What Is Fantom Opera And How Does It Solve The Blockchain Trilemma? A Quick Introduction

3 min readMay 30, 2021

In this article I want to give a short overview on Fantom and the blockchain trilemma. Then I will go over some of my recent experiences with the network. Enjoy!

Short Bio of Fantom Opera

  • Network of blockchains that provides services to Applications and Businesses
  • Compatible with Metamask Wallet
  • Transaction cost: fractions of a cent
  • Super fast transaction speeds (>1s and will get faster if the network usage increases)
  • EVM compatible: can run the same apps as Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain
  • Etherscan-style blockexplorer: ftmscan.com

How to get funds to the network?

  • Buy on Binance, withdraw to Wallet
  • Bridge from ETH or BSC

The Blockchain Trilemma

What is the blockchain trilemma in the first place? It’s a well known trade-off in distributed ledger technologies: you can only pick two out of speed, security and decentralization. Take Bitcoin for example. The network is the most distributed and therefore quite secure but gives up network speed in the process. Binance Smart Chain is super fast and secure but with only 21 validator nodes and lot’s of involvement of Binance it gives up true decentralization.

Fantom proposes to solve this blockchain trilemma in an interesting way. It uses a unique consensus mechanism that additional layers of blockchains can plug into. That way projects can work on independent chains and only use the main network for consensus. On Ethereum for example all applications use the main layer, which leads to the high transaction costs we see today.

My experience on Fantom so far

Using Fantom has been super smooth so far. Transactions are fast and cost much less than even on Binance Smart Chain. More and more projects are coming to the Chain (C.R.E.A.M. Lending, Beefy.Finance yield optimizer).

The Fantom Foundation is working on their own set of DeFi Tools, together with Yearn Finance’s Andre Cronje.

I have been lending my FTM Tokens on C.R.E.A.M. for a small return and to stay exposed to the growing potential of the token. But also yield farming on SpookySwap and SpiritSwap (the first two DEXes) was very pleasant. Let me know if you are interested in a portfolio overview/detailed review of projects I work with!

With the current dip of FTM to ~0.30$ I see a lot of potential for growth and will stay invested mid to long-term. Please still do your own research!

A negative point to mention are the gas fees that have increased quite a bit since I started using the network. From 5 gwei (0.0001 FTM or less) up to a 110 (0.1 FTM) could be seen. With the low price of FTM it still does not matter as much but I hope that we will return to the really low transaction costs from 2 months ago. I heard some rumors that there will be a patch to bring them back to normal lows.

Also I recently experienced my first rug pull on Fantom, which I wrote about here. So be careful out there, like with any investment.

So what’s your experience with Fantom Opera? Have you heard of it before? Have you used it? Do you want to give it a try? Let me know in the comments!


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None of this is financial advice. Please always do your own research.

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Follow my crypto adventures in DeFi with Fantom, Cosmos & THORChain.