State of the Blockchain: Bitcoin v.s. Altcoins for Transactions

in #bitcoin5 years ago

How much does it cost to send a transaction on different cryptocurrencies?

How much time does it take for your transaction to get confirmed?

I recently posted about the Bitcoin Fee Problem and the various solutions that were proposed by the cryptocurrency community. For BTC, the current 'leading solution' is the Lightning Network, which is unfortunately still in development.

In the meantime, let's compare Bitcoin transactions with other cryptocurrencies from Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Steem, and many more, to figure out who's really the king in terms of transaction metrics!


Testing Format

For each cryptocurrency, I'll launch a transaction of any kind onto the network. I'll log and track the amount of time it takes (in days/hours/minutes/seconds) to obtain one confirmation.

I'll also publicly post the amount of fees I used to get that confirmation.

In the end, I'll compare the confirmation times of each cryptocurrency, as well as the necessary fee to get a confirmation. Some of these metrics may be sourced from other publicly available websites.

Note that as time progresses, cryptocurrencies may get better or worse in these metrics (for example, when the Lightning Network releases, Bitcoin may achieve near-zero fees, or if a "CryptoPuppies" game shows up on Ethereum, it may have drastically worse confirmation times).

Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin has been having extreme network congestion lately, leading to higher fees and slower confirmation times.

I attempted to pay the highest fee I was willing to pay to get a confirmation:

  • Fee Paid: 0.0017 BTC (about $25 USD)
  • Confirmation Time: 19 mins, 15 sec

According to BitcoinFees, our community's trusted website for sourcing Bitcoin fee estimations, the current next-block fee required for the median transaction is 0.00210180 BTC which is currently about $30 USD.

Bitcoin currently has an opt-in protocol called Segwit (Segregated Witness) helping you to reduce fees. I performed a transaction using Segwit and seemed to get better results:

  • Fee Paid: 0.0010 BTC (about $15 USD)
  • Confirmation Time: 14 mins, 30 sec

Litecoin (LTC)

Litecoin is known for, and is literally marketed for, having very low fees and confirmation times.

Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, made it so that Litecoin has a smaller block gap than other coins such as Bitcoin, yet still implements fee-reducing features such as Segwit (Segregated Witness).

Let's check out the results:

  • Fee Paid: 0.0025 LTC (about 70¢)
  • Confirmation Time: < 6 minutes

According to BitInfoCharts, the average LTC transaction fee for the day before Christmas was 66¢. Not bad!

Ethereum (ETH)

Ethereum allows you to send many types of transactions, including smart contracts and ERC-20 tokens, but the most "useful" one for our purposes is simply an Ethereum transfer.

Though Ethereum was clogged up by the CryptoKitties game previously, it's gotten much better in terms of fees! Here are my results:

  • Fee Paid: 1 Gwei (about $0.02)
  • Confirmation Time: 3:30 mins

For about a penny, my transfer got confirmed in just a few minutes. According to Ethereum Gas Station, the standard fee for a less than five-minutes confirmation is 1 Gwei, which is exactly what I paid.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

For a cryptocurrency fork marketed around lower fees, let's hope these fees take the cake!

I launched a transaction on the BCH network and received these results:

  • Fee Paid: 0.00002 BCH (about )
  • Confirmation Time: 14 mins

According to BitInfoCharts the average transaction fee for BCH is about 22¢.

Steem (STEEM)

I decided to finish off by testing out this highly interesting cryptocurrency called "Steem." Have you heard of it? 😉

Here are my results:

  • Fee Paid: 0 STEEM ($0.00 USD)
  • Confirmation Time: 4 sec

Wow, a four second confirmation time!

I also learned something interesting from this: on Steem, you can actually send coins directly to yourself!

Here's my transaction, confirmed in 4 seconds:


The average transaction fee on STEEM is 0 STEEM. What a surprise! 😜

Comparison Results!

Let's find out what cryptocurrencies currently have the best transactional viability!

The winner of our contest is... Steem (STEEM)! None of the cryptocurrencies here could beat the zero-fee transaction or the four-second confirmation.

Unfortunately, Bitcoin (BTC) lost this contest with the highest confirmation time and highest necessary fee. Due to extreme congestion in the network (presumably due to the popularity of Bitcoin itself), BTC fees are pretty high right now.

Through this comparison, hopefully you also learned how viable Steem is as a payment cryptocurrency.

As Steem gets better and better with @steemit's help, hopefully digital merchants begin to see the usefulness of Steem for this purpose.

Eventually, we may see many payment processors and websites from Amazon to Wikipedia accept Steem for fast and low-fee payments and donations!

Perhaps next Christmas (or even this one), you'll be using Steem to transfer gifts to your friends and family around the world.

Merry Christmas Steem!

Happy Holidays,

note: This analysis/comparison was done for informative purposes only, and was not meant to guide your investments. Do your own research in any cryptocurrency before making an investment.



Excellent post, my friend.

It's always smart to compare the hype to the real life results.



yes it's long unfortunately, but they are progressing compared to the beginning

I've already made several purchases on Steemit using STEEM and SBD... in fact I bought a wire wrapped pendant from @artopium just last week

Great! Hopefully more people will start accepting STEEM for purchases :)

I recently made the same test, btc fees are off the charts! Great post. Very useful

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