Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin has announced that there could soon be a new solution to the scaling problem of his platform. The technique known as sharding is therefore nearing completion. Similar to Bitcoins Lightning Network, Ethereums Shards will make the scaling of the entire network more efficient.
Sharding: Briefly explained
Sharding is a concept in which the mainnet blockchain is split into different shards. These then run separately on different servers at the same time, which would make scaling the entire network a lot easier. Faster transactions and lower costs should, as so often, be the result of the update. In this respect, Sharding is very similar to the Lightning Network, which is set up on the Bitcoin blockchain. Sharding, however, is not an off-chain solution, but simply a division of the Mainnet.
Similar to Bitcoin, where the Segregated Witness Update has created the basic prerequisite for the Lightning Network, the Ethereum blockchain must also have the necessary infrastructure. The Ethereum community must be patient with the implementation of Sharding until the Casper update is activated. In the course of this update, the final change from the proof-of-work algorithm to the proof-of-stake algorithm is to be completed. This is necessary because each shard requires a higher-level node: the so-called beacon.
According to Buterin, a shard consists of a proof-of-stake beacon chain tied to the main chain. Each beacon chain block must specify a current main chain block. The beacon chain forms a new block every two to eight seconds. All in all, there are to be “about 100 shards” on Ethereum in the future, all of which should have the same capacity as the previous Ethereum Mainnet – possibly even more. So the community can be curious.