Sharding could solve the Ethereum scalability trilemma, say researchers

After the successful integration of Ethereum, all eyes are set on the next phase of transition, which will introduce key expansion solutions to the platform, including sharding. Market experts believe that sharding will be a game changer for the Ethereum network because it can solve the problem of elasticity.

In an exclusive chat with Cointelegraph, Uphold’s Head of Research Dr. Martin Hisbock explained how sharding paves the way for Ethereum to become a truly global network.

Hiesboeck believes that sharding can eventually solve the long-term scalability trilemma of blockchain networks. The Scalability trilemma suggests that in order to scale, blockchains often have to sacrifice one of their three cornerstones – security or decentralization – with the third being scalability. He explained.

Sharding is indeed one of the most effective and comprehensive ways to solve the so-called ‘scalability trilemma’. I’m not sure it’s fair enough to declare it the only real migration solution, but sharding is one of the best we have right now.

In layman’s terms, sharding introduces parallel processing, making it easier to distribute secure data storage requirements and create nodes. In the current blockchain process, transactions are done one block after another, when sharding is introduced, the network can process multiple transactions at the same time.

Validators who verify certain blocks using this method will publish signatures confirming that they have done so. Meanwhile, everyone has to verify only 10,000 such signatures instead of 100 entire blocks, which is a much smaller amount of work.

Description of Sharded version of Ethereum. Source: Quantstamp

Hiesboeck explained that in addition to multiplying the flow of Ethereum, sharding also lowers gas fees and makes the network more energy efficient. The energy savings and scalability both come from “smaller packets that allow sharing when storing data sets in manageable blocks and allowing more requests to be executed simultaneously.”

Earlier, Ethereum developers planned to unlock 64 shards, which would require approximately 8.4 million Ether (ETH) to be included in Eth2. However, there are currently around 13.8 million ETH shares, so the number of initial shards may be higher than that.

Related: Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin defends DAOs from critics

The shift to PoS has also raised concerns about node centralization, especially following the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) claim against ETH that, since approximately 43% of nodes are clustered in the US, HisBlock’s SEC certifications were flawed by Ethereum. He argued that the number of nodes could change overnight.

“Ethereum nodes can pop up anywhere in the world, and while around 43% are now centered in the US (the second largest country is Germany at 11.8%), this could change in an instant.

Hisbok concluded that the Ethereum developer community has a proven track record and has previously demonstrated the tenacity to be able to solve anything, given time.