Among the factors that made Bitcoin hard to adopt as a means of exchange, rather than simply a store of value, are that prior to Lightning Network, transactions were both very slow and very expensive. Newer generation cryptocurrencies have addressed these issues to varying degrees. Anything Crypto measured transaction speeds for coins when transferred to Binance, and determined that Nano (NANO/XRB), Stellar Lumens (XLM), Skycoin (SKY) and Ripple (XRP) have the fastest times by a long shot.
According to Anything Crypto’s findings, Nano had the fastest transaction speed of just 3 seconds and one block confirmation. Stellar Lumens was ranked second with a 5-second transaction time for one confirmation, followed by Skycoin and Ripple, each with a 10-second transaction time for one confirmation. The next fastest coin was Lisk (LSK) with a 30-second deposit time and 3 confirmations. The next group of coins were substantially slower, hovering around two minutes per transaction ranging from one to five confirmations per transaction. These included Gas, NEO, Iota and Verge (XVG). Following Verge were Groestlcoin (GRS), Viacoin (VIA) and Monero (XMR), all in the 5-minute range with 3-15 confirmations. The most obvious takeaway is that many of the top ten cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, according to CoinMarketCap, are not on this list. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Tether all had slower speeds. EOS and Cardano (ADA) were not included in the study.
Fast transaction speeds make a cryptocurrency’s utility for transactions more viable, while slow speeds make them virtually impractical for everyday use. Bitcoin clocked in at twenty minutes per transaction with just two confirmations. While this may be acceptable for large, occasional transfers, it is completely unreasonable for point of sale purchases. By contrast, transaction speeds of 10 seconds or less for Nano, Stellar and Ripple are well-within reason when compared to credit card transactions.
In addition to transactions, faster coins may be used in arbitrage trades. For example, a coin may be trading at several percentage points higher on a Korean exchange than a US exchange. A trade arbitrator could therefore buy low on the US exchange, transfer the coins to an account in Korea, and sell high overseas. If transaction fees are low, then the trade will be profitable, provided it occurs quickly, due to the volatility of the market. If however, the trade is delayed, then the coin may lose value by the time all of the trades have been made, and the trader may stand to lose money.
The Anything Crypto tool is made for arbitrage. The page includes filters for source and destination cryptocurrency exchanges. For example, you can set your source of funds to Kraken, and your destination to GDAX rather than Binance. The page will then filter out all coins except for Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin, since all of those appear in both places. Transaction times are then adjusted based on results for the specific exchanges included in the query.
When it comes to transactions, there are of course workarounds that enable faster transactions. A multi-currency digital wallet would be the easiest solution. Typically the wallet would first verify the value of your source coins, such as Bitcoin. It would then enable you to make a transaction with another user with the same multi-currency wallet, using the same coin, while eliminating the need for on-chain confirmations. Alternatively, such a digital wallet could exchange your slower coin for a faster one in virtual real time to complete the transaction.
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