What is the blockchain trilemma?

The Blockchain trilemma states that public blockchains sacrifice either

  • decentralization
  • security
  • or scalability

in their infrastructure and concludes that a blockchain system can achieve only 2 of the 3 features listed above while sacrificing the 3rd feature e.g. decentralisation and security but sacrifice scalability.

A typical example that supports this postulate is bitcoin. While its blockchain has optimized decentralization and security, it has compromised scalability.Although not drawn from a blockchain perspective, this clearly explains why traditional centralized systems like Mastercard can boast of as much as 5000 transactions per second while Bitcoin can only boast of 3 to 7 per second.

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