A Dragonfly Research experiment that compared the performance of six blockchains by testing the capability of automated market makers (AMMs) on each found that Solana’s decentralized exchange Orca (DEX) was the big winner in transactions per second .
It was handling 273.34 transactions per second and creating a new block every 590 milliseconds.
BNB Smart Chain was not too far behind with 194.6 transactions per second on PancakeSwap, followed by Polygon, Avalanche, Celo (CELO) and, finally, Ethereum.
A blog post by researcher “GM” argued that while there was a rich ecosystem built on Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)-enabled chains, the results showed that “if you want really high performance, now you have to look outside the EVM space.” A now-deleted line in an earlier version of the post suggested that users will eventually have to “give up the EVM”.
Dragonfly Research is the research arm of Dragonfly Capital and its portfolio page shows that it has invested in Celo, Avalanche, Cosmos and Near, which is mentioned in the report. He did not invest in Solana.
GM has concluded that over time, other Layer 1 blockchains will overtake EVM-enabled chains. He wrote:
“Overall, I retain this impression: Ethereum is the MS-DOS of smart contract operating systems. But the current era of blockchains is taking us into the era of Windows 95.”
EVM chains are blockchains compatible with Ethereum tools. They often contribute to the scalability of the Ethereum network.
The results of the experiment were published on March 2. This was an attempt to benchmark blockchain throughput by measuring the number of trades that can be made per block on native automated market makers. MAs refer to decentralized exchanges such as Uniswap and PancakeSwap that facilitate on-chain non-custodial token exchanges.
The basic question GM attempted to answer was, “If you filled an entire block with Uniswap v2 style transactions, how many transactions per second would be erased?”
Uniswap v2 was used as a benchmark, as it is the dominant DEX with $1.6 billion in 7-day trading volume. The benchmark was 18.38 transactions per second with 13.2 seconds per new block, according to the report. GM further noted that while not a perfect benchmark, it is “illustrative for getting a holistic view of performance.”
The main DEX on each blockchain tested was spammed with token swaps on the most liquid pairs to determine their current capacity limit. They haven’t tested rollup scaling on Layer 1 chains, because rollups can be used on all chains.
While all five EVM strings in the experiment could be tested in the same way, Solana needed a different methodology than GM wrote about in a later blog post.
GM wrote that none of the blockchains in the test were utilized to their full capacity and that they expect “all major L1s to improve performance over time.”
Although the report results demonstrated Solana’s faster performance, proponents of decentralization point to other problems on Solana. The Spookyswap DEX team on Fantom Opera – which is EVM-enabled – criticized the results, telling Cointelegraph that Solana “is a completely centralized network, unlike Ethereum.”
Solana has also been plagued by service outages, which has raised concerns about network security and the reliability of applications in the ecosystem. The Spookyswap team added:
“Solana can be turned off and has a habit of going down for days. You don’t see that with proper EVM Layer 1 chains.
GM urged readers to “do the math yourself” to confirm or refute the conclusions it reached. He also noted that optimizations on blockchains happen very quickly, so with the introduction of a new optimization on any chain, results may vary.
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He also concluded that there was only a maximum 25x performance difference between Ethereum and Solana, demonstrating that in general, “nobody gets that great performance” from on-chain linear token transactions.