After the successful upgrade of Ethereum Merge, all eyes are on the next phase of the transition, which would introduce key scalability solutions to the platform, including sharding. Market experts believe that sharding could be a game changer for the Ethereum network, as it could solve the scalability trilemma.
In an exclusive conversation with Cointelegraph, Uphold’s Head of Research, Dr. Martin Hiesboeck, discussed how blockchain could pave the way for Ethereum to become a truly global network.
Hiesboeck thinks that sharding could solve the long-standing blockchain network scalability trilemma. The scalability trilemma implies that, according to scale, blockchains usually have to sacrifice one of the three cornerstones: security or decentralization, the third being scalability itself. He explains:
“Sharing is indeed one of the most effective and universal ways to solve the so-called ‘scalability trilemma’. I’m not sure if it’s enough to declare it the only truly scalable solution, but shaving is definitely one of the best solutions we have today. »
Simply put, sharding would introduce parallel processing, allowing data storage requirements to be safely distributed and making it easier to operate nodes. In the current blockchain processing system, transactions are processed one block at a time. However, with the introduction of sharding, the network can process multiple blocks of transactions at the same time.
Through this mechanism, validators who verify certain blocks of signatures will post signatures attesting that they have done so. Meanwhile, everyone else will only have to verify 10,000 of those signatures instead of 100 full blocks, which is much less work.
Hiesboeck explained that clipping would not only increase Ethereum’s throughput, but also reduce gas fees and make the network more energy efficient. He explained that both the power savings and scalability “come from the smaller packets that have to be moved, because sharding stores data sets in manageable blocks and allows additional requests to be executed at the same time.”
Previously, Ethereum developers planned to launch 64 shards, which required about 8.4 million ether (ETH) to be involved in Eth2. However, there are already almost 13.8 million ETH in play right now, so the number of initial shards could be higher than that.
Also read: Ethereum (ETH): Ethereum Co-Founder Vitalik Buterin Defends DAO Against Critics!
The move to PoS also raised concerns about node centralization, especially after the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) demands on ETH’s sovereignty, as nearly 43% of nodes are clustered in the United States. He argued that node concentration can change overnight and explained:
“Ethereum nodes can appear anywhere in the world, and although almost 43% of them are currently centralized in the United States (the second largest in Germany with 11, 8%), this could change at any time. »
Hiesboeck concluded by saying that the Ethereum developer community has a proven track record and has shown resilience in the past, so anything can be fixed, given time.