Directed Acyclic Graphs vs Blockchain| The Pros and Cons

15 Apr 2024

Directed Acyclic Graph, or simply "DAG", is a data modelling or structuring tool that uses vertices which represent transactions and edges which represent the directional flow from one vertex/transaction to another, unlike blockchain technology where transactions are recorded in blocks. Dags present many benefits to crypto which have brought the perception of it being the blockchain's ultimate rival. Among projects that have embraced this technology are Fantom, IOTA, Nano, Hbar, Constellation, Millix, among others.
Before we dig more into comparing the two technologies, it is also important to look into their main similarities.

  • They can both be decentralized and distributed.
  • Secondly, they both record transactions on a digital ledger.
  • They also both use a token-economic incentive mechanism

Now let's dive into the main differences.


Blockchain technology involves storing data in blocks endlessly chained together. In DAG, data storage is independent like a layer on top of the other.


One common method used by blockchains is the Proof-of-Work consensus mechanisms where miners solve complex computations to validate transactions in a block. In DAG, participants are both miners and validators only that they cannot validate their transactions in such a way transactions validate one another. This results to low transaction fees,


DAGS have high scalability due to their ability to process transactions concurrently. They can easily handle a huge surge in transactions. Blockchains, however, usually struggle to create networks that can handle a surge in transactions resulting to high transaction fees.


In blockchain technology, transactions are processed in blocks. This means transactions' duration depend on block time. Significantly, blockchains have lower number of transactions in a second. For instance Bitcoin can handle only 7 transactions per second. For DAGs, the unique data structure allows it to add a huge number of transactions with improved scalability and minimize confirmation time.

Degree of Decentralization

Blockchains have high degree of decentralization due to their wide distribution of nodes quashing the ability of one entity to single-handedly control the network. However, blockchains using the Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPOS) to some extent centralizes control to "whales".
DAGs low popularity hinders their decentralization. For instance Millix only has just over 16,000 running nodes to create, store and validate transactions.

Level of Adoption

Blockchain technology is by far more utilized than DAG. This can be attributed to the fact that blockchain technology was developed earlier than DAG. Blockchain was introduced by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto back in 2008, while DAG was first introduced in 2015.


Both technologies have their pros and cons. However, by gauging both networks, Directed Acyclic Graph is more efficient and is like an improved version of blockchain. Whatever project you may deal with, it's important to DYOR and put into consideration the points reviewed above to guarantee you with smooth running and success proportional to your expectations.

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