Blockstream’s Samson Mow wants to move the conversation away from Bitcoin (BTC)’s transaction per second performance and toward its role in ushering in “a new financial paradigm” i.e. serving as a permissionless medium for the transfer and store of value.

Mow’s argument is that “VPTS [value transacted per second] not TPS [transaction per second]” is what really counts. Calculations for the video were reportedly made using on-chain data by the editor of the Blockstream engineering blog, who goes by grubles on Twitter. The latter similarly tweeted that “Bitcoin scales just fine. 1 BTC can store an infinite amount of value.”

The video, according to a follow-up tweet from Mow, “was inspired by a stupid XRP marketing video comparing their sh*tcoin’s TPS [transaction per second] to Bitcoin’s.” data shows that as of Dec. 1, the total estimated value of transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain was estimated at $4.627 billion. This figure hit $5.15 billion, close to its all-time-high, on Nov. 5.

Total estimated value of transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain, 2008–2020. Source:

TPS has long been presented as a purported Achilles heel for Bitcoin, whose capacity maxes out at a lower threshold than competitor coins like Ether (ETH). This is notably the line taken by Bitcoin Cash (BCH) evangelists like Roger Ver, who tout the asset as a better currency for retail adoption in small-scale transactions.

Mow’s line on Bitcoin has been consistent, arguing that those who are interested in everyday transactions can use second-layer solutions like the Lightning Network. Bitcoin in itself, he says, has an altogether different purpose:

“It’s more of a store of value and a medium of wealth transfer. It’s not something you would use every day in payments. I’ve said this before, and people have twisted around and said I hate Bitcoin, but Bitcoin is bad for payments.”