Holochain doesn’t have a set TPS (transactions per second) like blockchain-based or blockchain-derived projects do, because it doesn’t have a central point through which all transactions must pass. Instead, Holochain is a generalized protocol for distributed computing.
It’s common to ask a blockchain project, “How much can your technology handle? What’s its TPS?” This is because nearly all of these projects are built around the limiting idea of a global ledger. However, no one asks, “How many posts per second can Facebook do?” Why? Because there is no technical problem with doing so beyond adding more servers to Facebook’s data center.
Indeed, no one asks how many emails per second the internet can handle, because there is no single bottleneck for email-sending, like there would be with a centralized approach. Why are we seeing a transaction limit with blockchain networks? Because blockchain, paradoxically, marries a decentralized P2P network of nodes with the logical notion of one absolute truth; i.e., the blockchain is one big decentralized database of transactions. It tries to maintain this way of thinking about apps that we are familiar with from centralized servers. It forces every node into the same “consensus,” implemented by having everybody share and validate everything. That does work, and there are a few use cases (perhaps a global naming system) where it might be advantageous. But applying that to everything would be inappropriate.
By contrast, Holochain’s approach allows for building applications that are more like email. A Holochain application is like a protocol, a grammar, or even a dance. If you know the dance—if you have a copy of the validation rules of the app—you can tell who else is dancing that particular dance and who is not. The difference between Holochain and something like email is that (like blockchain) Holochain is applying:
- cryptographic signatures and
- tamper-proof hash-chains
so that you can build a distributed system you can trust in. Thus, it is impossible (or, at the least, very, very hard) to game somebody. Before, this was only possible by having trusted authorities, like banks or Facebook.
Holochain, as an app framework, does not pose any limit of transactions per second, because there is no place where all transactions have to go through. It is like asking, “how many words can humanity speak per second?” Well, with every human being born, that number increases. Same for Holochain.