June 19, 2024

Understanding TPS: Which Blockchains Are the Fastest?

Understanding TPS: Which Blockchains Are the Fastest?

Transaction per second (TPS) in blockchain is a metric that measures the number of transactions a blockchain can process in a second. 

TPS indicates the number of transactions a network can process per second. A high TPS is often associated with increased throughput, efficiency, and enhanced capacity for handling transactions/operations, thus making it a key indicator of a blockchain’s performance.

In recent times, there has been a significant emphasis on TPS, especially by layer1 and layer2 blockchains. They often showcase their speed by boasting about impressive numbers of transactions per second (theoretical). However, these high numbers are rarely achieved after launch or are yet to be achieved

Breaking Down Transaction Per Second

Data aggregator “ Chainspect” highlights three types of transactions per second they are: 

  • Real-time TPS
  • Max Recorded TPS
  • Max Theoretical TPS  

Real-Time TPS: it shows how many transactions per second the blockchain is processing at any given moment. It is considered the most important of all three metrics because it reveals the actual transaction rate a blockchain currently is handling and cannot be inflated. 

For example, Ethereum explorer “Etherscan” places Ethereum's current TPS at the time of writing at 14.2 this figure is updated every 5 minutes. 

Max Recorded TPS: This indicates the highest or peak TPS a blockchain has ever reached. 

Max Theoretical TPS: this is the number most blockchains/developers show off, it shows how many transactions per second the blockchain is theoretically capable of handling.

Some Factors that Affect TPS

Block Time, Transaction Size and Block Size 

Block time simply means how quickly it takes for a blockchain to add a new block to the network, this is how fast it takes for a network to confirm transactions. Since the start of 2024, Ethereum's block time has been slightly above 12 seconds. 

These blocks contain transactions which are of different sizes a simple Solana token transfer is far smaller than an NFT mint but of these transactions have different sizes the complexity of the transaction usually increases the size. 

Since all of these transactions will fit in a block, the block size is simply the maximum size of transactions that can fit in a block that block can carry into the blockchain. 

TPS can be calculated using the following formula:

(Block size/Transaction size) / Block time = Transactions Per Second   

Consensus Mechanism  

The transactions per second also depend on the consensus mechanism of a blockchain and how fast transactions are validated and added to the network. Mechanisms like Proof of Work (PoW), used by Bitcoin, can be slower and more computer/resource-intensive, thereby limiting its throughput and scalability compared to Proof of Stake consensus mechanisms

The Fastest Blockchains 

Here, we will take a look at the fastest blockchains by TPS from among the top 25 blockchains by TVL (Total Value Locked); 

Fastest Blockchain Among the top 25 Blockchains by TVL 

Image credit: CoinGecko

 

Using the daily average TPS data aggregator CoinGecko published a report of the blockchains with the highest TPS among the top 25 blockchains by TVL as of May 15, 2024. Here are the top 20 blockchains with the highest TPS: 

  1. Solana - 1053.7
  2. Sui - 854.1
  3. BSC - 378.3
  4. Polygon - 190.4 
  5. TON - 175.5
  6. Tron - 159.6
  7. Near - 117.8
  8. Avalanche - 89.2 
  9. Cronos - 72.2 
  10. Gnosis - 65.5 
  11. Fantom - 59.2 
  12. Arbitrum - 59.0
  13. Linea - 55.7 
  14. Aptos - 49.5 
  15. Base - 37.5 
  16. Mantle - 25.5 
  17. Ethereum  - 22.7 
  18. Skarknet - 12.3
  19. Optimism - 11.8 
  20. Bitcoin - 10.73 

Solana a non-EVM blockchain takes the first spot as the fastest blockchain followed by Sui another non-EVM blockchain, going by this list the fastest EVM-compatible blockchain is BNB Smart Chain (BSC). 

See: What is an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)?

How does TPS Compare with VISA & Mastercard?

Payment processing networks VISA and Mastercard are currently capable of handling 24,000 and 5,000 transactions per second. This is a way ahead of Solana the fastest Blockchain. 

Despite being the fastest blockchain by TPS Solana has been facing network congestion recently, so it is safe to say that blockchain networks still have a long way to go before catching up with VISA or Mastercard

Closing Thoughts   

As the web3/ crypto space continues to grow TPS is important as it also needs to increase for faster and more efficient processing of transactions leading to improved scalability in the space.  

[Author’s Note: This article does not represent financial advice, everything written here is strictly for educational and informational purposes. Please do your own research before investing.

Author: Godwin Okhaifo 

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