Vitalik Releases Partial Proof-of-Concept for Ethereum 'Sharding' Tech

Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin posted the proof-of-concept for adding sharding to ethereum's current mainnet.

AccessTimeIconMay 1, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:53 a.m. UTC

Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin said yesterday that ethereum's in-house scaling solution, sharding, is moving closer to completion.

"sharding is coming," Buterin shared a new code repository that documents a partial proof-of-concept for what is called the "fork choice rule," the code for how ethereum shards interact with the main blockchain.

As detailed by CoinDesk, the sharding approach aims to split ethereum into several concurrent networks, allowing the network as a whole to scale more efficiently. This would help ease the congestion the network faces, thereby increasing transaction speeds and lowering costs.

The tweet was accompanied by an image of a simulation of 12 shards in action.

Speaking on Reddit, Buterin said that a sharded ethereum will likely contain around 100 shards, each with as much capacity, "and likely more," the developer wrote, than the main ethereum blockchain.

Buterin also noted that the new sharding code will be fused with ethereum once its upcoming switch to proof-of-stake, Casper, is in its final stage.

The news comes at a time when the platform is faced with increasing pressure to scale to keep up with increasing demand. Speaking at Deconomy conference in Seoul, South Korea last month, Buterin said that ethereum applications are "screwed" by current scaling challenges.

Buterin continued to tweet several further documents, including an early stage sharding specification, that forms an early picture of the new protocol.

The developer wrote:

"I would not say the spec is finalized at this point, though the 'bag of ideas' is IMO pretty well-established."

Glass image via Shutterstock

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