Blockchain analysis

TON, Solana, and Ethereum 2.0 are examples of Proof of Stake blockchains. But key design and implementation differences mean TON comes out ahead on performance, versatility, and design.

Introduction

Blockchains have evolved since the original TON white paper back in 2017. Here, we compare TON with two other leading layer-1 blockchains: Solana and the upcoming Ethereum 2.0. These two blockchains claim to be the ultimate solution for mass adoption, but it's unclear whether they'll be able to meet the high expectations of developers and communities.

TON

TON is a multi-chain project with generalized support of all transactions.

Ethereum 2.0

Ethereum 2.0 is a major upgrade for the Ethereum blockchain network that is currently in development, also known as Eth2. It's designed as the Beacon Chain with up to 64 shardchains but only has limited cross-chain communication. Ethereum 2.0 is not yet implemented as of April 2022.

Solana

Solana is a single-chain blockchain project optimized to execute specialized transactions at high speeds.

What's important to end-users is usually transfer fees and reliability, but they do also rely on technical parameters covered by this analysis.
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Comparing TON, Ethereum 2.0, and Solana

TON

Ethereum 2.0

Solana

Block time
5 sec.
12 sec.
1 sec.
Time-to-finality
Under 6 sec.
6.4 sec.
Simple transaction  performance
High
Potentially high
High
Complex transaction  performance
High
Low
Sharding support
Maх. 260 shards per workchain
Max. 26 shards
None
Cross-shard 
communication
Near-instant
Slow time-to-finality
None

Block and finalization time

Block time and time-to-finality represent transaction speeds crucial for consumer products. The faster blocks are generated, the less time users have to wait for money transfers or smart contract execution.

TON

TON generates a new block on each shardchain and the masterchain approximately every 5 seconds. New blocks on all shardchains are generated approximately simultaneously, and a new block on the masterchain is generated approximately one second later because it must contain the hashes of the latest blocks of all shardchains.

Ethereum 2.0

Ethereum 2.0 has slots and epochs. A slot is 12 seconds in which a new Beacon Chain and shardchain block can be proposed by a validator. 32 slots make up an epoch (6.4 minutes). There are specific rules dictating that block finality requires at least 2 epochs. This means a time-to-finality of at least 12.8 minutes.

Solana

Solana claims to generate one block every second or faster, but it has an extended block finalization time. A block is usually finalized after 16 voting rounds, with each round expected to last approximately 400 milliseconds. This means a time-to-finality of 6.4 seconds.

Performance

Blockchain performance indicates whether the platform is capable of processing smart contracts at scale, which is crucial for more complex blockchain products — e.g., DeFi, GameFi, and DAOs.

TON

TON is a Turing-complete and high-performance blockchain that can accommodate any transaction complexity on a masterchain and all of its workchains.

Ethereum 2.0

Ethereum 2.0 has Turing-complete EVM only on the Beacon Chain with a network limit of 15 transactions per second. A lack of cross-shard interactions means additional transactions will not be executed in a truly decentralized environment.

Solana

Solana is Turing-complete, but it performs well only with a large amount of very simple transactions of several predefined types (which change only an account balance, not a state) and only when all the data of all accounts fit into RAM (and when it doesn't, the blockchain can face some issues).

Scalability

Scalability is directly correlated with the quantity of users and their interactions (transactions, smart contract execution, infrastructure requests).

TON

TON supports workchains and dynamic sharding. The system can potentially accommodate up to 232 workchains, each of which can be subdivided into up to 260 shardchains with near-instant cross-shard and cross-chain communication, resulting in millions of transactions per second.

Ethereum 2.0

Ethereum 2.0 will support up to 64 shardchains and the Beacon Chain. At this stage, it is unclear what the exact capabilities of the new 64 shardchains will be and how the shardchains will interact with one another. However, if messaging among shardchains is ever introduced, one would have to wait for 10–15 minutes until the finalization of the shardchain block originating a message before that message can be processed on another shardchain. Furthermore, the additional shards are currently not supposed to be able to run EVM smart contracts at all. Instead, they are supposed to be used as additional data storage in a distributed ledger.

Solana

Solana has neither sharding support nor workchain support.

Conclusion

As of 2022, the TON blockchain remains one of the few truly scalable blockchain projects. As such, it is still the most advanced blockchain project, capable of performing millions and, if it becomes necessary in the future, tens of millions of true Turing-complete smart contract transactions per second. A PDF analyzing TON, Solana, and Ethereum 2.0 can be found below and should be referred to for more details on the information provided above.
Read the white paper
Last updated: April 19, 2022