- Only a “small fraction” of transactions on the Ripple, EOS, and Tezos blockchains have any value
- Airdrops and mandated maintenance among the items filling up blocks
- Throughout of all blockchains is greatly exaggerated compared todreal world use
Only a “small fraction” of transactions on the Ripple, EOS, and Tezos blockchains have any value, according to a new report. The study, We Know What They’ve Been Put Through: Revisiting High-scalability Blockchain Transactions, written by Imperial College London PhD student Daniel Perez, University College London researcher Jiahua Xu, and Brave’s chief scientist Benjamin Livshits, makes the revealing claim that the three projects are essentially propping up their own blockchains with airdrops, maintenance consensus, and empty transactions. It also alleges that throughput rates are greatly exaggerated compared to real world use.
The Blockchains That Cried Wolf
Perez et al. examined network traffic of the three blockchains over three months and found that only a tiny percentage of the transactions actually contained any value:
In particular, 95% of the transactions on EOS were triggered by the airdrop of a currently valueless token; on Tezos, 82% of through-put was used for maintaining consensus; and only 2% of transactions on the XRP ledger lead to value transfers.
Digging a little deeper into the surprising statistics, Perez et al. found that the majority of EOS and XRP transactions “exhibit characteristics resembling DoS attacks”, with all but 5% of EOS transactions “triggered by the airdrop of a yet valueless token”.
Regarding Tezos, the report says that transactions per block are “largely outnumbered by mandatory endorsements”, resulting in all but 16% of the throughput being used to keep the blockchain ticking over.
Throughputs Greatly Exaggerated
The researchers also discovered that the actual throughputs were far less than all blockchains advertised – EOS, which claims a transactions per second (TPS) rate of 3,996, is currently operating at 20 TPS; Ripple, which claims it “consistently” handles 1,500 TPS is faring little better at 20 TPS; while Tezos, which has a capacity of 40 TPS, is allegedly having a shocker at 0.08 TPS.
What this all means is that we shouldn’t simply believe the numbers bandied about by projects in relation to their throughput and usage. As the report illustrates, while projects can legitimately state that they are experiencing a high volume of transactions on their blockchain, quantity does not necessarily equal quality, with the numbers hiding the truth that their blockchain may have only one key user – themselves.