According to Dragonfly research, Solana’s throughput outperformed the leading EVM chain by a wide margin, leading researchers to predict that competing layer-1 chains will outperform EVM chains. In a Dragonfly Research experiment that compared the performance of six blockchains by testing the capacity of automated market makers (AMMs) on each, Solana’s Orca decentralized exchange (DEX) emerged as the clear winner in terms of trades per second.
It was capable of 273.34 trades per second and generated a new block every 590 milliseconds.
According to a blog post by researcher “GM,” while there is a rich ecosystem built on Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible chains, the results show that “if you want really high performance now, you have to look outside the EVM space.” An earlier version of the post, which has since been removed, implied that users would eventually have to “abandon the EVM.”
Dragonfly Research is Dragonfly Capital’s research arm, and its portfolio page shows that it has invested in Celo, Avalanche, Cosmos, and Near, all of which are mentioned in the report. EVM chains are blockchains that work with Ethereum’s tooling. They frequently contribute to the Ethereum network‘s scalability.
On March 2, the experiment’s findings were made public. It was an attempt to compare blockchain throughput by counting the number of swaps that could be made on native automated market makers per block. AMMs are decentralized exchanges that facilitate non-custodial token swaps on-chain, such as Uniswap and PancakeSwap.
The basic question GM attempted to answer was, “How many trades per second would clear if you filled an entire block with Uniswap v2-style trades?” Because Uniswap v2 is the dominant DEX with $1.6 billion in 7-day transaction volume, it was used as the benchmark. According to the report, the benchmark was 18.38 transactions per second with 13.2 seconds per new block. GM also stated that, while it is not a perfect benchmark, it is “illustrative.”
To determine the current limit of their capacity, the leading DEX on each blockchain tested was spammed with token swaps on the most liquid pairs. Rollup scaling was not tested on layer-1 chains because rollups can be used on any chain.
While the five EVM chains in the experiment could be tested in the same way, Solana necessitated a different approach, which GM detailed in a subsequent blog post.
GM stated that none of the blockchains in the test were being used to their full potential, and that they expect “all of the major L1s to improve in their performance over time.”
Although the report’s findings demonstrated Solana’s superior performance, supporters of decentralization point to other issues on Solana.
Solana has also experienced service outages, raising concerns about the network’s security and the dependability of the ecosystem’s applications. GM urged readers to “do the math yourself” to confirm or refute his findings. He also mentioned that because blockchain optimizations happen so quickly, the results of introducing a new optimization on any chain may vary.
He also concluded that the performance difference between Ethereum and Solana was limited to a maximum of 25x, demonstrating that “nobody is getting that great performance” from on-chain linear token transactions in general.
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