What is Ethereum Sharding and Why Is It Important for Scaling?

Vitalik Buterin who created Ethereum, has declared that Sharding, which is a scaling solution for the procedure of Ethereum blockchain is coming. People have been waiting for it with a lot of eagerness.


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Ethereum Sharding
Ethereum Sharding

What Does Ethereum Sharding Entail?

Essentially, Sharding describes a solution that improves the procedure of confirming transactions as well as smart contracts by dividing the network of blockchain into sections known as shards. Rather than all the nodes experiencing the whole transaction background of the network for Ethereum blockchain, Sharding facilitates the assignment of specific nodes to particular shards, boosting the procedure of nodes confirming transactions.

Ethereum Sharding Workshop in Taipei
Ethereum Sharding Workshop in Taipei

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Earlier, an Ethereum developer called James Ray, working on Drops of Diamond, which is a scaling solution stated that nodes need to confirm all transactions in a network of blockchain. It restricts the scaling capability of the blockchain. He said, ‘Mainly due to this, Bitcoin has a restriction of 3 to 7 transactions each second and 7 to 15 for Ethereum, etc. But, this makes one wonder whether methods exist for forming another mechanism where just tiny subset of nodes confirms every transaction.’ Litecoin differs from bitcoin and other blockchain networks that focus on payment, protocols of blockchain such as Ethereum, Cardano as well as EOS that require a bigger blockchain volume and flexible network since they back huge-scale decentralized applications.

CryptoKitties
CryptoKitties

Applications such as CryptoKitties together with decentralized exchanges like AirSwap and Kyber Network broadcast very huge quantities of transactions to the Ethereum network each second, even by utilizing off-chain techniques that lower the main chain burden. Due to this, Buterin disclosed a Sharding proof of concept uploaded to GitHub  and implied that the growth of Sharding is close to social media when he wrote ‘Sharding is coming.’ Reddit Ethereum presents an online community where users of Ethereum, fans, developers and investors talk about some solutions and projects. Buterin wrote a more detailed illustration of the proof of concept which he presented this week.

Bitcoin provides a 10 minutes average block period
Bitcoin provides a 10 minutes average block period

Buterin says that the main idea of the present type of proof of concept for Sharding involves the establishment of a full Casper or beacon chain of proof-of-stake which is integrated inside the central network of Ethereum blockchain. ‘The key concept is founded on the idea of dependent fork choice regulations. Firstly, a beacon chain of proof of stake exists (in stage 4 or full Casper which will just be included in the main chain) that is connected to the central chain. Each beacon block should point out a current central chain block. The beacon chain block is a section of the canonical chain and is restricted to the referenced central chain block, which is a section of the canonical central chain. He also said that the beacon chain of proof-of-stake with Sharding supported can provide new blocks each 2-8 seconds. It is a lot quicker compared to the present blockchains proof-of-work such as bitcoin that provides a 10 minutes average block period.

Litecoin differs from bitcoin and other blockchain networks that focus on payment
Litecoin differs from bitcoin and other blockchain networks that focus on payment

Scaling is Essential

Fred Ehrsam, the co-founder of Coinbase stated that so that Ethereum can back decentralized applications with active users numbering millions, it is a requirement for it to be enhanced by 100 and more times where scalability is concerned. Today, developers expect Plasma, Sharding and Casper to advance Ethereum scalability and back smart contracts and decentralized applications that are large-scale.