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After a successful ethereum mergers all eyes are on the next phase of the transition, which will introduce key scalability solutions to the platform, including sharding. Market experts believe that sharding will be a game changer for the Ethereum network as it can potentially solve the scalability trilemma.
In an exclusive conversation with Cointelegraph, Uphold Research Lead Dr. Martin Hisbeck explained how sharding could pave the way for Ethereum to become a truly global network.
Hisbeck believes that sharding may ultimately solve the longstanding trilemma of blockchain network scalability. The scalability trilemma implies that in order to scale, blockchains usually have to sacrifice one of three fundamental cornerstones – security or decentralization, and the third is scalability itself. He explained:
“Sharding is indeed one of the most efficient and versatile ways to solve the so-called ‘scalability trilemma’. Not sure if that’s enough to declare it the only true scalability solution, but sharding is definitely one of the best we have at the moment.”
In layman’s terms, sharding introduces parallel processing, enabling secure distribution of storage requirements and making nodes easier to work with. In the current blockchain processing system, transactions are processed one block after another, and with the introduction of sharding, the network can process multiple blocks of transactions at the same time.
Using this mechanism, validators validating certain blocks will publish signatures confirming the fact that they have done so. At the same time, everyone else will have to verify only 10,000 such signatures instead of 100 full blocks, which is a significantly less amount of work.
An image of a split version of Ethereum. Source: Kvantshtamp.
Hisbock explained that sharding would not only multiply Ethereum’s throughput, but also reduce gas fees and make the network more energy efficient. He explained that power savings and scalability are provided by “smaller batches that need to be moved as sharding stores datasets in manageable blocks and allows additional queries to run concurrently.”
Former Ethereum Developers planned launch 64 segments requiring around 8.4M Ether for staking in Eth2. However, almost 13.8 million ETH has already been staked so far, so the number of seed shards could potentially be even higher.
The transition to PoS has also raised concerns about node centralization, especially after statements from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) about jurisdiction over ETH as almost 43% of the nodes are clustered in the US. are mistaken. He argued that the concentration of nodes could change overnight and explained:
“Ethereum nodes can appear anywhere in the world, and although about 43% of them indeed now centralized in the US (the second largest country is Germany with 11.8%), this could change at any moment.”
Hisbock concluded by saying that the Ethereum developer community has a proven track record and has already demonstrated its resilience in the past, so everything can be resolved within a certain amount of time.
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