Bitcoin was envisaged as a payments system and so it was natural, long before the store of value notion emerged, that comparisons would be made with existing global payment systems. Bitcoin’s early adopters knew that if the technology took off, some time in the future it would need to handle magnitudes more transactions per second than the 7 it could muster. Someone mentioned Visa with their magical 24k per second, and it’s stuck ever since.
Only that figure isn’t entirely accurate. In fact it’s not even remotely accurate. In reality, Visa processes around 1,700 transactions per second, a figure it rarely exceeds. The larger number is the one that Visa claims, and it’s the one that’s usually referenced in comparison to bitcoin and every other blockchain. In theory Visa should be able to handle that volume – in fact it’s been reported that its servers can handle as much as 56k tps – but that’s all theoretical, much like the claimed throughput of new blockchains that can operate at the speed of light in the lab, but significantly worse in the wild. There’s a big difference between operating a testnet on a bunch of Amazon servers and a mainnet distributed around the globe.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: news.bitcoin.com