Ripple (XRP) and Stellar Lumen (XLM) are two of the quickest cryptocurrencies with blocktime of only 4 and 5 seconds. But if you are impressed by the small blocktime, hold on it is only part of the information and probably the less important part. If the blocktime is the only thing we care about, Steem (STEEM) would be the quickest cryptocurrency of all with blocktime of only 3 seconds. And soon to be released EOS is targeting only 0.5 seconds between creating new blocks. All those cryptocurrencies have much smaller blocktime than some of the biggest cryptocurrencies according to market capitalization. Bitcoin creates new block each 10 minute and Litecoin in 2.5 minutes. Ethereum creates new block each 15 second which makes it one of the smallest blocktime for proof of work (POW) algorithm.
What makes a cryptocurrency quick?
The most important thing for speed is minimum confirmations required. It depends on each user/company how many confirmations will require as a minimum so it may differ significantly depending on how much protentional risk are you willing to take. The risk is in the situation when two blocks are created at the same time and the network splits into two using different blocks with different transactions and if you use the one chain that ends up being shorter and your transaction is in orphan block on the shorter chain but is missing on the longer chain which means you will lose your money. It is quite rare situation for Bitcoin because new block is created only about every 10 minutes but is more likely for Litecoin and even more likely for Ethereum. If the situation of chain split occurs, it is less likely that once again both part of the network will create new block and the same time and the likelihood of that happening again exponentially decreases. Bitcoin have a record of 6 times continuously creating block at the same time so if you are selling very expensive things like houses, you might require 7 confirmations even though it is very rare situation and you still have quite good likelihood that your transaction is even on the other chain. The most likely chain split happens only with one block and it happens for Bitcoin usually once each month so if you are selling candy, you can easily risk it. Bittrex and Binance exchange both require 2 confirmations for Bitcoin, 6 and 4 confirmations for Litecoin and 36 and 30 for Ethereum. Since Bittrex uses more defensive times, we will use Bittrex as a standard for cryptocurrency speed comparation.
So which crypto is the fastest?
The fastest cryptocurrency is Stellar Lumen which can be transferred in 10 seconds (5 seconds blocktime, 2 min. confirmations), Ripple is the second fastest with 40 seconds (4 seconds blocktime, 10 min. confirmations) and Steem is the third fastest crypto which can finish transaction in 1 minute (3 seconds blocktime, 20 min. confirmations). All those three cryptocurrencies require only 1 confirmation on Binance which would make Steem the quickest one.
|CRYPTO||CONSENSUS||BLOCKTIME (MINUTES)||MIN. CONFIRMAITONS (BITTREX)||REAL SPEED (MINUTES)|
Understanding speed and algorithm
- Proof of work is the slowest algorithm for finding consensus to create new blocks but it is very safe a tested well enough to be sure about correctness even in unlikely situations.
- Proof of stake is significantly quicker but it has its own issues going beyond scope of this article but worth mentioning is that no big cryptocurrency according to market cap uses it so it is not tested no way near the level of proof of work.
- Delegated proof of stake is even quicker and has similar issues by plain proof of stake.
- Stellar Lumen and Ripple uses different consensus mechanism that is based on idea of voting and finding supermajority which has its own issues.
Is there some quicker cryptocurrency that sold only few coins? Maybe. If you know about quick cryptocurrency that wasn't mentioned, let me know in the comment section.