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Built to Scale — Blockchains and the Scalability Concern

The issue of blockchain scalability is probably the one that raises its head most often, alongside regulation. Depending on the method of consensus, block size (if applicable) and underlying technologies being used, blockchain speeds — transactions per second or ‘tps’ — have been reported from anywhere between 2tps and theorised millions of tps. Scalability is the single biggest selling point of alternatives to Bitcoin and Ethereum and every blockchain is working on methods to improve. When examining this issue, it is important to keep in mind the following:

1.Some blockchains are currently more popular than others and therefore have been tested to the limit.
2.Theoretical transaction speed is not the same as actual transaction speed.
3.It is easy to make claims but harder to prove them in a real-world environment where unseen variables come into play.
4.Some blockchains are focussed on one use — e.g. bitcoin for payments.
5.There is almost certainly going to be a trade off in one area (security, decentralisation, computing power or other) when trying to dramatically improve scalability.



Based near Windsor, England, Matthew Warner is an enthusiast for innovative, cutting edge technologies. He is a B.Eng. graduate in engineering with honors from the University of Warwick and also holds an PGCE in education degree. Matthew is a member of Mensa.
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