One of the most common criticisms leveled against Bitcoin is that it is slow, at least compared to newer imitations. But its level of decentralization means just 6 transaction confirmations provide complete protection against double spending.
Not All Blockchain Confirmations Are the Same
So how many confirmations are required by the altcoins to provide the same amount of work to secure the network? And how long do those confirmations take? Luckily, developer Luke Childs made a thing, then Charlie Shrem kindly tweeted that thing.
When I post about #bitcoin I get shilled that it’s slow compared to ripple or bcash or whatever crap. Yes, I can use a Google Spreadsheet and it’ll be faster than bitcoin too, but safer? Compare how many blocks to equal bitcoins security- https://t.co/V7ALsBPr4Q (h/t @notgrubles)
— Charlie Shrem (@CharlieShrem) May 10, 2019
1. Bitcoin (BTC)
The benchmark; with over $130 billion market cap and just 6 confirmations required to secure the network. Estimated time – 1 hour and 2 minutes.
2. Ethereum (ETH)
Let’s look at Ethereum, the long-standing second largest cryptocurrency by market cap at over $20 billion. To do the same amount of work securing the network as 6 bitcoin confirmations require almost 1400 confirmations. Estimated time – 5 hours and 11 minutes (or 5x slower than Bitcoin).
3. Litecoin (LTC)
An early facsimile of Bitcoin, with a different hashing algorithm, Litecoin is the 5th largest cryptocurrency, with a market cap over $5.75 billion. It would take 250 confirmations to do the equivalent work of 6 BTC confirmations. Estimated time – 11 hours and 19 minutes (or 11x slower than Bitcoin).
4. Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
The Bitcoin Cash hard fork is easy to compare as it uses the same hashing algorithm. It is the 4th biggest crypto by market cap, at over $6.6 billion. But it would take 122 confirmations to provide the same amount of network securing at Bitcoin’s 6. Estimated time – 19 hours and 19 minutes (or 18x slower than Bitcoin).
Bitcoin SV, Dash, and Monero come in between two and four days (53x, 78x, and 90x slower respectively). Relative minnows, Zcash and Ravencoin, bat well above their weight, at 1 day 8 hours (31x slower) and 1 day 17 hours (40x slower). And Ethereum Classic comes in just ahead of Monero at 88x slower than Bitcoin.
Everything else is over 200x slower than Bitcoin’s 6 confirmations to provide the same network-securing work.
This comparison is of the number of confirmations required to do the same amount of work as 6 Bitcoin confirmations. It does not take into account any potential differences in network design which may facilitate greater security through less work.
It also, by design, it does not include non-Proof-of-Work tokens, much to the chagrin of the Ripple army. I’ll sign off with a comment left on Shrem’s tweet… and then just slowly back away.
Dude… Bitcoin can be 51% attacked, transactions can be double spent and history rolled back.
$XRP L transactions are *final* and *nothing* can be rolled back.
It’s 2019. Stop emberassing yourself.
In any case, it does seem like Bitcoin’s slow and steady approach is winning the heart’s of investors around the globe.