For years, Bitcoin’s blockchain has been criticized for failing to accommodate a competitive transaction load, requiring a significant amount of computing power to process even one of its blocks.
Australian researchers at the University of Sydney have developed a blockchain that aims to beat the current technology behind most cryptocurrencies in terms of pure transaction processing capacity.
The blockchain, named Red Belly Blockchain after the red-bellied black snake native to Australia, has so far yielded a processing rate of 660,000 transactions per second with only 300 nodes during its latest tests.
According to the researchers involved, this rate actually surpasses what they anticipated by about 50%.
To put things into perspective, the Bitcoin blockchain can only process up to 7 transactions per second. VISA’s payment system can work with a maximum of 56,000 during the same period.
Dr. Vincent Gramoli, the head of the research group, spoke about the previous tests and the improvements that they have made until now:
“The latest tests showed the Red Belly Blockchain can process more than 660,000 transactions per second on 300 machines in a single data centre. This is a notable improvement from tests earlier in the year which showed our blockchain achieved a performance of more than 440,000 transactions per second on 100 machines.”
Other blockchains have hit a roadblock when they reached a certain amount of nodes, consuming a significant amount of electricity when processing high volumes of transactions.
The Red Belly Blockchain is no exception to this. Benchmark results show that the transaction processing speed begins to plateau around the point where they reach 260 nodes. The key difference here is the sheer amount of units they were able to churn through.
A few big finance companies have taken note of this and are thinking of introducing their own blockchain-based solutions to remain competitive. MasterCard hopped into the ring quickly, offering its blockchain API to particular businesses and banks.
The news of a blockchain that beats any existing payment system’s speed and volume is likely to add to the frenzy currently surrounding this technology angd its many applications in the private and public sector.