Casa Releases Results on Server Implementation Test

Crypto custody firm Casa released results from its test to find a new way to connect to the Bitcoin network and found ElectrumX had the best bang for the buck.

Casa founder and cypherpunk Jameson Lopp noted the custody firm recently rewrote its backend infrastructure to support Electrum based on the tests.

The company chose three different server implementations for the test: ElectrumX, Electra and Esplora Electrs. It discounted three other servers, Electrum-Server, Electrum Personal Server and Bitcoin Wallet Tracker as they felt these were not designed for high performance.

For the testing, Lopp said Casa wanted to understand the performance characteristics of each implementation. They ran a list of 103,000 addresses with more than 100 transactions as their main data set for the test. It found in the first test run alone that one of the server options could already be taken out.

“When the first test run against electrs was halfway done, we realized that if we tried to finish 10 runs of the 103,000 address test set against electrs, it would take weeks to complete. As such, we filtered down the addresses again to a reduced set of 57,000 that had their balances affected by between 10 and 100 transactions and performed our multiple passes of tests against that address set. Thus on the resulting charts you'll see that there is far less data for Electrs, but we believe it is sufficient to draw conclusions about overall performance.”

With the field narrowed to two, Lopp said they turned to query performance. Here they found ElectrumX only took more than 20 milliseconds to return a transaction history compared to Esplora’s hundreds of milliseconds for simpler queries. However, for larger and more complex ones, particularly those with high unspent output from Bitcoin transactions, it was Esplora that shined. Casa saw Esplora was able to scale well.

“In general, it appears that ElectrumX provides the best "bang for your bitcoin" with regard to performance vs. resource requirements. But if you are willing to devote 10 times as much disk space in order to achieve maximum performance, Esplora is the way to go.”

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