Network Latency – Crypto Glossary:
Definition: Network latency refers to the time it takes for data packets to travel from one point to another within a computer network. It can be expressed either in absolute time, usually measured in milliseconds (ms), or as a relative time based on when the data request was initiated. Network latency encompasses the physical distance data travels as well as the time required for processing.
Acceptable Levels: The acceptability of network latency varies depending on the specific online activity. For instance, activities like email and web browsing tolerate lower levels of latency, while applications such as online gaming and video chatting require lower latency thresholds for an optimal experience.
Human Tolerance: Experts suggest that the human brain can handle approximately 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) of latency, which is roughly one-tenth of a second. However, professional gamers often seek even lower latency levels, considering anything over 100 milliseconds to be too high for an ideal gaming experience.
Impact on Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies: Network latency plays a significant role in the context of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. It directly affects the time required for a transaction to be confirmed on a blockchain. Miners, who contribute to the consensus mechanism in blockchains, rely on low latency to increase their chances of earning rewards. Any delay in adding a new block to the blockchain results in potential revenue loss.
Correlation with Throughput: Latency is a measurement of time, indicating the duration for a transaction to be processed. In contrast, throughput measures the amount of work and is typically quantified as the number of transactions processed per second. Balancing latency and throughput is essential, and optimizing network performance involves reducing latency by minimizing the number of HTTP requests, reducing server response times, and employing caching strategies to enhance throughput.