What is blockchain sharding?

What is blockchain sharding?

Author: Robert Strickland


What is blockchain sharding?
Today, almost no digital coin can support as many transactions as classical banking systems. Blockchain sharding is considered one solution to this problem. What it is, we will understand in this article.


Blockchain sharding is the process of breaking down transactions into separate pieces called shards. They are distributed to the individual nodes that verify them. In a classic blockchain, it works a little differently - transactions are sent in one piece to all nodes in the network at once, which increases the amount of time it takes to verify them.

In addition, while classic blockchain has a one-tiered interaction, that is, each block interacts with the next in the chain, sharding involves the use of 2 levels:

Each shard, or "shard" of a transaction, is assigned its own group. Each has its own identifier that extends to all constituent components, including the transactions themselves.
Blockchain, which, unlike the standard scheme, accepts transaction groups rather than whole transactions.
Thus, the verification process, by distributing transactions more rationally between nodes, reduces the period of transfers.


Despite the seemingly simple idea, blockchain sharding has not yet been fully implemented. This is due to the following difficulties:

No really efficient and working mechanism has yet been developed to keep track of which node is processing which "shard" of a transaction. Accordingly, it is impossible to control the entire sharding process.
If there is a particular transaction that is sharded and distributed between node A and node B, then a mechanism is needed for both nodes to exchange valid part verification data.
Blockchain sharding is difficult to implement in existing blockchain systems. PoS is considered the most malleable algorithm for this, making Ethereum an ideal option for experimentation.
Thus, blockchain sharding has every chance of becoming a full-fledged solution to the scalability problem for the Ethereum network, for example, in the future. For now, the concept has no full-fledged practical application.

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