The Blockchain Trilemma - TheMetaEconomist

The Blockchain Trilemma

14 June 2022


With blockchain trilemma we refer to the generally accepted idea that it isn’t possible to make a public blockchain scalable without compromising its security, decentralization, or both.

Scalability represents the ability of a network to deal with a large amount of work, processing many transactions per second, measured in TPS. Often attempts are made to improve the scalability of a blockchain by opting for less centralized and faster consensus protocols.
Each blockchain finds a compromise between the three factors and is positioned on the triangle in the position it deems most appropriate for the service it offers.
For example, Bitcoin and Ethereum are decentralized and secure, but lack scalability.

The more decentralized a system is, the more secure it is, as attacking a single ledger is simpler than, for example, being able to hack a highly distributed blockchain such as that of Bitcoin.

Decentralization indicates the level of distribution of the network's work and the information it contains. It reflects the level at which transactions between users are possible and effective without any control.
Decentralizing the network means increasing the number of participants and therefore the number of transactions to be validated; while the number of competing nodes also increases as a result. This often reduces the scalability of the network.

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