What is the blockchain trilemma?

Many crypto projects running on a blockchain are known for their vision and ambition — but what they prioritize and what they’re known for varies. Typically blockchain projects rotate around three core concepts: decentralization, scalability, and security.

The so-called “blockchain trilemma” addresses the challenges developers face in creating a blockchain that is decentralized, scalable, and secure — without compromising on any facet.

Blockchains are often forced to make trade-offs that prevent them from achieving all three aspects:

  • Decentralization: creating a blockchain system that does not rely on a central point of control.
  • Scalablity: the ability for a blockchain system to handle an increasingly growing amount of transactions.
  • Security: the ability of the blockchain system to operate as expected, defend itself from attacks, bugs, and other unforeseen issues.

While some developers believe that the blockchain data structure itself has inherent limitations that prevent it from scaling, many blockchain systems, including Electra Protocol, believe that it’s possible to build a blockchain project that hits all three targets: one that is decentralized, scalable, and secure.

Hence, Electra Protocol comes with its typical characteristics, offering the right balance between staking rewards, block size, and transaction time, to be a perfect ecosystem for transactions.

Blockchain trilemma - Decentralization - Scalability - Security

Transactions per second

Electra Protocol is currently having a rate of 1,500+ transactions per seconds (December 2021). This value is a compromise of providing the best balance in order to provide a decentralized, scalable, and secure blockchain ecosystem. However, the transactions per seconds could be changed.

From a technical perspective it would be possible to increase the TPS rate, for example by

  • reducing the block time (currently 80 seconds) to 10 seconds => factor 8
  • increasing the block size (currently 10 MB) to 30 MB => factor 3

resulting in 1,500 x 8 x 3 = 36,000+ transactions per second. At the same time changing these settings could have negative effects on speed, storage capacity, and/or other aspects. However, since the right balance matters and not just numbers to market a project, the current technical specifications have been selected. The block time and block size are dynamic and current values could be changed, if desired.

Electra Protocol