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TO SCALE, BLOCKCHAINS USUALLY NEED TO SACRIFICE ONE OF THEIR THREE FUNDAMENTAL CORNERSTONES: SCALABILITY TRILEMMA

TO SCALE, BLOCKCHAINS USUALLY NEED TO SACRIFICE ONE OF THEIR THREE FUNDAMENTAL CORNERSTONES: SCALABILITY TRILEMMA

After the successful Ethereum merger, all eyes are on the next phase of the transition, which would introduce key scalability solutions to the platform, including sharding. Market experts believe that sharding would be a game changer for the Ethereum network as it could potentially solve the scalability trilemma.


In an exclusive interview with Cointelegraph, Head of Research at Uphold, Dr. Martin Hiesboeck, explained how sharding could pave the way for Ethereum to become a truly global network.


Hiesboeck believes that sharding could finally solve the long-standing scalability trilemma of blockchain networks. The scalability trilemma means that in order to scale, blockchains typically have to sacrifice one of their three cornerstones – security or decentralization, the third of which is scalability itself. He explained:


"Sharding is indeed one of the most efficient and versatile ways to solve the so-called 'scalability trilemma.' We're not sure it's enough to claim it as the only true scalability solution, but sharding is definitely among the best we have right now.”

In layman's terms, sharding would introduce parallel processing, allowing secure distribution of data storage requirements and making nodes easier to service. In the current blockchain processing system, transactions are processed one block at a time, while with the introduction of sharding, the network can process multiple blocks of transactions simultaneously.


Using this mechanism, validators who validate certain blocks will publish signatures confirming the fact that they have done so. At the same time, everyone else will only have to verify 10,000 such signatures instead of 100 full blocks, which is significantly less work.

Hiesboeck 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 the energy savings and scalability come from "smaller packets to move because sharding puts data sets into manageable chunks and allows more requests to run concurrently."


Previously, Ethereum developers planned to launch 64 shards, which require roughly 8.4 million Ether (ETH) to deposit into Eth2. However, almost 13.8 million ETH have already been staked, so the number of initial shards could potentially be even higher.


The move to PoS has also raised concerns about node centralization, particularly as a result of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) jurisdiction over ETH, as nearly 43% of nodes are clustered in the US. Hiesboeck said the SEC's claims regarding Ethereum are misleading. He argued that the concentration of nodes can change overnight and explained:


"Ethereum nodes can appear anywhere in the world, and while about 43% of them are actually centralized in the US right now (the second largest country is Germany with 11.8%), this can change in an instant."

Hiesboeck concluded by saying that the Ethereum developer community has a proven track record and has proven its resilience in the past, so anything can be solved at any given time.

Source: cointelegraph



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