What cryptocurrency is the fastest in terms of reaching 100% transaction confirmation?

I've found sites like this that show that Fastcoin is the fastest at 48 seconds.

I think David Schwartz said that Ripple gets 100% confirmation in ~10 seconds.

Is Ripple the fastest, or is there another coin that is left out of calculations because of bias like that attributed to Ripple?

In this world of high frequency trading, is 10 seconds the best that can be done right now?

  • 1
    The number of confirmations considered to be 100% is arbitrary. Bitcoin could have chosen 1, or 100, instead of 6, trading off speed and security. If we turned Bitcoin's difficulty way down, we'd have a currency that got hundreds of confirmations per second, but you'd need millions of confirmations to get reasonable security. Commented Apr 16, 2014 at 7:07
  • 2
    If average block time is all you take into account to declare fastest, "42coin" would be fastest at (you guessed it) 42 seconds. But it's moot: you can design a crypto-coin with a block generation time of 3 seconds if you wish, but the massive amount of orphaned blocks would force you to wait for a lot of confirmations, thus negating the speed advantage. Ripple uses a totally different way to achieve consensus which results in faster confirmations, NXT could potentially be as fast or faster as everybody knows who will mine next block and so transactions can be sent directly to that node.
    – Joe Pineda
    Commented Apr 27, 2014 at 11:42
  • No, no, I was comparing "42coin" to "Fastcoin" - block generation time is a bit faster for the former. Yes, Ripple's method is ingenous and achieves much faster confirmations, plus a number of other niceties they baked-in altogether. Nxt's idea of deterministically chosing next miner seems interesting as well, but opens the door to a kind of DDOS attacks.
    – Joe Pineda
    Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 12:59
  • @Gracchus, What do you mean by "not the only way to skin the Fed"?
    – Pacerier
    Commented May 23, 2014 at 15:08
  • 1
    @Gracchus, Might get left behind? I consider it already done: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/251758/…
    – Pacerier
    Commented May 23, 2014 at 15:59

1 Answer 1


I know people tend to get obsessed about the confirmation time, but the important factors are the number of nodes and the speed at which any given transaction is seen by the network as a whole.

I believe this is under three seconds for a transaction to be seen by the entire bitcoin network.

Why is this measure important? Because this is the so-called "window of opportunity" for a double-spend. In fact as soon as the transaction hits the network, the race is on, so we are actually talking about milliseconds.

Satoshi provided an answer to this somewhere (I can't find it right now) which explains what the real issue is.

A large number of nodes means that any double spend attack, has to work harder to get the transaction seen first, and hence included in a block first. But again this is totally arbitrary because nobody can predict the winner of the block (who gets to choose which transactions to include).

So this "fastest confirmation" metric is a red herring.

  • 3
    I addressed the speed question which is often misunderstood. Regarding price stability, this has nothing to do with the mechanics of the coin networks, and was not mentioned in your question.
    – T9b
    Commented Apr 16, 2014 at 13:30
  • 2
    I think the point T9b is trying to make is that the first confirmation isn't the point at which the transaction is "complete" it's the point at which it becomes dramatically more difficult to change or reverse. Once a transaction has network saturation it is quite unlikely to become a double spend or orphan. Confirmations are more akin to the finalization of a transaction, the point at which a consumer has no ability to alter or reverse the transaction. At ~60 minutes, Bitcoin is leagues faster at this than credit or debit, which often take months. Commented Apr 16, 2014 at 20:35
  • There is a good reason why there is a delay - in fact the solution that Satoshi proposed to solve the Byzantine Generals problem and the double spend issue only works BECAUSE of the delay. What you don't seem to understand is the difference between a centralised system where someone agrees to immediate confirmation, but at the same time takes on the risk, and a decentralised solution where the risk is virtually eliminated, thereby not requiring a 3rd Party.
    – T9b
    Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 14:57
  • I'm not being facetious but I genuinely don't know what you mean by "Cowardly not to ping".
    – T9b
    Commented Apr 25, 2014 at 14:48
  • @Gracchus Cryptos can never be instantenous (i.e. < 1 sec for confirmation) unless you want to go back to a centralized model. Never. Because information takes real time to travel from one node to the other. Given Internet connections in the 3rd world are attrocious, I believe it really takes way more than 3 secs. for a transaction to be seen by the whole network - it's probably more like 1-2 minutes.
    – Joe Pineda
    Commented Apr 27, 2014 at 11:36

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