Blockchain Trilemma in 2023: Rethinking and rebuilding

3 min readMar 3, 2023


Since its inception in 2008, blockchain has come a long way, now with a range of applications, from supply chain management to digital identity, and from finance to healthcare.

In a world that’s starting to embrace Web3, we can’t compromise on scalability, security, or decentralization. Even so, we’re still faced with the same fundamental problem that’s been tormenting the community since its creation: the Blockchain Trilemma.

But is it really unsolvable? Let’s take a closer look at the Trilemma in the context of 2023, recap the current workarounds, and face the challenge head-on with a peek at how Dandelion is out to solve it.

Scalability, security, and decentralization

These three issues, which are often referred to as the “blockchain trilemma,” have been the focus of intense debate in the blockchain community.

It describes the challenge of achieving all three of these goals at the same time: scalability, security, and decentralization. In other words, it’s a trade-off between speed, security, and privacy.

The term was first coined by Ethereum Founder Vitalik Buterin, who wrote that “it is impossible to achieve all three at the same time” and that “any blockchain architecture must choose two at the expense of the third.”

Where are we now?

Since the term was first coined, however, a lot has changed in the world of Web3. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have gained widespread adoption, and new decentralized tech has emerged.

The boom of NFTs and the Metaverse has been a double-edged sword: it opened up new possibilities for blockchain adoption and applications, but also highlighted the limitations of the Trilemma.

In the Metaverse, for example, speed and efficiency are critical for providing a seamless user experience. Decentralization is also important for full control over digital identities and assets. But security is perhaps the most critical of all, as any security breaches could have serious consequences for users and the broader ecosystem.

Do we really have to choose?

Yes, but not for long. To fully realize the potential of the Metaverse and Web3 as a whole, we need to rethink the Blockchain Trilemma.

For the longest time, the focus was on Layer-2 solutions, which helped scale blockchain technology while maintaining security and decentralization. But this has proven to be a band-aid on a bullet wound: L2s account for more than half of Ethereum exploits.

At Dandelion, we decided to take on another approach entirely. What if we had a Layer-1 platform that didn’t need L2s to solve its problems? A readily available dev environment to power the Metaverse while not compromising on any of the three components. Here’s how we did it.

  • Speed. Scalability doesn’t come at the cost of security or decentralization, since we cut network activity by 90% and more.
  • Security. No L2 means eliminating human error and stop blockchain exploits at the core.
  • Trilemma solved. As a result, we offload vulnerabilities away from the network — yes, completely.

Wrapping up

2023 is the closest we ever came to solving the Trilemma. At Dandelion, we don’t look at it as a limitation, but a challenge to be solved.

Want to be a part of the L1 to first solve the Trilemma? Join us on Twitter and Telegram and look out for the first waitlist announcement.