Transfer times are one of the biggest issues when it comes to internet transactions, as they represent both how long until a transaction can be confirmed and the amount of time before the seller receives the money.
While one would assume digital transaction times would be instant, that’s actually never the case. Even for the fastest payment processors there are waiting times and, on occasion, even extra added times before the person receiving the payment actually gets the money as opposed to a transaction confirmation.
As it stands, cryptocurrencies in general aren’t quite an improvement over already existing systems, both for payments (Visa, Mastercard) or quick transactions (PayPal,) as they’re slower than those. Many blockchain transactions take minutes to process, with particularly congested networks reporting wait times of several hours.
However, not all cryptocurrencies suffer from this. There are several currencies that have been created specifically to solve the transaction time problem. They may not be the biggest ones in the market (not Bitcoin – sorry!) but they’re still great options if you’re looking for speed, particularly as an alternative to costly, slow wire transfers.
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Out of all large cryptocurrencies, Ripple boasts the fastest transaction speed – a speed that, as it turns out, is second only to that of credit card providers. The drawback is that Ripple works mainly with institutions, particularly banking. Still, its speed, low cost, and ease of use is primed to replace wire transfers as more and more banks adopt the cryptocurrency.
Not as big as Ripple, but openly available, EOS boasts an absurdly fast transaction speed – which is currently claimed to be above 50,000 TPS.
While these claims are difficult to confirm since the network’s load is nowhere near that much (even large, worldwide payment processors like VISA rarely surpass 2000 TPS,) EOS’s speed is easily the top among cryptocurrencies even if its adoption rate isn’t the biggest around.
Originally launched as Antshares, NEO is another not-so-big, yet not tiny cryptocurrency focused on tackling the blockchain scalability problem.
As many modern blockchains, NEO runs on a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism that allows it to authenticate transactions much faster and at a fraction of the price when compared to the old proof-of-work (ie, mining) mechanism.
NEO claims to be able to handle over 10,000 transactions per second, although as with EOS said claims are yet to be proven as the network has never reached such high levels of congestion. However, it is known that the backend is solid – so at least in paper these claims are thought to be true.
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Because even when we said Bitcoin wouldn’t be here (and it isn’t,) this little offshoot warrants mentioning.
Bitcoin Cash is one of many Bitcoin forks launched with the intention of addressing some of Bitcoin’s design problems, chiefly the scalability one. In Bitcoin Cash’s case, it uses a larger block size than Bitcoin, meaning that each batch of transaction authentications contains more transactions without requiring much extra work.
This move has its detractors, particularly among security proponents who believe this makes the blockchain less secure, although so far it has never seen any hacks as a result of the change.
That said, while Bitcoin Cash is much faster than Bitcoin, it’s still extremely slow since Bitcoin’s reliance on proof-of-work algorithms make quick processing of transactions almost impossible without resorting to external networks. While other fast blockchains boast thousands of transactions per second, Bitcoin Cash currently sits at a theoretical maximum of about 116 TPS – a notably smaller limit than that of other currencies.
Cryptocurrencies are used for a number of purposes and as a money transfer vehicle, they fulfill a gaping need across the globe.