As work continues on Novi, Facebook’s digital wallet the company hopes will one day be used to access currencies in the blockchain-based payment system Libra, semblances of a framework have emerged from new research published in AFT ’20: Proceedings of the 2nd ACM Conference on Advances in Financial Technologies. From a report: A paper coauthored by scientists at Facebook’s Novi division proposes a transaction settlement system called FastPay, which they claim can be used to settle cryptocurrency payments or as infrastructure to support retail payments in fiat currencies. In experiments, the team managed to achieve “intra-continental” confirmation of less than 100 milliseconds and over 80,000 transactions per second with as many as 20 different payment authorities. […] FastPay aims to solve this by enabling authorities to jointly maintain account balances and settle prefunded retail payments between accounts. The researchers claim it supports “subsecond” latency confirmation appropriate for physical point-of-sale payments while providing capacity comparable with peak retail card network volumes and real-time gross settlement. […] In experiments, they claim FastPay supported up to 160,000 transactions per second under a total load of 1.5 million transactions across the 48 cores — about seven times the peak transaction rate of the Visa payments network — while running on commodity computers that cost less than $4,000 a month to run.

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