A metric that matters…

Transaction Bytes per Second (TBPS). This metric measures the total transaction data throughput on chain and it’s been increasing consistently. We think this is a much much more meaningful metric than Transactions Per Second (TPS). Why? provides a neat visualisation of each blocks contents and enables you to see just how much can be packed into the current block limits! This typical block contains 179 eUTxOs, contained within 36 transactions. In addition the block contains 115 Native Tokens, which would require additional smart contracts on account based chains like Ethereum. You will note that this block used 82.9kB of the maximum block size permitted at this time (88kB), allocation varies based on the pending transactions in mempool.

On an extended Unspent Transaction Output (eUTxO) chain like Cardano a simple metric of TPS does not reflect the reality of work actually done by the chain. A single transaction may have hundreds of outputs which would have taken hundreds of transactions on an account based chain like Ethereum, given there is no ability to bundle the transactions.

While Cardano has averaged around 1TPS since Smart Contracts were implemented at the start of Alonzo, the data usage and number of UTxO’s within blocks has significantly climbed. The main reason is that dApps have optimised their code and have become better at packing more into each block. The TBPS data below shows clearly how they are now pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved with the current blockchain limits (pre-Vasil).

Note the significant and sustained increase in TBPS since tracking started. Vasil promises to further dramatically increase the throughput that can be sustained.

We recommend taking a look at the Cardano Blockchain Insights site for more data on this and a host of other metrics.

Want to go a bit deeper on the topic of TPS and why it may not be such a great metric? Check out this video from Duncan Coutts and Neil Davies from a couple of years ago.

As ever they nailed it.