Cross datacenter replication is increasingly being deployed to bring data closer to the user and to overcome datacenter outages. The extent of the inuence of wide-area communication on serializable transactions is not yet clear. In this work, we derive a lower-bound on commit latency. The sum of the commit latency of any two datacenters is at least the Round-Trip Time (RTT) between them. We use the insights and lessons learned while deriving the lower-bound to develop a commit protocol, called Helios, that achieves low commit latencies. Helios actively exchanges transaction logs (history) between datacenters. The received logs are used to decide whether a transaction can commit or not. The earliest point in the received logs that is needed to commit a transaction is decided by Helios to ensure a low commit latency. As we show in the paper, Helios is theoretically able to achieve the lower-bound commit latency. Also, in a realworld deployment on five datacenters, Helios has a commit latency that is close to the optimal.