Last year, Free TON ran a contest that gained the network over 400 validators. The contest, dubbed “The Crystal Game” (homage to the Glass Bead Game) had validators compete in validation cycles recurrently in order to win the title of “Magister Ludi” as well as token prizes. This year, those same validators (in addition to new ones) entered into a new validator contest: The Rust Cup, which sought to outperform all layer-one blockchain protocols throughput in real network conditions with TON nodes written in Rust.
After quite a heated and frustrating few months for all the race participants (validators) involved, the Free TON Rust Cup reached the finish line with overwhelming success, crowning a brand new, stable network — one that’s faster than any other network in the industry.
At over 55,000 transactions per second (and still increasing), the Free TON blockchain is officially the fastest blockchain in the world. As of Sept. 1, 2021 (one week after hitting 64,000 TPS in one datacenter testnet), the network already reached an all-time high of 55,000 TPS during the final laps of the Rust Cup.
How Free TON broke world records in throughput
The Free TON network has been outperforming all expectations since its launch in May 2020. In just one year, developers have replaced all of the original protocols including the core, which resulted in the first truly end-to-end decentralized, multi-sharded, multi-threaded blockchain. This allowed for the parallel execution of smart contracts, resulting in faster validator rotation and execution parallelism. Multithreading parallel execution enables each shard to scale to execution capacity levels only constrained by node network connections and interfaces.
The Free TON white paper explains why the original code cannot accommodate what Free TON is now capable of and is significantly different from the architecture that Nikolai Durov proposed.
“It’s a very complex engineering task. But we are doing it in record time. The funny thing about all this is that it took us six months to reach 3,000 TPS and two weeks to reach 60,000 TPS,” said Mitja Goroshevsky, chief technology officer and co-founder of TON Labs, during the Free TON AMA session.
The team commented that the numbers could reach a million transactions per second with more validators.
The Free TON network has not only increased in throughput but also in size. With over 264 million blocks in the masterchain (with an average block time of 0.2 seconds) and over 350,000 accounts, the network sees an average of 2,500 new accounts made each day. This number is set to exponentially increase with the list of pending partnerships the network will be welcoming to its ecosystem this fall.
A perfect ecosystem for entrepreneurs
With its lightning-fast network speed and negligible transaction fees, it’s no surprise that entrepreneurs and developers are flocking to the platform to build their dreams.
Due to Free TON’s competitive angle of proven superior speed, reliability and security, the platform has garnered a faithful group of supporters and allies. Notable upcoming integrations with World Chess, which is integrating Free TON as a backend to be exposed to 150 million regular chess players, and DePass, a joint venture with one of the largest software ticketing platforms with over 15 million tickets sold per year, is certainly turning heads and garnering interest among enterprises and other entities which require networks to handle both heavy and near-instant processing. The type of partners which require support by both heavy processing power and throughput is a good example of how Free TON excels.
Why speed matters
With the use and availability of cryptocurrencies, it makes sense to question the specific infrastructure of such technology, such as the throughput of TPS. TPS straightforwardly determines the rate at which your transaction is processed by the system.
For any system which handles the finance of private individuals and corporations alike, the emphasis on security cannot be overstated. In a system with a slow connection, the delay in transfers cannot only give reason to doubt the system as the user scrambles to find their money. This is especially amplified in a trustless system where no one can be held accountable other than the user.
This delay does not only degrade the trust and support for a system but also has direct consequences for the affected in the real world. The purchase of a house, the order of raw materials, investments or even just day-to-day rent payment all have something in common: deadlines. In a best-case scenario, the breach of a deadline is only a formality without severe consequences but in the case of a house purchase or an order of raw materials, the delay in payment means you are in breach of the agreement and could be used as a cause for renegotiation, termination of the contract or losing the opportunity.
Another side to the importance of TPS is the infrastructure of blockchain technology. Blockchains work through the use of nodes validating each other. The internet is unfortunately not perfect and requires regular maintenance. When a video starts buffering unexpectedly or a message fails to be sent, it usually has something to do with this maintenance. The trustless system verification would prevent the total failure of transfers caused by local maintenance and simply return the funds in case of an error. However, as is the case with Bitcoin (BTC), the transfer can take up to four days to be completed in some cases. This, combined with the possibility of the price of Bitcoin dropping 11% in one day, makes such an error disastrous.
Get to know Free TON
If you’re an entrepreneur searching for the right platform and tools to realize your vision or a blockchain enthusiast looking to get involved with an innovative and inspiring community, then Free TON is right for you. There are infinite ways to get involved but the best ones by far are to participate in contests or start your own, or join the community Telegram chat here to share your ideas.
Vice president of communications at TON Labs