I come from the typical client-server architecture world. A website / mobile app makes a POST request to create a resource, and generally it's safe to assume that the response will arrive within 0-3 seconds and the user can move on with his life.

Can I assume the same for Ethereum? If I create a transaction, can I assume that it will be mined/verified within 0-3 seconds?

To put this into context, I'm trying to create an app that will turn on the TV using blockchain. So when the user presses a button on the app, it creates a transaction which needs to be mined. Will the delay be significant or basically soft-realtime? I don't want them to wait minutes until the TV is turned on.

With the scaling issues Ethereum seems to have, I feel like it's only useful for event logging or something that isn't time sensitive. Like if I were to make Google Analytics on Blockchain, I could use blockchain for nonblocking event logging in the background

  • Oh my oh my.. you have to think in another level. blockchain is NOT appropriate for this kind of stuff at all. Your transaction may be mined 1 hr later. Blockchain is helpful if you want multiple parties to agree on a state.
    – EralpB
    Nov 23 '17 at 11:53

The average time between blocks in on the order of 15 - 30 seconds, which is definitely longer than in the client-server world. On the other hand, if the transaction value is not too high, you can just wait till the transaction propagates (say, 1 - 5 seconds), turn on the TV, and perceive a possible double-spend as an acceptable risk (like they do with credit card fraud).

A whole separate topic is whether / when payment channel networks like Raiden would better suit your needs, but these technologies are still in development.

  • You can also mitigate the double spend risk with some sort of penalty for malicious behavior (i.e. lock this account out for a some time period or altogether). Note that in that case you would still lose the ethers from the transaction possibly, but it creates some disincentive at least.
    – jojeyh
    Nov 23 '17 at 3:44

I'm not quite sure whether ethereum is the best choice for this kind of application There are projects out there which were developed for internet of things. You should have a look at https://iota.org

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