Ethereum long-time researcher Vlad Zamfir has announced his successful coding of proof-of-concept which he was able to develop at the Ethereum hackathon EthBerlin this week. As most hackathon is usually in groups, Zamfir had the help of fellow developers including Tim Beiko and John Marlin. The code is described as having the capacity to demonstrate how Ethereum shards may be able to communicate on the blockchain in the future.
What is Blockchain Sharding?
Blockchain sharding is an experimental scaling solution which is usually directed at creating a means to alleviate the restrictions of a growing network by simplifying the blockchain up into smaller units known as shards.
Though the idea of blockchain sharding sounds as complicated and technical as the sound of rocket science, it is really but Vlad Zamfir and other developers who worked on this project were able to present it in its simplest form to show Ethereum’s native cryptocurrency, ETH and other messages can be transferred securely through a sharded blockchain. Zamfir further revealed saying;
“We’re still working on the integration but check back in a week and it should be something where we have instructions and you can follow the instructions and get it running on your computer.”
The Rudiments of Blockchain Sharding
By mentioning “fork choice rule,” Zamfir refers to a code for how Ethereum shards relate within the min Blockchain technology. This code was published in a proof-of-concept by Buterin in May.
He explained that the proof-of-concept is built on the umbrella body of ideas around Sharding and also built to function with his “correct-by-construction” research including rules which compels blockchain coming to a consensus about transaction histories.
With this target, Zamfir’s sharding framework is a slight deviation from the general mainstream Ethereum roadmap which fulfils “different design criteria,” he also said; “I consider the core of sharding to be a cross-shard message or a cross-shard consistency problem,” stating further that;
“Vitalik thinks of it as sharding of availability, validity, and execution of the state. I have a different perspective than Vitalik does of consensus protocols and therefore also sharding.”
However, Zamfir continued that the proof-of-concept has “almost no significance,” on the grounds that it is not an invention targeted at solving a particular problem or uncover any new terrain. He stated that the missing item seems to include a system for transaction fees and a new means to route transactions and messages from one shard to the other.