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A high performance and scalable blockchain is a key foundation for a decentralized economy. Adoption of decentralized applications is only possible when the infrastructure can handle a massive number of transactions. Harmony has been focused on building a blockchain with high transaction throughput and fast finality.

Since launch, Harmony mainnet has been finalizing blocks every 8 seconds. After more optimization on the consensus and networking layer, we are bringing the block finality down to 5 seconds, a 38% improvement! We are relentless in wanting to improve and will continue to drive to faster finality.

Finance, both decentralized finance and cross-border payments, is the native use for blockchains. Harmony’s 5 second finality combined with extremely low fees will enable more users and businesses to use blockchain for financial transactions.

Why is Block Finality Important?

Block Finality is a very important metric in blockchain. It measures how fast a new block, along with the transactions inside, can be confirmed and finalized. Finalized blocks can not be reverted or revoked and thus the faster the block finality can be, the better experience the users can enjoy.

For blockchains which use heaviest-chain based consensus, such as PoW in Ethereum, a block cannot be finalized until several new blocks are added due to potential chain forks. So users have to wait at least tens of seconds, if not minutes, to get their transactions confirmed.

Harmony’s FBFT (Fast Byzantine Fault Tolerance) consensus prevents forks from happening because for every block, it requires more than 2/3 of the committee to sign on the block. Mathematically, it’s not possible to have two conflicting blocks to both have more than 2/3 of the signatures and thus no forks can occur. With this, users can get their transactions finalized immediately after the transaction is included in a block, which happens every 5 seconds now.

A fast finality of 5 seconds is important for many decentralized applications to provide smooth user experience. On Harmony blockchain, there is no need to wait for minutes and constantly refresh the status page to make sure your transaction is finalized. The user experience of dApps built on Harmony will be as close as a normal web application and that’s the experience we need for the real mass adoption of blockchain applications.

And of course a meme celebrating this milestone. Why? Just because.