BlockShow Asia 2019 hosted some big names today for a panel on blockchain scalability. All the speakers agreed: people have to choose between scalability and decentralization.

The panel included Max Kordek, CEO at Lisk; Matthew Tan, founder of Etherscan; Saranya Sriram, technical lead at Microsoft Azure; and Xinxi Wang, co-founder of Litecoin Foundation. It attracted a large audience for such a super-technical discussion.

Speaking about the difficulties of scaling a blockchain to the next level, Kordek said that “blockchain scalability is a tradeoff. You can’t simply scale a blockchain for free. This is why I always laugh when I hear about projects promising 50,000 transactions per second.”

Xinxi agreed, pointing out:

“At Litecoin, we always choose decentralization and security over scalability. Unfortunately we can’t do both, but we try to find something in the middle.”

The sentiment was echoed by Matthew Tan, who added that there is no reason to pursue infinite scalability:

“First of all, we need to define what scalability means. Are we talking about infinite scalability? There is no reason to do that. We need to go for the happy medium, so then we can scale and have decentralization and security granted.”

Besides the relevant subject and the strong opinions expressed, the panel didn’t get much engagement from the audience on this niche topic. At the end of the panel, no one had any questions for the speakers.