Blockchain Academy
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Trilemma

Dilemma is a difficult choice for two unfavorable alternatives and Trilemma is a difficult choice for three options that a choice of each of which does not make a situation better. It can be expressed as a choice among three conflicting options, one of which can't complement the others.

The term 'Trilemma' is used in a blockchain when 3 of the conflicting concepts, Scalability, Security, Decentralization, are impossible to be secured at the same time, but 2 at the most.

(Image source : https://www.jeffersoncapital.info/the-scalability-trilemma/)

For example, Bitcoin, the world's most famous cryptocurrency proves its security, decentralization by the feature that anyone can verify the transaction and create blocks; however it cannot prove its scalability because of the slow transaction process compared to the traditional method.

On the other hand, blockchains like EOS (it uses DPoS as a consensus algorithm which limits block creators), Hyper Ledger (it uses PBFT that is suitable for private chain), and Neo prove its scalability by the fast transaction process with small group of block creators, and security by reliable verifying nodes and low possible branching blocks. However, it cannot feature the decentralization because of the consensus focused on a small group.

In the blockchain, with its scalability with a fast transaction process, and decentralization with verifiability by everyone, then the blocks are created by anyone simultaneously, and the security of the blockchain drops accordingly, since it's hard to tell which of the blocks has authentic data.

Currently, many of the computer scientists and developers work on merging these 3 concepts of Trilemma as much as possible.