I am confused with the below terms. Could someone explain them in simple terms and confirm that my rationale below is correct?

Waiting Time - Throughput - Finality - Latency - Confirmation Time

I have created the following graph.

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I guess when a node propagates a transaction until this is included in a block, this is called waiting time (the period A below). The number of transactions that are included in a block is called throughput. Finality is defined as the period (the period B below) since the tx was included in the Block X0 until the Block X6 was created (i.e., 6 confirmations). Latency (or confirmation time), is called the period from when the node propagated the transaction until the Block X6 was created (the period C below : A + B).

Could someone confirm if this is the real meaning of the terms waiting time, throughput, finality, latency, and confirmation time?

1 Answer 1


I think some of these terms (e.g. latency) might be used in multiple different Bitcoin settings and hence have different meanings but I can give you my understanding of how each term is typically used.

Waiting Time - The time it takes for a transaction that you broadcast to be included in a block (with a single confirmation).

Throughput - The number of transactions a blockchain can process per second. In Bitcoin's case I think it is approximately 7 transactions per second with blocks mined on average every 10 minutes.

Finality - When a transaction is considered final i.e. it is highly, highly unlikely for a blockchain re-org that would impact that transaction's inclusion in the blockchain. Typically we consider a transaction final when a transaction has 6 confirmations: it was included in a block and 5 other blocks have since been mined on top of that block.

Latency - The time it takes for a transaction to reach a specified destination (perhaps the entire network, a specific miner or all miners).

Confirmation Time - Used interchangeably with Waiting Time. The time it takes for a transaction to be confirmed (and included in a block) from the point you broadcast it out to the network.


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