What Is The Meaning Of Blockchain Trilemma

Are you a cryptocurrency investor? Take your time reading this article. It includes the following: What Is the Meaning of the Blockchain Trilemma? These are the three problems that blockchain is encountering. Ways to tackle these problems Why is it necessary to scale blockchains?

Definition of the Blockchain Trilemma

This is Vitalik Buterin’s own blockchain trilemma. It is a brand that presents a set of three key difficulties (decentralization, security, and scalability) that inventors face when constructing blockchains. It compels them to sacrifice one “part” in order to accommodate the other two. Decentralized networks, according to popular thinking, can only deliver two of three benefits at any given time. That is decentralization, security, and scalability.

Although continued innovation across the decentralized ecosystem has resulted in a broad spectrum of Layer-1 and Layer-2 solutions that are conquering these constraints to finally address the trilemma in the following manner:

Decentralization. Instead of being administered by a single company, blockchains give network control to all users equally.

More Info

Secure. there must be strong defenses that  Malicious hackers can not be able to take control of blockchain networks.

Scalability. Blockchains should be able to handle a large number of transactions and subscribers without causing costs and transaction times to rise.

For some in the sector, realizing all three factors is an unattainable goal that will never be accomplished, at least not in the short term. Although, there are still ambitious developers who genuinely think that blockchain networks can indeed have all three and more. Algorand is an example of a cryptocurrency project that claims to be overcoming the blockchain trilemma.

The Blockchain Trilemma: that is Quick, Safe, and Expandable Network

Sharding, Proof of Stake state channels, and sidechains: A whole new industry has risen to solving Blockchain Trilemma and optimizing networks for mass use.

Meaning Of Blockchain Trilemma

Despite blockchain technology’s demonstrating its extraordinary applicability in fields ranging from finance to art. Decentralized networks face unique obstacles when compared to centralized networks. Computer scientists developed the CAP theorem in the 1980s to express the most significant of these difficulties. The CAP theorem states that decentralized data storage, such as blockchain, can only satisfy two of three guarantees at the same time. These are consistency, availability, and partition tolerance (CAP). This theory has evolved into the Blockchain Trilemma, which holds that public blockchains must choose between security, decentralization, and scalability in the context of modern distributed networks.

Compared to the client-server relationship that governs the central network infrastructures, public blockchain networks utilize decentralized
consensus methods. Public blockchains manage a broadly distributed network of nodes to achieve data resolution across a resilient architecture that maintains openness and fair, open access while being resistant to external threats. For example, Bitcoin, for example, is decentralized and secure, but it can only execute about seven transactions per second (TPS).

What Is The Meaning Of Blockchain Trilemma

Enterprise blockchains, such as Hyperledger Fabric, are safe and capable of large transaction volume, but they are controlled and have a small number of consensus-achieving nodes. Fast and decentralized blockchains that are unsafe are subject to hacks that are unsustainable in the long run.

The holy grail of blockchain technology is to create a network with impenetrable security over a broadly decentralized network. while also being able to handle internet-scale transactional volumes. The Blockchain Trilemma is being solved by a global community of corporations, start-ups, and technologists working frantically on Layer-1 and Layer-2 solutions. The base layer, or primary layer, of a blockchain network, is referred to as Layer 1. Layer 2 refers to a variety of technology enhancements and solutions that can be implemented on top of existing blockchain networks to improve their scalability. Getting the appropriate balance between the two levels might be a game-changer for blockchain adoption and the expansion of decentralized networks.

It’s critical to comprehend each component of the Blockchain Trilemma before we can begin to interpret potential answers.

Definition Of Decentralization

The underlying idea of blockchain technology is decentralization, which inspires projects across the ecosystem. Decentralized processes and technology eliminate the need for intermediaries across industries, and this emerges in a variety of ways. For instance: by taking away banking sectors out of financial instruments, decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms, instead of intermediaries, are able to distribute profits and governance to subscribers and the community at large. Decentralized networks, on a more basic level, crowdsource consensus, implying that no single entity can influence or censor the information that passes through them. Obtaining optimal decentralization, on the other hand, tends to reduce network throughput. Activity performance may slow as more miners secure a Proof-of-Work (PoW) network through consensus, which is seen as a barrier to wider adoption.

Definition Of Blockchain Security

There’s an incentive to lower the geographical, numerical, or distribution of blockchain nodes to boost network performance on a blockchain network. But, for PoW networks, this shift toward higher centralization weakens security. A 51 percent assault is more likely when consensus is reached on an open network with the restricted nodal distribution. Because hackers may collect the requisite hashing power more easily, Hackers can take over a network and manipulate transactions for financial gain by overpowering it. Similarly, the Ethereum Classic (ETC) network, which is a fork of Ethereum (ETH), was hit by three 51 percent attacks in August 2020, reorganizing over 4,000 blocks. This enabled the criminals to falsify data and double-spend ETC money, leading to a net value loss of millions of dollars. Security on the blockchain is a vital network feature that must not be jeopardized.

Definition Of Scalability

The ability of blockchain technology to accommodate high transactional throughput and potential development is referred to as scalability. This means that as use cases and usage grow, the blockchain’s performance will not deteriorate. Scalability is a term used to describe blockchains that perform badly as usage grows. Greater scalability is feasible, but security, decentralization, or both would suffer as a result, according to the Blockchain Trilemma. Scalability is the only option for blockchain networks to contend with legacy, centralized platforms, which currently have considerably greater network settlement speeds and usability. While several blockchain systems have established decentralization and security, today’s leading decentralized networks have a big issue in establishing scalability.

How then is it possible to overcome the Blockchain Trilemma while at the same time achieving decentralization, security, and scalability? Layer-1 and Layer-2 solutions are provided as the response.

Layer 1: Resolving the Blockchain Trilemma

Layer 1 refers to blockchain technologies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum in the decentralized ecosystem. range of mechanisms in development or use right now that aim to directly improve the scalability of blockchain networks.

Resolution Protocol Improvements

The Proof of Work consensus protocol is now used on prominent blockchain networks such as Bitcoin. Although PoW is secure, it is time-consuming. Bitcoin, for example, only gets seven TPS. That’s why many blockchain networks choose the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus method, probably most notably Ethereum’s upgrade to Ethereum 2.0. The PoS consensus mechanism decides verification success based on a stake in the network, rather than asking miners to solve cryptographic algorithms with significant processing power. This is projected to enhance the Ethereum network’s capacity considerably and fundamentally, while also increasing decentralization and assuring safety.


This is now one of the most prevalent Layer1 scalability options, derived from distributed databases. Despite its rather experimental character within the blockchain sector. Sharding divides transactions into smaller pieces known as “shards.” The network processes these shards in parallel, enabling for sequential processing of a large number of transactions at the same time. Furthermore, rather than having each network node maintain a copy of every block from its beginning block to the date, this information might be partitioned and held by separate nodes, each of which would be consistent with itself. Shards offer confirmations to the mainchain and communicate with one another using cross-shard communication protocols to share addresses, balances, and general statuses. Ethereum 2.0 is one high-profile blockchain system that’s researching the use of shards, along with Zilliqa, Tezos, and Qtum.

Layer 2: Resolving the Blockchain Trilemma

Layer 2 refers to a network or technology that runs on top of the base blockchain protocol to enhance scalability and efficiency. For example, Bitcoin is a Layer-1 protocol, and the Lightning Network is a Layer-2 solution designed to increase Bitcoin network transaction speeds. Layer-2 protocols have exploded in popularity in recent years, and they may be the most effective solution to address scaling issues in PoW networks particularly.

Blockchains that are nested

This is a decentralized network infrastructure that uses the main blockchain to specify network settings, with operations taking place on an interconnected web of backup chains. On this mainchain, many blockchain tiers are established, each with a parent-child link. The parent chain delegated work to the child chains, who processed it and returned it to the parent. Unless there is a need for dispute resolution, the underlying basic blockchain does not participate in-network services. The OMG Plasma initiative is part of Layer-2 stacked blockchain infrastructure that is deployed above Ethereum to promote quicker and cheaper trades. The work allocation in this architecture minimizes the processing load on the mainchain, improving scalability tremendously.

Channels Of The State

A state channel improves total transaction speed and reliability by facilitating two-way communication between a blockchain and off-chain transactional channels via various approaches. To validate a transaction over a state channel, the miner does not need to be involved right away. Rather, it’s a network-adjacent resource that’s protected via a multi-signature or smart contract mechanism. state channel, the miner does not need to be involved right away. The ultimate “state” of the “channel” and all its inherent transfers are posted to the underlying blockchain when a transaction or batch of transactions is completed on a state channel. State channels include the Liquid Network, Celer, Bitcoin Lightning, and Ethereum’s Raiden Network. In the trilemma tradeoff, state channels give up some decentralization in exchange for increased scalability.


A sidechain is a transactional chain that runs alongside the blockchain and is used for massive bulk transactions. Sidechains use a separate consensus mechanism from the main chain, which can be tuned for speed and scalability. Utility tokens are frequently used to move data between sidechains and mainchains. The main chain’s principal function is to provide general security and conflict resolution. In a number of important ways, sidechains distinguish them from state channels. To begin with, sidechain transactions are not confidential between members; instead, they are published openly on the record. Furthermore, security failures on sidechains have no impact on the mainchain or other sidechains. Building a sidechain from the ground up necessitates a significant amount of time and work.

Resolving the Blockchain Trilemma

Despite the fact that the Blockchain Trilemma poses substantial obstacles to blockchain adoption, new innovations may provide a remedy. The objective is to strike a good balance between network security, decentralization, and scalability. While the CAP theorem has remained true for nearly 40 years. The development of Layer-1 and Layer-2 solutions, as well as the emergence of Proof-of-Stake systems, is altering the paradigm towards decentralized, secure, and scalable blockchain networks.

The Three Key Fighting Elements

Do you know how difficult it is to strike a balance between social life, job, and sleep? The trilemma of the blockchain is equivalent. The bitcoin community holds the notion that truly decentralized networks must choose between security and scalability. Before we get started, let’s take a quick look at them.

Decentralization Meaning

This refers to how power is distributed across smaller organizations to administer something rather than being concentrated in one central institution, company, or government. Decentralization in blockchain empowers people all over the world to rule using their computers (nodes), rather than having a single person or entity running the network.

Meaning Of Security On The Blockchain

Although blockchain is fundamentally safe, it is not without risk of being hacked. A hacker can edit a blockchain and manipulate transactions to steal from the network if they get control of more than half of the network (51 percent). The more nodes in a blockchain, the more secure it is.

Scalability Meaning In Blockchain

In the blockchain, scalability is similar to expanding in business; it refers to how large a network may expand in the future while keeping the current level of transaction speed and volume. When scalability and decentralization operate together, security suffers, because security prevents innovations that would allow the decentralized network to scale. Why? Decentralized networks are difficult to scale because they need a significant amount of effort to function.

Security And Decentralization: Favorites Of Blockchain

The backbone of blockchain and cryptocurrencies is decentralization. It implies that the project is not being driven by a central authority or entity, and it removes the need for third parties to allow industries to function. We have banks, for example, in conventional banking. They’re centralized, and they serve as a middleman between you and your funds. This is universally recognized because banks embrace a role in providing a secure means for us to hold and transfer funds – we expect payment to get its destination, and we give up some control over our money in exchange for safety.

Decentralized networks give the keys to the user, giving them unrestricted access to their money, thanks to blockchain.

It accomplishes this by relying on blockchain technology rather than the corporation, and by utilizing community control. Blockchain, which is based on a system of self-executing rules, provides an alternative to using an intermediary. Because each transaction must be verified by more than half of the network’s nodes, the network maintains its security (and keep in mind: the more nodes in the network, the more decentralized the blockchain becomes, strengthening the network’s security). This makes it okay since no one has control, but it has one drawback: transaction times can be slow and the system is difficult to scale due to the sheer volume of data processed to maintain the shared system.

Introducing Scalability And The Risk It Gives To Security

Each piece of data on a blockchain can be considered as having weight. The data becomes heavier as more information is supplied, making it slower to move about. To streamline the onerous quantity of information traveling around, it’s critical to maintain the information up to date. Reducing how far and wide the blockchain is spread is one approach to do this.

However, by restricting the network’s spread, hackers who wish to take over the network have fewer obstacles. This increases the risk of an attack since hackers will have an easier time gaining control of enough of the network to change the blockchain. It’s not perfect, and it demonstrates how introducing scalability to the blockchain trinity has a cost.

Why Is It Necessary To Scale Blockchains

Do you realize how annoying it is to be stuck in traffic? Roads were not intended to scale the number of cars that would be on the road at the same time, hence traffic exists. Imagine having to wait in traffic for your transaction to be validated and processed every time you needed to make a transaction. And the more people who deal, the more the network and validation procedure is required. It generates traffic on an unscalable network, resulting in a method that is unsustainable.

In short, scalability is essential if blockchain technology is to gain widespread use. If a network can’t grow, it won’t be able to compete in terms of convenience, transaction speed, or throughput with established platforms.

So, in order to scale, a project does not need to either rely on security or decentralization.

The Hunt For An Answer

The difficulty, which is a difficult one to address, has sparked some interesting developments in the blockchain business. There are a variety of possibilities, depending on the project’s foundation and if it depends on another project to function (for example, a dApp requires Ethereum), and it’s exciting to watch how they can affect the network in the years to come.

Without delving too further into the technology, there are a few interesting ideas that projects have implemented, such as the foregoing:

Are you a cryptocurrency investor? Take your time reading this article. It includes the following: What Is the Meaning of the Blockchain Trilemma? These are the three problems that blockchain is encountering. Ways to tackle these problems. Why is it necessary to scale blockchains?

Rollups And Sharding: Ethereum 2.0

Sharding has grown in popularity as a way to expand projects like Ethereum that don’t rely on a third-party network. When a network “shards,” it divides the blockchain’s transactions into smaller chunks of data that can be handled more quickly by the network. This suggests that more transactions can be processed at once without creating traffic. The various shards communicate with each other and transfer information to the main blockchain, ensuring that information is not damaged.

Rollups on Ethereum’s blockchain allow networks to “roll-up” several transactions into a single off-chain (with certified proof) and then submit the rolled-up data to the main chain. It’s similar to carpooling. Rollups are clever because they lower the amount of data required for a transaction, resulting in less traffic and faster transactions.

State Channels: The Lighting Network

The Lightning Network is also called a Layer 2 solution. Because it provides an extra layer that sits above the main network. Just create “channels” with people to transact with instead of dealing on the main blockchain. You may transact directly, instantaneously, and at a far lower cost inside the channels, which are run by smart contracts, than on the main blockchain.

Construct a channel (similar to opening a tab) with a state channel, and it will be stored on the main blockchain. From there, until the channel is shut down, all activities will take place “off-channel” (not on the main chain).

Only the opening and closing information are sent to the main blockchain once the transaction is completed. Security is preserved because state channels are controlled by smart contracts.

Parachain And Relay Chains: Polkadot

Rather than proposing a single blockchain solution, Polkadot prefers the idea of blockchains cooperating with one another (interoperability). To provide a highly scalable network, the network is developed with “a relay chain” as the backbone. It accomplishes this by employing “parachains,” which are separate blockchains connected to the main relay chain.

It implies that the chains manage themselves independently, allowing the network to scale, but they all work together for added security.

What Resolving The Conflicts Means For Blockchain’s Future

Although the majority of people are unaware of the blockchain trilemma, they are aware of the issues it poses (such as Bitcoin’s slower process efficiency). If projects can effectively address the trilemma, we may be on the verge of seeing new levels of blockchain adoption.

We’re looking at a scalable blockchain future where users across many sectors (from money to logistics, from laws to property) can benefit. If there’s an effective way to tick the “decentralized” box without worrying about security and the inconvenience of a lack of scalability. Instead of relying on a conventional, controlled, and regulated system, blockchain provides a more fair, more level playing field for people to improve.

What Is The Meaning Of Blockchain Trilemma

In blockchain networks, decentralization is the first and most straightforward characteristic to deploy. And besides, just is ensure that the system is not managed by a single organization. But how do blockchains work without a central authority?

You likely might have known the narrative, but for the sake of context, let’s go over it again. Steelworkers add value to decentralized blockchains, also known as trustless networks, by confirming transactions. Their goal is to profit from the charges that other users must pay for transactions.

Each miner is a separate node on the blockchain with the same rights and privileges as other nodes. Control is dispersed evenly, and no single person has the authority to lead the network in a specific direction without the permission of other nodes.

More Info

This is good since, in contrast to centralized systems, decentralized systems provide all members a lot more freedom. This is particularly necessary for the present era when corporations and institutions can restrict funds for arbitrary reasons. Who’s to say that if we reach an Orwellian era, banks won’t start freezing your assets because of your political beliefs?

What Is The Meaning Of Blockchain Trilemma

Many people are pushing blockchain networks to be at the frontline of the technology revolution because of their decentralization. As life becomes more complex each year, it is critical to ensure that every living individual has freedom not only in real life but also in the digital realm.

Many people are pushing blockchain networks to be at the frontline of the technology revolution because of their decentralization. As life becomes more complex each year, it is critical to ensure that every living individual has freedom not only in real life but also in the digital realm.


  1. In a decentralized network, all players have equal power and are unable to exert control over one another. Crypto enthusiasts can collaborate to address concerns in a governance model. Then improve the protocol through governance proposals by working together.
  2. When blockchain technology is more decentralized, it performs better in terms of security. Larger entities possess less power and require more resources to achieve a state where they can launch a 51 percent hit since there are more nodes.


  1. The majority of protocols use a Proof of Work consensus mechanism to achieve decentralization. This is problematic since mining consumes a lot of energy and causes environmental issues. Furthermore, such networks are unable to achieve a high TPS count, causing the blockchain to fail to scale.
  2. Even in a direct democracy structure where one node equals one vote, things might go awry. The community can still make ‘bad’ decisions, and suggestions aren’t strictly controlled, thus people can propose content that is unpopular.


Ultimately, there’s security. Without it, blockchains would be rendered utterly useless, as anyone would be able to disrupt and even edit ledgers. This is not the case in the majority of blockchain networks, as practically every developer includes principles that prevent 51 percent of assaults.

The fact that decentralized technology is also open source. It is also the number one reason why blockchains are less safe than centralized databases. Because any criminal can read the code, he can spend countless hours trying to figure out what kind of vulnerability he can use.

More Info

Exploits are extremely rare, particularly in the Bitcoin system. Some blockchains are more vulnerable due to their use of smart contracts. Flash loans, a specific sort of collateral-less loan used in the DeFi industry, will be the quickest way to hack a project in 2021.

In some ways, security and scalability work in opposition to each other. While scalability aims to expand the system further, security aims to make the network as stable and functional as possible.

Security is not a trade-off that can be made in the same way that decentralization and scalability can be. However, in recent years, it has become increasingly typical to see developers neglect security in favor of the other two.


The only essential component for the blockchain network to function is security. Cybercriminals can damage the network without security by controlling a large number of nodes or changing the ledger’s data. It is safe to say that blockchain networks are absolutely untrustworthy and useless without protection.


The only true disadvantage of security is that it necessitates a significant amount of cash. To support the network’s security, blockchains must use PoW consensus processes, which require a large number of miners. However, when more miners join the network and make it more secure, scalability suffers as a result of PoW’s inability to accommodate large transaction throughput.

What is Ethereum 2.0’s Approach To Resolving The Blockchain Trilemma?

The blockchain trilemma is really so serious but won’t be for long. Crypto aficionados will soon be able to see how a great blockchain network looks with advanced solutions like Proof of Stake (PoS), sharding, and side chains coming to our businesses.

These solutions will be available with the release of Ethereum 2.0.
The improved network incorporates all of the aforementioned characteristics in order to create a decentralized, scalable, and secure Proof-of-Stake blockchain.

Although Ethereum 2.0 is already available, we will have to wait at least a year for Vitalik Buterin and his colleagues to implement sharding and side chains. They will be released on a regular basis throughout the year, gradually scaling Ethereum. Until that time comes, the new PoS network will coexist with the old PoW blockchain.

What Is The Meaning Of Blockchain Trilemma

The old network that we have known for years will vanish after all of the modifications have been completed. To be more precise, Ethereum (PoW) will become one of Ethereum 2.0’s 64 sidechains, ensuring the project’s long-term viability.

However, Ethereum’s future goal is merely an idea. We’ll have to wait and see if Proof of Stake and sharding work in practice and can handle a high workload. For the time being, we can only hope and wait while paying $50 in decentralized exchange costs.


For all of the industry’s diligent developers, the blockchain trilemma is a critical topic. Bitcoin and Ethereum, for example, have already accomplished a great deal for the globe. However, in order to get to a point where blockchain can alter everyone’s world, not just our small community, the trilemma must be overcome.

As we have projects that use PoS and sharding, none of them have had the opportunity to demonstrate to the rest of the world that they can handle a huge user base. Ethereum is the world’s second-largest initiative by market capitalization, thus if Vitalik Buterin succeeds, the blockchain trilemma will be solved.

We strongly advise you to study our Ethereum 2.0 guide after learning the solution to the question. “What is the blockchain trilemma.” You’ll have a greater understanding of how the network upgrade aids developers. In overcoming the issues they’re now facing.

Are you a cryptocurrency investor? Take your time reading this article. It includes the following: What Is the Meaning of the Blockchain Trilemma? These are the three problems that blockchain is encountering. Ways to tackle these problems. Why is it necessary to scale blockchains?

Leave a Comment