Namesake of Ethereum's 'Danksharding' Says 'Data Availability' Too Confusing a Term

The Ethereum Foundation's Dankrad Feist says he thinks a lot of people are stumped by the term "data availability," even as the concept gains momentum in blockchain tech circles.

AccessTimeIconSep 12, 2023 at 4:52 p.m. UTC
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Find the blockchain term “data availability” too confusing?

Don’t worry, so does one top blockchain expert.

Dankrad Feist, a researcher at the Ethereum Foundation, said Monday during a panel discussion at the Permissionless crypto conference in Austin, Texas, that the industry should consider “data publishing” as an alternative label for the practice.

So-called data availability refers to the idea that blockchains can work faster when the function of storing data is handled separately from the job of processing and confirming transactions. The data can then be independently verified or downloaded when users need it.

The concept of data availability is at the root of several aspiring blockchain projects including Avail and Celestia – and at the heart of discussions on how to scale Ethereum and its ecosystem of sub-networks to handle many more transactions.

Ethereum developers separately are working on their own data-storage solution for the blockchain known as “Danksharding” - named after Feist. According to Feist's LinkedIn page, he has a Ph.D. in theoretical physics and applied mathematics from the University of Cambridge.

“It seems to me that we should rename data availability to data publishing,” Feist said. People “catch on quicker when we talk about data publishing.”

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Bradley Keoun

Bradley Keoun is the managing editor of CoinDesk's Tech & Protocols team. He owns less than $1,000 each of several cryptocurrencies.


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