Vitalik Buterin Confirms the Arrival of ‘Sharding’ Tech By Unveiling a Proof-of-Concept

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by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read
Vitalik Buterin Confirms the Arrival of ‘Sharding’ Tech By Unveiling a Proof-of-Concept
Photo: tiendientu vietnam / Flickr

Sharding is the much-awaited scalability solution for the Ethereum blockchain network, designed to help process more transactions in a given period of time at reduced costs.

The arrival of the Sharding Tech – Ethereum’s much-awaited scalability solution is pretty much on the cards! On Monday, Ethereum founder made the announcement tweeting “Sharding is Coming” while simultaneously uploading a proof-of-concept for Sharding on the Github platform.

On the Reddit Ethereum platform, which is an online community comprising of Ethereum developers, investors, users and enthusiasts, Buterin explained in detail the proof-of-concept, which he released earlier this week. Butein stated that the fundamental idea behind the implementation of Sharding’s proof concept requires first implementing proof-of-stake beacon chain or full Casper, which is later merged into the original Ethereum blockchain network.

In the post, Buterin explains:

“The basic idea is based on a concept of dependent fork choice rules. First, there is a proof of stake beacon chain (in phase 4, aka full casper, this will just be merged into the main chain), which is tied to the main chain; every beacon chain block must specify a recent main chain block, and that beacon chain block being part of the canonical chain is conditional on the referenced main chain block being part of the canonical main chain.”

Buterin also stated that Sharding-enabled proof-of-stake beacon chain will be able to issue new blocks every two-to-eight seconds, which is significantly faster in comparison to its rivals like Bitcoin, which has an average block time of 10 minutes.

Sharding is basically aimed at improving the ability of the Ethereum blockchain to process a number of transactions within a given time. Thus, the solution helps in optimizing the process of smart contracts and transaction verifications by splitting the Ethereum blockchain network into shards. This means that multiple network computers on the Ethereum blockchain will divide the workload between them. This would further allow to ease up the congestion on the network thereby allowing more number of transactions to take place at the same time while simultaneously lowering the costs.

Buterin said that it takes around ten seconds to process all the shared blocks that are split between the group of computers. In yet another tweet, Buterin wrote:

“I would not say the spec is finalized at this point, though the ‘bag of ideas’ is IMO pretty well-established. The latest research consists of combining together existing ideas about scaling and latency (ie. block time) reduction.”

This news comes at a time when the Ethereum network is facing an increasing pressure to scale so that to meet ever increasing demand. Last month, at the Deconomy conference in Seoul, South Korea, Buterin explicitly said that the Ethereum applications are “screwed” by the existing scaling challenges. So, the arrival of Sharding will be a much bigger breather for Buterin at this moment.

To recap, on March 9, 2018, Vitalik Buterin had revealed a new scalability solution called Plasma for an Ethereum Smart Contract Project at the Ethereum Community Conference.

Meanwhile, the entire Ethereum community and crypto enthusiasts are currently waiting for the tech to improve so that it could give developers more flexibility to host multiple new decentralized applications (DApps).

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