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While using different blockchains, you have probably noticed that one blockchain works faster than the other. And that you pay lower costs for one blockchain than for the other blockchain. Every blockchain is built in a different way, which means that there are differences between their speeds and costs.
Of course, you prefer to use a blockchain that works as quickly and cheaply as possible. Yet we see that the most popular blockchains are slow and expensive. This is partly due to the blockchain trilemma, a problem that describes that blockchains can only meet 2 of the 3 main criteria.
In this article we will share information about the speed of blockchains, and what the 7 fastest blockchains in the world are.
Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum (ETH), coined the term ‘blockchain trilemma’. This term describes the problem that developers of blockchains often encounter. These developers can ensure that the blockchain meets only 2 of the 3 most important criteria. This concerns the following 3 criteria:
Is a blockchain scalable and decentralized? Then the safety lags behind its competitors. Or is the blockchain secure and scalable? The network is then not decentralized enough. When the blockchain is decentralized and secure, it has scalability issues, as is the case with Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).
Scalability and speed go hand in hand. When a blockchain cannot scale up fast enough, for example when the number of executed transactions increases, users have to wait a long time before their transaction is processed. In many cases, the costs for executing a transaction are also much higher than is normally the case. Ethereum users had to pay hundreds of dollars at times to complete a transaction.
A blockchain that is not fast enough will lag behind the rest. Developers are finding better ways to improve scalability, and therefore speed. Users want to be able to execute their transaction as quickly as possible, so that they can and will use the blockchain more often.
It is difficult to indicate what determines the speed of a blockchain. There are several factors that play a major role in the speed of a blockchain. One of these factors is the consensus mechanism. It seems that Proof-of-Stake encourages the scalability of blockchains, while Proof-of-Work makes a blockchain slower and more expensive. This is also reflected in Bitcoin and Ethereum, for example.
Both Bitcoin and Ethereum (1.0) use Proof-of-Work. This algorithm allows miners to process transactions simultaneously. The miner who completes a block first receives a reward.
To ensure security, it always takes about 10 minutes to create a block (for Bitcoin). The network consists of about 1 million miners. This means that a blockchain like Bitcoin is decentralized and secure, but can be called anything but scalable. If it wants to improve its scalability, for example by reducing the time required for block creation, the blockchain will be less secure.
Ethereum 1.0 was able to process about 14 transactions per second. At peak times, users sometimes paid hundreds of dollars in transaction fees. So, not very scalable. However, Ethereum developers have been busy with the upgrade to Ethereum 2.0. With this upgrade is complete, the blockchain has switched from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake. Along with a number of other improvements, the Ethereum blockchain is now working a lot faster. Users also pay lower transaction fees.
Below is a summary of the 7 fastest blockchains of the moment.
Radix (XRD) is a blockchain that is less known to the general public. Nevertheless, the Radix team managed to process at least 1 million transactions per second in 2019. Radix is therefore without a doubt one of the fastest, if not the fastest, blockchain in the world.
To achieve these high speeds, the Radix team has developed a number of striking technologies. For example, it uses Cerberus’s self-designed consensus mechanism. Developers have the ability to develop and run tokens and dApps on Radix themselves, making the blockchain an ideal platform for DeFi and Web 3.0 applications.
You pay less than $0.0001 to make a transaction. Because Radix can process a large number of transactions and pay users low fees, Radix could easily become one of the most important blockchains in the world in the future.
Chances are you’ve never heard of Bitgert Chain (BRISE). The blockchains were only launched in February 2022, and therefore still relatively unknown. Still, the team behind Bitgert Chain has ensured that the blockchain can process 100,000 transactions per second (TPS).
The blockchain uses Proof-of-Authority (PoA). This consensus mechanism is somewhat similar to Proof-of-Stake (PoS), although validators within PoA stake their reputation instead of their tokens. Developers can program not only tokens, but also smart contracts on the blockchain. This makes the blockchain suitable for Web 3.0.
Users do not pay high fees to use this fast blockchain. The average transaction costs are $0.00000001.
Probably a blockchain that sounds familiar to you, because Solana (SOL) has become increasingly popular in recent years. After Solana was launched in 2017, it became clear what speeds the blockchain can achieve. Solana’s blockchain can process 50,000 transactions per second.
The team behind Solana has developed a number of technologies that allow for this high degree of scalability. Think of Proof-of-History (PoH) and Proof-of-Stake, as well as Tower BFT and Gulfstream. More and more developers are choosing to develop their dApp, tokens, NFTs and DeFi applications on Solana.
Despite the fact that Solana is very scalable, the blockchain seems to have regular security problems. Previously, Solana was in the news negatively because many tokens were stolen during a hack. There was a flaw in the smart contract that caused the hack.
As a user, you also pay low costs for performing a transaction at Solana. The average cost is between $0.00001 and $0.00025.
When you think of fast blockchains, you may not immediately think of Fantom (FTM). Nevertheless, you can perform transactions at lightning speed on Fantom. Fantom can process 25,000 transactions per second, making it one of the fastest blockchains in the world. However, Fantom is not actually a blockchain, as it uses the Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) technology and the Gossip protocol.
Do you want to perform a transaction on the Fantom blockchain? Then you only pay $0.0000001 in transaction costs with the FTM token. The chance that you will notice these costs in your wallet is therefore very small.
The Avalanche blockchain became extremely popular in 2020. We are not surprised, because Avalanche can process up to 4,500 transactions per second. This makes Avalanche one of the fastest blockchains in the world without a doubt. Users do not have to pay high costs to use this fast blockchain, although the transaction costs are somewhat higher than most blockchains in this list. On average, transaction costs are between $0.30 and $0.60. That is of course still significantly lower than the average transaction costs you pay for Ethereum.
To achieve this high speed, Avalanche uses three different blockchains:
In recent years we have heard more and more about Algorand. And that is not surprising, because the blockchain can currently process around 1,300 transactions per second. It probably won’t stop there, as the team has set a target of 3,000 TPS. This means that Algorand is likely to get a lot faster in the future.
Of course, Algorand’s development team has used a number of techniques to ensure these high speeds. For example, the network uses the Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism. Validators pin a number of cryptocurrencies to be selected for transaction validation and block creation.
If you want to use this fast blockchain, you don’t have to worry about the costs. On average, users pay less than $0.001 per transaction. So you can perform a transaction on the Algorand blockchain cheaply and quickly.
Developers can also use this scalability, because it is possible to program smart contracts on Algorand. So, you can also use dApps on Algorand if you prefer not to pay high costs for using the blockchain.
It seems like Cardano is always evolving. Or rather: as if the development is never finished. It always takes a while before the team behind Cardano launches a new function. Yet that is not entirely for nothing, because Cardano is now one of the fastest blockchains in the world. Also, Cardano hasn’t had any major security issues yet, and it looks like things are going well in terms of decentralization as well.
Cardano can process 250 transactions per second. That is of course considerably less than the aforementioned blockchains, while it is a lot faster than, for example, Bitcoin and Ethereum. The team behind Cardano has indicated that they want to improve the speed. The goal is that Cardano will eventually be able to process at least 1,000 transactions per second.
Users pay a low transaction fee for executing a Cardano transaction: about 0.16 to 0.17 ADA. This means that in most cases executing a trade will cost no more than one dollar.
A large number of blockchains struggle with scalability. When a blockchain is not scalable, it often takes a long time before a transaction is successfully processed. In addition, users will have to pay high transaction costs to be able to perform a transaction. Scalability issues are part of the blockchain trilemma.
Still, more and more developers are succeeding in getting close to a solution, and blockchains are getting faster and faster. If you want to perform a transaction on the fastest blockchain in the world, you can contact Bitger Chain. Here is a brief overview of the blockchains we discussed above, and what the speeds of these blockchains are:
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