News - Bitcoin, Visa, PayPal: who has the fastest network?

By Ted Maas

Bitcoin, Visa, PayPal: who has the fastest network?

Bitcoin (BTC)
Blockchain-Technology

PayPal, Visa and even Solana - they all manage significantly more transactions than Bitcoin. What implications does this have for the number one cryptocurrency?

When Satoshi Nakamoto introduced Bitcoin in his white paper in 2008, he described BTC as a "peer-to-peer electronic money system". Bitcoin was intended to be a digital payment system that would enable transactions between "peers", i.e. network participants.

However, it soon became clear that Bitcoin's technical design was not at all capable of handling global payment transactions. For example, while PayPal reaches 193 transactions per second (TPS), Bitcoin can only handle seven.

That sounds disastrous. Yet the network has been growing unabated for years. How does this fit together and in what way could BTC ever become a global currency?

How Bitcoin compares to other payment methods

VisaNet

According to Visa, the payment system processes 76,000 transactions per second (TPS).

PayPal

PayPal has a TPS volume of 193. The company, once founded by Elon Musk, is also increasingly establishing itself as a crypto player. In the summer of 2023, we received news that PayPal had integrated a fiat crypto interface into its app (for quite high fees). However, this feature is only for U.S. customers. Incidentally, Anycoin Direct recently PayPal added as a payment method.

Solana

Solana (SOL) is considered the fastest blockchain in the world. Solana can process up to 50,000 transactions per second. Moreover, Solana recently even overtook Ethereum as the world's most used blockchain in terms of users. This does not include Ethereum's Layer-2 currencies.

Bitcoin

The BTC blockchain can process up to seven transactions per second. The digital gold currently processes about 500,000 transactions per day. By comparison, Visa reported an average of 707 million transactions per day by 2022, more than 100 times as many.

At seven transactions per second, Bitcoin cannot compete with established payment methods. Read in the Bitcoin Report of the German BTC-ECHO whether Bitcoin has failed as a payment method and what payment expert Dr. Jonas Groß of the Digital Euro Association has to say about it.

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