Blockchain Trilemma - Crypto Academy / S5W2 - Homework post for nane15

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Hello everybody.

Welcome to this post. Hopefully, all of you will be good and happy and enjoying your health with the grace and blessings of Almighty Allah. Today, I am here to present the homework post for dear professor @nane15 in Week 2 of Season 5 of Steemit Crypto Academy. The lecture was greatly explained by my dear professor and I have understood all the concepts that were explained in the lecture. And now, I am going to make homework for it. So, let's turn towards our task without any wastage of time.


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There are some questions that are asked by the professor as the assignment for this week and I will explain all of them in the given order.



Explain in your own words what the Blockchain Trilemma is?

As we all know that the Blockchain technology is spreading widely day by day and a number of new Blockchains are joining the list. The developers of the new Blockchains try to develop such a Blockchain that is perfect in every aspect. So, a number of new Blockchains with unique, fantastic, and impressive features are coming into view. Related to the features and properties, there is a concept known as Blockchain Trilemma. So, have a deep look at this concept.

Blockchain Trilemma

Before going into the explanation of Blockchain Trilemma, let's have a look at the word 'Trilemma'. Trilemma means the competition between three possible solutions to the same problem but only two of them are applicable at a time. If we tried t apply all three, there would be some difficulty in this case.

So, the same is the case with Blockchain technology. There are three main factors that are considered great in the decentralized systems of the blockchain. These three are Decentralization, Scalability, and Security. These three factors are coordinated with each other to form the Blockchain Trilemma. These three options are available for the developers of the blockchain but the main problem is that only two of them could be solved at the same time. So, most of the systems are able to get 2 out of 3 factors.

First of all, we will consider decentralization which was the very first time came into view along with the creation of the first-ever cryptocurrency Bitcoin in 2009. We can see that the 2 factors in the Bitcoin network that are Decentralization and Security but the 3rd factor in making the system a Trilemma. This third factor is Scalability which is seemed to be less in Bitcoin. But after years, there came such systems that contain all the factors equally and thus eradicating the Blockchain Trilemma. These systems show that it is not impossible to remove the Trilemma concept for the development of systems.

Although, it is true that the decentralized systems can afford only two of three parameters that built up the infrastructure. The Public Chians, unlike the centralized systems, are showing decentralization, security, and scalability. There is the involvement of the central authority in the centralized systems but there is no involvement of the central authority in the centralized systems for the scalability is peer-to-peer. Hence, these systems are facing scalability problems but the other two parameters (Decentralization and Security) are fulfilled.

Considering the highest-rated cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, we can see the Decentralization and Security parameters are fully satisfied while there is still a problem with the scalability of the Bitcoin. The transaction speed of Bitcoin is 7TPS which is creating the scalability issue. There are many blockchains that have high Scalability (TPS) and high security but they are not decentralized, they are centralized. And when we are able to cover the decentralization and scalability parameters then we would miss out on the security parameter and our system will be susceptible to hacking. So, that is the thing which the Blockchain Trilemma is proclaiming.

As I have told before that it is possible that we can attain all the three parameters in an only system by considering possible solutions to the Blockchain Trilemma that are discussed in the upcoming sections.



Is the Blockchain Trilemma Really a Trilemma?

Yes, I think this is really a Trilemma in the Blockchain space. This Trilemma is composed of three factors are Scalability, Security, and Decentralization. The developers of the blockchains faced this Trilemma as they are not able to make a hybrid system of all these three factors, thus a Trilemma is created.

When the first-ever cryptocurrency Bitcoin was created then the developer of Bitcoin Sir. Satoshi Nakamoto also faced the same Trilemma and they decided to go with the two factors that are Security and Decentralization. That's why Bitcoin is still missing out on the third factor which is Scalability. So, it is clarified that it is really a Trilemma in the Blockchain world.

Considering the most successful networks, Bitcoin and Ethereum, we can see that these two networks are ruling on all the others in the space of Decentralization and Security but these two networks remain behind when we consider them according to the Scalability point of view.

We can also see that many of the Blockchains have resolved the Scalability problems but they are facing the Security problem and if not, then they are centralized. We can observe that many Blockchains have the TPS speed in a few seconds but they are facing one of the other two issues. So, this thing makes a Trilemma for Blockchain developers.

Most of the blockchains decide to go with the Decentralization factor as the investors want to get rid of central authorities and the Security factor as they want safe and secure transactions and all-time security of their assets. So, they compromise to ignore the Scalability factor.

So, it is confirmed that the Blockchain Trilemma is really a Trilemma. Efforts are going on to solve this Trilemma and I hope that we will succeed to manage a hybrid system of these three factors.



Define the following concepts in your own words:


The first and the most important factor in the development of a Blockchain is decentralization. Decentralization means the existence of systems without the involvement of the central authority or the central controlling unit. The control of the whole system is not in the hands of a single entity but there are several nodes present in different global areas, linked with each other to manage the system.

The basic idea behind the creation of Blockchain was to get rid of the traditional centralized systems where the transactions are under the control of the central authority. So, most of the Blockchains tried to go with decentralization in order to manage their system without any central power.

In decentralized systems, the power is equally delegated to all the members of the system. These systems are permissionless as there are some miners belonging to different areas that validate the transactions that are made in the blockchain. The Blockchains that go with the decentralization factor are providing freedom to their users and thus the users can enjoy the features of the system without any hesitation.

Thanks to the decentralization that there is no need of trusting any member of the system. We only have to rely upon the systems protocols only.

Blockchain Security

This is another most important factor that is in the mind of the blockchain developers. As we know that all of us want to be safe, secure, and private so we prefer safe and secure systems in any case. So, this thing is also in the minds of the blockchain developers that the public wants to get such a system that is completely safe and secure.

Considering the creation of Bitcoin, we can see that there is a very complex security system in the Bitcoin network and it is considered to be impossible to break the security of the Bitcoin network. Thanks to Sir. Satoshi Nakamoto for his great efforts to develop a Power of Work consensus mechanism that ensures the high security of the Bitcoin network.

In the systems that comply with the security factor, we are able to make safe and secure transactions that are transparent in the decentralized systems. Every trader wants to have his asset safe and secure and free of hacking. We can see that decentralization also makes the system a bit secure as the complete control of the system is not under the hand of a single authority but the power is distributed among different members of the system so the hackers could not attack the decentralized systems. Thus, the system is safe.

If the developer of a Blockchain goes with the security and scalability factors then he is ignoring the decentralization factor. So, the users of such a system have to rely upon the central bodies whenever they have to make the transactions.


It is the third factor that is in the mind of blockchain development. When the developers of Blockchains are developing a chain then they often missed out on this factor and go with the other two as they believe that security and freedom are more important than avoiding being late. Scalability means the efficiency of the system. It means that the ability of the system to manage the growing population of the blockchain.

In Blockchain technology, scalability is considered to be the measurement of the efficiency of a system in validating the made transactions. Or we can simply say that the speed of validating the transactions at a particular time is called scalability. If we say that the scalability of a chain is high, its means that the Transaction Per Seconds (TPS) is high.

Considering Bitcoin, we can see that the developers of Bitcoin ignored the scalability factor for ensuring the other two factors that's why the TPS speed of Bitcoin is still low. But, there had been developed such blockchains that can process a large number of transactions per second but these systems compromises to ignore either security or decentralization factor.

So, most of the blockchains compromise to sacrifice this factor in order to cover the other two factors (Decentralization and Security).



Based on your knowledge, explain at least two viable solutions to the challenges posed in the Blockchain Trilemma.

As we have discussed before that the main issue that the Blockchain developers are facing is the scalability issue. The reason is that most blockchain developers go with Decentralization and Security parameters. They ignore the scalability as they believe that security and rid from central authorities is more important than fast transactions. So, we have to resolve this issue. The developer of the Ether network said that they are working on the solution of the Trilemma and he hopes that they will succeed in this attempt with the involvement of Proof of Stake, Sharding, and the concept of SideChains. So, have a look at two possible practical solutions to this Trilemma.

Layer 1

  • Improving the Consensus Mechanism:-

As we all know that the blockchain technology is completely based on consensus algorithms. It is all due to the consensus mechanism that the blockchains are compromising with the factors like Security and Decentralization. As the Bitcoin network is based on the Proof of Work (PoW) consensus mechanism and Bitcoin is the safest and fully decentralized network as well. So, it is not wrong to say that PoW is the best consensus mechanism in the field of Decentralization and Security. Later on, we also saw an improvement of this mechanism in the form of Proof of Stake (PoS).

But, for resolving the Trilemma of the Blockchain, we have to make improvements in the consensus mechanism related to the Scalability of the Blockchain. So that we could be able to manage a blockchain with hybrid features.

  • Breakdown of Transactions (Sharding):-

According to this solution, we have to break the big transactions into a number of small transactions that can be processed in the network, and in this way, a large number of transactions can be validated in the blockchain. Each node of the network gets a split copy of the transaction's information instead of the full copy of the information. Each node can easily validate the transaction by solving the particular piece of a big transaction.

Cross-Hard Communication System could be used for the interaction of different nodes with the Mainchain in order to seek the details about the transactions.

These Layer-1 solutions are going to be seen in the networks like Ethereum 2.0, Qtum, etc.

Layer 2

Another solution that is developed to resolve the Trilemma issue in the developed blockchains is the Layer 2 protocol. These are as follows.

  • Lightning Network:-

To solve the Trilemma problem in the blockchains that are not using Smart Contracts, like Bitcoin, we can improve the scalability of the networks by the involvement of the Lightning Network in this blockchain. In the Lightning Network, there could be the following components.

  • SideChains:-

In the Lightning Network, there could be a Chain that works alongside the MainChain which is known as SideChain. This SideChain works out of the MainChain with different consensus mechanisms and thus increases the scalability of the network. The data is transferred between both of the chains by the ease of Utility Tokens. These SideChains are not private chains as these chains work with the MainChain.

  • State Channels:-

In the Lightning Networks, the system establishes a number of state channels amongst the public so that they can trade their assets at the state channels rapidly and these transactions are something looking like centralized as there are merchants in the state channels that allow the traders to trade their assets rapidly. So, in this way, the Decentralization factor is seemed to be a bit ignored but in fact, it is not ignored as all the transactions made through the state channels are completely recorded on the blockchain.

Thus, the scalability of the networks can be enhanced by the involvement of the Lighting Network in the blockchains and thus the Blockchain Trilemma can find a possible solution.



Blockchain Trilemma is faced by the blockchain developers at the time of development of a blockchain. It comprises three parameters that could not be fulfilled at the same time. These three parameters are Decentralization, Security, and Scalability. Most of the Blockchain developers sacrifice the scalability factor to ensure the decentralization and security factors. So, the possible solutions to the Blockchain Trilemma are possible by improving the scalability of the Blockchains.


So, that's all about the homework for this week. Hopefully, all of you will like this post. I Congratulate professor @nane15 for his promotion to the Season 5 of the academy.

Writer: @steemdoctor1 (Crypto Student)


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Greetings @steemdoctor1, thank you very much for being a part of SteemitCryptoAcademy this fifth season.

Your grade on this assignment is as follows:

Presentation Style1.5/1.5
Compliance with Topic1.7/2
Quality of Content1.7/2
Spelling and Grammar (Fluency, structure and understanding of the topic)1.4/1.5



A fairly well explained task, I think you could be a little more original but you have done it enough

Thank you @steemdoctor1 for your effort in carrying out this publication, I hope to continue reviewing your future tasks.