Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2019/416

How many transactions per second can bitcoin really handle ? Theoretically.

Evangelos Georgiadis

Abstract: Transactions are arguably the most important part in the bitcoin mechanism, with everything else facilitating the proper creation, propagation and validation; culminating with their addition to the public ledger the blockchain. One crucial measure inevitably intertwined with transactions is, throughput, the number of transactions confirmed (or added to the blockchain) per second, or simply, tps. Understanding throughput capacity from different angles remains of paramount importance for gaining insights into the underlying infrastructure. We compute the exact upper bound for the maximal transaction throughput of the bitcoin protocol and obtain 27 tps. The previous best known bound for the average transaction throughput is 7 tps. All results are based on legacy infrastructure, i.e., pre-SegWit era.

Category / Keywords: applications / maximal throughput, bitcoin protocol, blockchain, upper bound

Date: received 22 Apr 2019, last revised 28 Apr 2019

Contact author: egeorg at mathcognify com

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Note: No CAPS in title. Added reference + 2 remarks for convenience in sec 3.1.

Version: 20190429:033746 (All versions of this report)

Short URL: ia.cr/2019/416


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