Understanding block times, mempool size, median fees, and pending transactions is key to understanding not only how blockchains work but for comparing and contrasting different chains. Unfortunately, this can be rather technical and sometimes a graphical depiction is better than even the most eloquently worded essay. In this post, I'll introduce https://txstreet.com which uses cartoon-like bus stop graphics to depict the differences between the Ethereum, Bitcoin, and Bitcoin Cash blockchains in a simple, fun, and intuitive way.
The "Blockchain Bus Station"
This is going to be one of my shortest articles because the program speaks for itself. The website pulls data from CoinGeko and Dapp.Review and depicts this data as "people" waiting to board a bus. Each bus represents a block waiting to leave the station and be added to the blockchain. Each person represents a transaction. If a real world transaction has been paid for using a higher transaction fee, then the person that depicts that transaction will walk faster towards the bus than slower transactions. Some of the people in the visualizer are larger than others which represents larger size transactions.
Different block sizes between ETH. BCH, and BTC mean that more people can get on each BCH bus, but some people wanting to get on the ETH or BTC busses are kicked off and forced to move to a different bus. ETH busses leave the station quicker than BCH/BTC busses due to the faster block times, but ETH still has more people waiting to get on each bus (pending transactions) because the BCH bus has a larger block size.
It is also possible to see the sources of the transactions as each person that wants to board the bus comes out of the station from which the real life transaction originated. In this screen shot you can see three individuals leaving from the blue Uniswap station.
For those of you who want more detailed metrics, it is also possible to pull up detailed stats for each blockchain that go beyond the basic stats highlighted in the flashing "Terminal Boards".
For a beginner, or even an experienced crypto user, the graphical depiction using the bus analogy helps show why things such as block time, block size, etc are important. Although I research cryptocurrency every day, I didn't realize how significant the larger block size of BCH vs BTC was until I watched it graphically depicted. Whether you are an expert or a newbie, I think its definitely worth checking out https://txstreet.com/ even if its just to enjoy watching the blockchain work in real time.
As always thanks for reading.
Reference and Image Credits