Solana (CRYPTO:SOL) is one of the most popular DeFi cryptocurrencies out there. With extremely high transactions per second (TPS), it has been described as one of the cryptocurrencies that could realistically replace credit cards.
Until recently, transaction processing times have been a major drawback to crypto. Bitcoin transactions reportedly take about 10 minutes, and it can take longer than that if the network is very congested. By contrast, credit card transactions are more or less instantaneous.
Solana is one of the few cryptos that can really compete with credit cards on speed. It technically supports more transactions per second than the Visa network does — a competitive advantage that has earned it praise from banking analysts.
Given all of its advantages, Solana certainly appears promising. But is it really better than your credit card?
65,000 transactions per second
According to official documentation, Solana supports 65,000 transactions per second (TPS). That is among the highest of the major cryptocurrencies. Currently, Bitcoin only supports seven TPS, while Ethereum (CRYPTO:ETH) supports 15. So, Solana has those cryptocurrencies beaten on TPS — for now.
SOL also offers more TPS than Visa does. According to Bitcoin.com, Visa processes 1,700 transactions per second, or 146 million transactions per day. Solana’s 65,000 theoretical TPS is higher than this. However, when Visa says that it processes 1,700 transactions per second, it means real transactions. It’s not a theoretical maximum. The theoretical max for the Visa network is rumoured to be around 56,000 per second. Solana still beats that, but not by a whole lot. Additionally, blockchains can be easily slowed down by spam transactions. According to U Today, SOL’s network slowed down in December because of a cyberattack. So, Solana can be a lot slower than its TPS figure suggests.
What about Ethereum?
As we’ve seen, Solana is theoretically faster than Visa — although not always in practice. We can call this round a draw. The next question we have to ask is whether SOL is faster than Ether. Ethereum is perhaps the token that Solana is most often compared to, and not without good reason. Both SOL and ETH are “DeFi” tokens that are used to build decentralized applications. So, they are worth comparing.
Currently, SOL beats the pants off ETH in terms of TPS. Boasting 65,000 TPS to Ether’s 15, Solana takes the crown in this regard. That could change, however. Ethereum is getting a set of upgrades this year that are said to be taking it to 100,000 TPS. If that happens, then ETH will be much faster than SOL. So, before you run out and sell all your Ether to buy Solana, keep the upgrades in mind. Ether is far from fading out of relevance.
Is Solana truly faster than credit cards? It’s hard to say. SOL doesn’t process anywhere near as many transactions in the real world as major credit card companies, so it’s hard to do a true apples-to-apples comparisons. It is clear, though, that SOL can theoretically process a massive number of transactions in very little time. So, it’s an interesting token worth keeping an eye on.