value.
In addition, even with a high TPS, the request may not be present. This was clearly displayed on the Txstreet website, where each transaction is depicted as a person and fill buses representing the blocking space of BTC and BCH. BCH has more buses, since the size of the block is larger, but fewer passengers to fill it. On the contrary, while there are only two buses for BTC, they fill up quickly, and many people are piled on the sidewalk, waiting to jump on the next block. Even the aforementioned visa, which has the ability to operate at 24,000 TPS, reportedly only makes 2,000 TPS on average, and up to 4,000 during peak hours – in other words, it does not need more at this point.
Claimed TPS capacity: 10,000
Qtum developers have recently managed the blockchain benchmark on the Amazon EC2 virtual server and, according to their own estimates, QtumX "is able to manage over 10,000 TPS". They point out that, due to high speed, transactions are presumably confirmed as soon as they are sent to the network.
It is important to note that QtumX has not been verified by third parties, and it is therefore impossible to confirm the authenticity of the Qtum press release at this point. Similar to QtumX is Aelf, another business-oriented blockchain solution, whose development team reported the achievement of 15,000 TPS during the initial test in August 2018.
Claimed TPS capacity: 50,000 (estimated: 1,500)
According to Ripple, XRP, the digital asset used in the company's cross-border payment system, "constantly manages 1,500 transactions per second". In addition, it takes about four seconds to adjust payments, while XRP can scale up to 50,000 TPS. "To manage the same yield as Visa".
However, unlike most of the other currencies mentioned in this article, Ripple does not have a blockchain. For this purpose, the company has its own patented technology: the consent algorithm of the Ripple protocol. As a result, XRP was ignored as a cryptocurrency by the community.
Estimated TPS capacity: 15
Ethereum (ETH) badly climbs despite a large amount of miners: currently, its blockchain is suitable for around 20 TPS. However, it is likely that the situation will change after ETH moves from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS) algorithm.
Reportedly, this will be implemented in the new protocol called Casper – Friendly Finality Gadget, which will also employ sharing on top of the PoS. Cointelegraph has treated the protocol in greater detail in a separate article.
However, the developers of Ethereum have failed to perform the updates on time. More recently, they postponed Constantinople's rigid fork at the end of February after finding a vulnerability hours before the original release time. Therefore, it is not clear when exactly Casper will be introduced. However, it could come as soon as this year, according to its developers.
Claimed TPS capacity: 3,996 (estimated: 50)
In July 2018, the chief technology officer of EOS, Daniel Larimer, tweeted that his cryptocurrency was performing at 2,351 TPS. A few months later, the test company Blockchain Whiteblock published the results of the "first independent test of the EOS software benchmark". The report showed that with "real-world conditions" of round-trip latency and packet loss of 0.01%, EOS performance was actually lower than 50 TPS, "putting the system in close proximity to the existing performance in Ethereum".
Subsequently, EOS Alliance, a non-profit organization formed by members of the EOS community and block producers with the role of "facilitating dialogue within the community", published a signed response from its executive director to interim, Thomas Cox. He criticized Whiteblock's "provocative paper", noting that the benchmarking company "recruited only Ethereum people for the project".
Claimed TPS capacity: 1,000
Stellar (XLM) is a payment technology based on the Ripple protocol. However, unlike its parent company, Stellar aims to work with developing markets rather than with well established banking systems and other financial institutions.
Stellar has been reported to have several TPSs. So, according to a Light Year employee, a network powered by Stellar, its blockchain can process up to 1,000 TPS. However, as stated by Stephen van Coller, CEO of Barclays Africa for corporate and investment banking, a Stellar prototype test found that it could process 36 million transactions all at once using Google's cloud servers, which is around 10,000 TPS.
Estimated TPS capacity: 56
Litecoin (LTC) is reported to handle 56 TPS on its blockchain. However, as the creator of Litecoin Charlie Lee notes, the Lightning Network protocol could drastically increase the TPS numbers of both LTC and BTC adding another layer.
Claimed TPS capacity: 2,000
In June 2018, Tron (TRX) launched its main network, migrating from the Ethereum network. In an accompanying blog post, the startup reported having reached a speed of 2,000 TPS on its test network. In July, the protocol's CEO, Justin Sun, boasted that Tron "is 80 times faster than Ethereum", which implies that it has reached 1,200 TPS on the main network. This information has not been confirmed by third-party benchmarks.
Claimed TPS capacity: 250
Cardano is a platform for the maintenance of cryptocurrency operations called ADA. During a recent "Ask Me Anything" session on YouTube, co-founder Charles Hoskinson said Cardano can process between 50 and 250 TPS. However, Hoskinson noted that with the addition of sidechain in the future, Cardano will be able to handle up to 5,000 TPS.
Claimed TPS capacity: 1,500 (estimated: 12)
IOTA (MIOTA) is a cryptocurrency that uses the so-called "Tangle" instead of a conventional blockchain, which presumably allows it to get "infinite scaling" – the network becomes faster with the addition of more users, the creators Request.
However, in a post medium, community member Kay Kurokawa criticized the IOTA model, essentially arguing that it is centralized and does not guarantee a better resizing than other cryptocurrencies. Reportedly, IOTA has reached 1,000 TPS during stress tests in the past. According to tanglemonitor.com, a resource that analyzes IOTA's Tangle, the current TPS is around 12.