Traditional banks have always lagged behind Bitcoin in terms of transaction settlement times, however, a recent report shows that the Bitcoin blockchain has gotten even faster in recent months, highlighting the disparity even further.
According to the latest report from LearnBonds, the Bitcoin blockchain got 20 percent faster in the first month of 2020 compared to December 2019, dropping from 10.36 minutes to 8.27 minutes.
The drop in execution time comes after almost six months of continual rise, with the highest Bitcoin transaction time recorded in November 2019 at 11.077 minutes.
Bitcoin isn’t the fastest cryptocurrency on the market, but compared to settlement times of traditional banks, it is light years ahead.
Even Bitcoin’s longest block settlement time in 2019 highlights just how redundant bank transfers are becoming. With cross border transactions taking up to five days at most global banks, not counting weekends or bank holidays, an 11-minute block time seems almost incredible.
When it comes to other high market-cap cryptocurrencies, the difference becomes even greater.
Ripple’s XRP has the absolute lowest transaction time out of all the cryptocurrencies, hovering between 0.04 and 0.36 seconds in 2019. According to LearnBonds, that means it’s 99.62 percent faster than Bitcoin.
Bitcoin isn’t just faster, it’s more reliable
Not only is Bitcoin faster, but it’s also more stable and reliable than most global banks
Following the big crypto crash of 2017, Bitcoin has been described as everything but stable.
However, data has shown that not only has the Bitcoin network been one of the least volatile ones in the crypto industry, but it also outperformed almost every major bank in the world.
Data from the website Bitcoinuptime.com has shown that the Bitcoin network has been functional for 99.98 percent of the time since its inception on Jan. 3, 2009.
The fraction of a percentage of Bitcoin’s downtime was caused by double-spending events that caused the chain to fork.
The first time the Bitcoin network was down was in 2010 when it was “closed” for just under 8 and a half hours. It went down again in 2013 for 6 hours and 20 minutes.
Considering the fact that the Bitcoin network and the entire crypto industry was much smaller at the time, the events caused no significant consequences.
That, however, can’t be said for banks.
Last year, several major global banks experienced significant downtime, causing huge financial and reputational damage.
In August 2019, BBC reported that the major banks in the U.K. typically suffer more than 10 outages a month. Barclays had 33 outage incidents in 12 months, while NatWest and Lloyds Bank had 25 and 23 outages, respectively.
RBS and Santander went down 22 and 21 times during that time, respectively.
Around the same time, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority found that there was a 138 percent increase in technology outages in 2018.
Bank of America, the eighth largest bank in the world, experienced a similar problem in October last year when almost 10,000 of its customers were unable to log into their accounts or access ATMs.
The latest reports of bank downtime came from Nigeria, where customers of the Guaranty Trust Bank (GT Bank) reported being unable to move their funds through the bank’s mobile app. The outage reportedly caused businesses to suffer.