The Internet Computer’s Transaction Speed and Finality Outpace Other L1 Blockchains

The Internet Computer’s performance evaluation shows that it can execute up to 11,500 transactions per second with a 2-second finality.

The Internet Computer blockchain is designed to consistently process an immense volume of updates and transactions without compromising on speed, security, sovereignty, or decentralization. The network scales by partitioning itself via the Network Nervous System (NNS) and adding new subnets and nodes as needed. Its speed and scalability make it possible for smart contracts to deliver web content to end users, and for web-based dapps to run completely on-chain.

The DFINITY Foundation recently ran a series of tests to evaluate the Internet Computer’s performance. The experiments were run concurrently against subnets by targeting all of their associated nodes, incrementally increasing the load to assess the network’s overall throughput capacity.

The evaluation, which was run conservatively, demonstrated that the Internet Computer is capable of processing up to 11,500 transactions per second, executed with an average 1-second finality on dapp subnets and a 2-second finality on the NNS subnet — making it the most powerful 100% sovereign blockchain.

“The Internet Computer is the world’s fastest public blockchain at 250,000 queries per second and 11,500 transactions per second, which is over 11 times faster than Solana,” said Mike Schwartz, co-founder of ORIGYN Foundation, a digital certification and authentication platform on the Internet Computer that was recently valued at $300 million.

“The possibilities are endless when you combine the fastest blockchain with advanced DeFi capabilities,” Schwartz remarked.

Transaction Speed

The Internet Computer divides smart-contract function executions into two types: update calls and query calls.

Update calls are modification requests to change the state of canister smart contracts. Query calls, which make up more than 90% of the Internet Computer’s traffic, are read-only requests that are executable in as little as 1.5 milliseconds on the Internet Computer. (More information on the difference between update calls and query calls can be found here.)

Update Calls

Figure A

The Internet Computer performance evaluation demonstrated that the blockchain is capable of processing 11,000 update calls per second for a sustained period of 4 minutes, peaking at 11,500 update calls per second (Figure A), while achieving 1-second finality on dapp subnets and a 2-second finality on the NNS.

Query Calls

Figure B

The tests also established that the Internet Computer can process more than 250,000 queries per second, with an average execution time of as little as 1 millisecond (Figure B). For 90% of all query calls, less than 20ms elapse between the arrival of the request at a node and its response being sent to the user (user network latency is ignored here, as it is outside of the control of the Internet Computer and would dominate the execution time).

Because read-only queries make up the majority of the Internet Computer’s traffic, the volume of query calls that can be handled is a critical metric for the purpose of its performance evaluation. The Internet Computer is the only blockchain capable of receiving HTTP requests and responding at web speed.

Transaction Finality

The Internet Computer’s average 2-second transaction finality is worthy of emphasis. Finality refers to the average amount of time that passes between the proposal of a new valid block containing transactions until the block has been finalized and its content is guaranteed to not be reversed or modified (for some blockchains, e.g., Bitcoin, this guarantee can only be probabilistic).

To illustrate the astounding speed of the Internet Computer, see how its processing speed compares to other blockchains based on publicly available data.

No Cloud Nodes

It’s important to note that, unlike other blockchains, Internet Computer nodes do not run on any cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services, Google, Microsoft, and Alibaba — instead, over 400 nodes are running in independent data centers located around the globe, and the number of nodes is growing exponentially. Moreover, no additional cloud infrastructure is needed to serve web content directly to users. The dependence of other layer-1 blockchains on cloud nodes increases the risk that a provider could suddenly shut down associated nodes and degrade the network’s performance.

As Decrypt and others have reported, “Over 70% of Ethereum nodes are hosted on centralized services such as AWS,” and crypto investor Anthony Pompliano has warned, “Jeff Bezos could shut down most of these Ethereum-based “DeFi” apps by simply shutting off AWS.” Furthermore, the Ethereum community has been tracking the network’s reliance on centralized servers, and there’s a growing chorus of Ethereum supporters looking to further decentralize Ethereum by running nodes on the Internet Computer.

Since Genesis launch last May, the Internet Computer has quickly become the world’s most powerful 100% sovereign general-purpose blockchain, and has already exceeded the delivery of 250,000 requests per second. The goal for 2022, in the dimension of speed, is continuously scaling and optimizing the Internet Computer to be able to process 1 million requests per second.


The Internet Computer’s performance evaluation illustrates the blockchain’s ability to execute up to 11,500 transactions per second with 2-second finality, which is faster than any other layer-1 protocol. Despite this technological achievement, the DFINITY Foundation and Internet Computer community continue to improve the blockchain’s performance.

The Internet Computer’s superior performance now makes it possible for developers and entrepreneurs around the world to create Web3 dapps that can reimagine the world’s systems and services using advanced smart contracts, while opening up a realm of possibilities around the integration of DeFi into social and gaming dapps that run on-chain.

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The Internet Computer’s Transaction Speed and Finality Outpace Other L1 Blockchains was originally published in The Internet Computer Review on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Publication date: 
01/14/2022 - 04:30

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