Blockchain Trilemma

The blockchain trilemma refers to the generally accepted idea that it is not possible to scale a public blockchain network without compromising security, decentralization, or both.


Security : This factor represents the platform’s ability to guarantee the immutability of information and its resistance to attacks. It focuses on the platform maintaining the highest possible total number of active participants in order to hinder and minimize the occurrence of majority coordinated attacks (51%). This type of attack consists of the synchronized coordination of more than half of the participants that could alter the information stored on the platform.

Scalability/Speed : The following factor affects the ability to handle a number of transactions by a number of platform users. The platform must provide an acceptable response time to maintain its usefulness depending on the specific needs of the business model in question.

Decentralization : Finally, this factor focuses on the ability to delegate responsibilities among participants. We mentioned earlier that the participants are organized by consensus to validate the information, so this factor contemplates the distribution of roles in the processing, validation and storage of operations that occur on the platform. Thus, in its simplest expression, some participants of the platform should act as validators of the operations, while others should only deal with storing information.

These factors conform the known Trilemma Blockchain and by definition it indicates us that any solution based on Blockchain technology has to project the fulfillment of any of the 2 of the 3 factors, leaving in the second term the remaining third one.