Conflux Q&A

1. What is Conflux?

Conflux is a next-generation blockchain system with a novel consensus protocol, powering highly-scalable cryptocurrency and smart contract.

Blockchain systems face serious challenges in scalability, security, and extensibility before they could be widely adopted for real-world applications. Bitcoin/Ethereum can only process 7 - 15 transactions per second, far below the throughput requirement of many applications. Smart contracts deployed in Ethereum often contain irrecoverable bugs leading to millions-of-dollar losses. Conflux is going to improve the blockchain system with its novel consensus algorithm, and to build scalable, secure, and extensible blockchain platform for future decentralized blockchain applications (DApps).

2. What is the technical advantage of Conflux?

Conflux unleashes the potential of blockchain consensus protocol to break the current scalability limitation exhibited in existing alternative systems, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, and provides the strong security guarantee at the same time. The key enabler technique is a novel DAG-based ledger structure together with an optimistic concurrency control to achieve a consistent order of transactions among all the nodes in the network. In Conflux, the throughput bottleneck is no longer at consensus layer. In addition, unlike the other scalability solutions such as DPOS and hybrid consensus, Conflux consensus algorithm is fully decentralized and permissionless without any hierarchy. Please see more details in our paper: https://arxiv.org/abs/1805.03870.

3. What does TPS mean? Why do we need high TPS? What is the TPS of Visa?

TPS refers to transactions per second. It is a measurement on the throughput of information processing system which continuously manipulates and processes business transaction data. This metric is important to such systems whose targeting scenarios are performance-critical.

We need high TPS because the key applications, like payment, livestream, and instant messages, etc., require the system to process large number of transactions per second, since there are lots of data to process. If we want to build these applications on blockchain, we have to make sure the main net has the scalability to achieve the targeting TPS. For example, we cannot pay Bitcoin for a coffee because the TPS of Bitcoin is too small, which makes the transaction extremely slow and expensive. We have to wait for an hour to confirm the transaction. Payment transaction is already a simple process that does not require very high TPS, therefore, it is impossible for Bitcoin or even Ethereum to have any other more complicated applications built on it.

The centralized service like Visa processes TPS at about 3000. Conflux has already reached 3000 TPS on 20Mbps bandwidth limit and 6000 TPS on 40Mbps bandwidth limit, which means that Conflux can already handle transactions at Visa level. However, in a decentralized blockchain system, transactions need to be confirmed by the whole network, which will take longer time to complete the comfirmations. In Conflux, we can confirm transactions in about 10 minutes even at over 3000 TPS on average, which is already a huge improvement compared to Bitcoin and Ethereum.