TL;DR- transactions per second (TPS) for top cryptos go anywhere from 7 TPS with Bitcoin to 5,000 TPS with Avalanche (AVAX). In order for a cryptocurrency network to replace Visa as a global payments solution, it’ll need to process 65,000+ transactions per second. Promised/future TPS from many crypto projects is much higher (1M+ TPS). But I’ll believe it when I see it.
What are transactions per second (TPS)?
Blockchain is all about transactions. Akshay sent his Bitcoin to Boris, Chyou sent her Cardano to Diego, and Evelyn sent her Ethereum to Faakhir. What’s special about blockchain is that each of these transactions is recorded on a decentralized ledger that’s immutable- that is, it’ll be written down and will never change. It’s there forever!
Traditional finance systems can field some really quick TPS rates. It turns out that centralization IS effective for scaling systems. In a related piece, I talk about the most scalable blockchains.
What is traditional finance?
When I refer to ‘traditional finance’, I mean the 500-year-old institution of countries having central banks and controlling the main currency, physical banks lending and saving money, and lots of paperwork confirming the identities of the people involved.
Traditional finance has huge drawbacks. For one, it hasn’t kept pace with the digital transformation that’s happened over the last thirty years. Applying for savings accounts at banks still involves heavy ID verification and paperwork.
Cryptocurrency erases a lot of these woes. But how fast are current global payments systems today?
Current TPS of global payment systems
Credit cards (the US/Canada/LATAM/EU/ANZ) and mobile payments (China, India) are by far the vehicles we use every day to transact goods and services.
Let’s take a look at some regions around the globe and how fast their payment systems are.
The US | Visa processes around 65,000 transactions per second
UK | Debit cards (Visa, ABC) are used for over 45% of all transactions. I.e. Mastercard, 5,000 transactions per second
China | Mobile payments are used for over 40% of transactions. WeChat Pay can field over 14,00transactions/second
India | Mobile payments are growing fast, but still only at 23% of all transactions. Credit/debit cards account for 32% of all transactions.
Existing versus Future TPS
Lots of crypto projects promise the world. Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin claims ETH will eventually be able to handle 100,000 transactions per second. Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson claims ADA will be able to handle 1 million. That’s great if true- it would mean cryptocurrency would have the technology needed to replace someone like Visa as a global payments solution.
But I say we look at what’s already been delivered- talk is cheap!
Without further ado, here’s the most up to date crypto tps list.
The cryptocurrency TPS list (top 10 by market cap)
cryptocurrency | current TPS | future TPS (date)
Bitcoin | 7 TPS | 7 TPS
Ethereum | 20 TPS | 100,000 TPS (2025)
Binance Coin BNB | 50 TPS | 10,000 TPS (2023)
Ripple XRP | 1,500 TPS | 65,000 TPS ‘Off-chain’ (2022)
Cardano ADA | 250 TPS | 1,000,000 TPS (2024)
Solana | 2,700 TPS | 50,000 TPS (2022)
Dogecoin | 40 TPS | Unknown
Polkadot | 1,000 TPS | Unknown
Shiba Inu | 20 TPS | 100,000 TPS (2025) (ERC token)
Avalanche | 5,000 TPS | 5,000 TPS with multiple subnets
What good is a crypto network if it delivers high transaction speeds and security but can’t do it at a low cost? Transaction fees will play an important role in the adoption of any cryptocurrency. Ethereum (pre-merge) charged users a high transaction fee, often into $50+ in times of high network congestion.
Transaction fees on Proof-of-Stake networks (90%+ of cryptocurrencies today) are by and large lower than fees charged by traditional finance today (credit cards, mobile payments who have fees of around 3%). Below are some example transaction fees of top cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain Network | Average transaction cost (USD)
Bitcoin | $0.50
Ethereum | $10
Cardano | 0.18 ADA ~$0.09
Doge | $0.24
Stellar (XLM) | <$0.01 (personal favorite of mine to move crypto around (link))
For blockchain technology to live up to its promises, it needs the big 3- security, decentralization, and speed (scalability). If speed comes at the expense of transaction accuracy security is lowered.
Smart contracts will only add to the transaction speed. In addition to coins being moved around, the network has to run mini computer programs (or large computer programs) to test the success criteria of certain conditions.
Without a smart contract, it’s simple: Al sends digital assets (like Ethereum) to Bob, and the
Unknowns & shitcoins
“But cryptocurrency XYZ has a transaction speed of 2.3 x 10^18!!!” Some of you argue. That may be true, but I’m only looking at crypto projects that have actual adoption and a large market cap to carry these projects through tough times (I.e. crypto winter).
It’s likely that in the next bull market cycle we’ll see some new players come into the picture- and it’s also possible that some of the cryptocurrencies on top today be kicked out into nothingness. In previous bull market runs, we had coins like Bitcoin Cash or Litecoin sitting near the top and now they’re not doing so hot anymore.
Distributed ledger technology (that is, blockchain technology/cryptocurrency) has some massive hurdles to overcome before it can replace traditional finance vehicles like credit cards and mobile payments. Like any new technology, it’s experiencing growing pains. It may never reach the ‘mass adoption’ that its fanatics continuously forecast.