Blockchain Transaction Times vs. Money Transfers: Blockchain Continues to Dominate

Justinas Baltrusaitis -

The Bitcoin blockchain execution time dropped in January 2020 compared to the last quarter of 2019. Data gathered by shows that by January 15, Bitcoin execution time was 8.27 minutes. This is a drop of about 20% compared to December’s 10.36.

There was a steady increase in the transaction time from July to December 2019. The highest Bitcoin transaction time was recorded in November at 11.077 an increase of about 9% from October’s 10.07 minutes.

From the data, Bitcoin recorded the same execution minutes in July, September, and October at 10.07 minutes. Across 2019, Bitcoin’s quickest transaction time was recorded in May at 8.421 minutes.

Generally, the Bitcoin confirmation times stand at 10 minutes, however, this can be affected by various factors. With Bitcoin’s popularity, we have some congestion on the network leading to delays to confirmation of transactions.

The Bitcoin community is currently divided between having larger blocks and lightning networks as ways of solving the scalability on the network.

Unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum’s execution time remained lower across 2019 into the new year with an average of 0.22 seconds. This represents a difference of about 97% when compared to Bitcoin.

During the period under review, the transaction time of the second-highest ranked cryptocurrency remained relatively low, without any major significant shift. The highest transaction time was in May at 0.223 seconds while January recorded the highest time at 0.289 seconds, a difference of 22%.

On Ethereum, the confirmation time for transactions is affected by the amount of gas paid and the network’s congestion. In some cases, the gas price can spike when we have a short-term Ethereum price volatility.

Compared to wire transfer Bitcoin and crypto transactions generally are more efficient.

Bank wires can take up to five days for cross border transactions. For domestic transactions, it lasts about 24 hours. However, wire transfers can be distracted by delays occasioned by holidays or weekends making them unreliable throughout the year.

For Bitcoin, the network is always up regardless of the day. Since the inception of Bitcoin in 2009, the network has been running 99.98% of the time.

Among the top five cryptocurrencies, Ripple’s XRP had the lowest transaction time on the blockchain with an average of about 0.038 seconds. Compared to Bitcoin, the average difference in transaction time is 99.62% while Ethereum is 82%.

The highest transaction time was recorded in December 2019 at 0.04 seconds while the slowest time was between March, April, and May at 0.036 seconds to represent a difference of 10%.

It is worth noting that Ripple seeks to use XRP to power faster, less costly and more scalable payments across borders. RippleNet users can deploy XRP to source liquidity while carrying out cross border transactions to enable instant payments.

In other terms, XRP acts as a mediator for both cryptocurrencies and fiat exchanges. The platform seeks to replace the traditional cross border money transfers that are costly and time-consuming.

XRP’s faster transaction time can also be attributed to the centralization of the Ripple network. With XRP, there is no mining and all the 100 billion coins have already been created. Ripple uses the Unique Node List (UNL) where little amounts of energy are used to create new data nodes hence the faster transactions.

Transactions per second: VISA vs. Cryptocurrencies

Compared to Visa, XRPs transaction speeds are faster. Based on the recent updates to XRP, the network now processes 50,000 transactions per second compared to VISA’s 24,000 transactions per second.

Elsewhere, Bitcoin and Bitcoin SV executes five transactions per second, which is 4800 times lower than VISA’s 24, 000.  Ethereum also records lower transactions per second at 15 in comparison to Visa. Bitcoin Cash records 116 transactions per second, 206 lower than VISA.

An overview of the Bitcoin SV transaction speeds shows a close resemblance to Bitcoin. It is worth noting that Bitcoin SV is a fork of Bitcoin which was created to restore Satoshi’s vision.

From the data, Bitcoin SVs average transaction time is 10.37 minutes. Bitcoin SV recorded the highest transaction time in August which was at 15 minutes while the lowest figure was 9.29 minutes recorded in April.

Similarly, Bitcoin Cash, another fork of Bitcoin had an average transaction time was 10.2. BCH’s highest recorded transaction time was in October at 12.30 minutes. The lowest transaction time was in January 2020 at 9.351 minutes.