Is it possible to achieve secure, scalable and fast decentralized networks? Today, we talk about this issue popularly known as the blockchain trilemma.
The blockchain trilemma was conceptualized by Vitalik Buterin in 2016 that a public blockchain can only be two of three things: Scalable, Decentralized and Secure.
Scalability in the context of a blockchain protocol refers to transactional throughput and sustainable future growth. We can measure scalability in terms of transaction per second or TPS.
Decentralization is the heart of blockchain technology as it eliminates the role of intermediaries across industries and manifests in many different ways. The degree of decentralization can be measured in terms of the number of nodes verifying a single transaction.
Security is a critical aspect as blockchains have become a prime target for hackers due to the transparent nature of the source code. To increase network throughput, it is lucrative to reduce the geographical distribution of blockchain nodes. But, this tendency towards greater centralization reduces security and hackers can hijack the network with a 51% attack where more than 50% of a blockchain network’s nodes fall under the control of a single group.
Although this trilemma presents some serious challenges to the mass adoption of blockchain technology, many teams/projects are coming up with different solutions to keep up the balance between Scalability, Decentralization and Security.
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