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April, the giraffe whose pregnancy became an internet sensation , is pregnant again. Jordan Patch of Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, NY, announced the pregnancy Wednesday on NBC’s Today show. Patch says the calf is due during the early part of spring, around March, reports the AP . April’s pregnancy drew more…
After four decades of hunting for the Golden State Killer, a pivotal piece of evidence that may have sealed the case was DNA evidence secretly lifted from the suspect’s car door at a Hobby Lobby parking lot in Roseville, Calif., reports the Los Angeles Times . Newly released court documents paint…
When it comes to measuring the speed of new blockchains, the comparison is always with Visa. Despite not being a blockchain, the 24,000 transactions per second Visa reportedly handles have attained mythical status. That figure is unquestioningly trotted out whenever scaling is discussed. In reality, claims of Visa’s throughput, as well as those of emerging blockchains, have been greatly exaggerated.
Visa, Scaling, and the 24k Hoax
Bitcoin was envisaged as a payments system and so it was natural, long before the store of value notion emerged, that comparisons would be made with existing global payment systems. Bitcoin’s early adopters knew that if the technology took off, some time in the future it would need to handle magnitudes more transactions per second than the 7 it could muster. Someone mentioned Visa with their magical 24k per second, and it’s stuck ever since.
Only that figure isn’t entirely accurate. In fact it’s not even remotely accurate. In reality, Visa processes around 1,700 transactions per second, a figure it rarely exceeds. The larger number is the one that Visa claims, and it’s the one that’s usually referenced in comparison to bitcoin and every other blockchain. In theory Visa should be able to handle that volume – in fact it’s been reported that its servers can handle as much as 56k tps – but that’s all theoretical, much like the claimed throughput of new blockchains that can operate at the speed of light in the lab, but significantly worse in the wild. There’s a big difference between operating a testnet on a bunch of Amazon servers and a mainnet distributed around the globe.
You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It
Speed and throughput come at the expense of decentralization, and the more you increase the former, the more of the latter you lose. Blockchains such as EOS and NEO are certainly faster than bitcoin, but they’re also highly centralized because they rely on a much lower number of validator nodes, among other things. There is nothing inherently wrong with having a fast but semi-centralized blockchain, but it is never going to become a global payment system with censorship-resistant properties that can rival bitcoin.
Even at 1,700 transactions per second, Visa is still significantly faster than bitcoin and most other blockchains, but this figure is at least a far more realistic one to reference and a more achievable one to aim for. Blockchain scaling can be implemented in a range of ways, from increasing the block size to layer two solutions (Lightning Network) to using techniques such as sharding, all of which carry various trade-offs. There is no reason why Bitcoin Core, Bitcoin Cash, and other blockchains cannot reach much higher speeds and levels of throughput without compromising on their decentralization, but this will take time and tech.
For now, any time a new blockchain starts making promises about “beating Visa’s 24,000 tps”, be sceptical and examine the fineprint. IOTA’s meant to be fast and scalable, but like a kid who’s terrified of removing the stabilizers from their bike, it still doesn’t function without its coordinator. Hashgraph is also meant to be fast, but it comes with threats to sue anyone who tries to fork it and any blockchain that can be sued isn’t a decentralized network. Come to think of it, it’s more like Visa.
Do you think the performance of new blockchains is typically overstated? Let us know in the comments section below.
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The post No, Visa Doesn’t Handle 24,000 TPS and Neither Does Your Pet Blockchain appeared first on Bitcoin News.
After delaying an overhaul of its system for handling asylum seekers, the European Union has set a deadline for a compromise—but in the meantime positions have hardened.
WSJ.com: What’s News Europe
What Trump effect? Airlines are adding routes to handle growing cross-border travel demand from Mexicans and AmericansAugust 14, 2017 | dailybusinessnews
The cushy business-class seats that Rosario Marín books on her regular flights between Los Angeles and Mexico are a far cry from those on the two-day bus journeys she took as a teenager to visit relatives in Mexico City.
A consultant for companies that want to do cross-border commerce, Marín says…
Who you gonna call? The Royal Thai Police Force, apparently. Khaosod English reports a rural village in Thailand requested police assistance with a female ghost—known as a phi pob—that’s been killing cattle, sickening authorities, and otherwise haunting the village in recent months. “The residents are frightened,” a local…
Disney World may end a 24-year tradition by silencing animatronic President Trump when he’s added to the Hall of Presidents. The imminent addition of Trump to the 46-year-old attraction hasn’t been without controversy—multiple petitions garnering thousands of signatures want the current president excluded altogether—but neither Disney nor the…
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