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Comprehending the Sharding Definition & Role for Blockchains


Did you know that any apps or websites with significant growth will eventually require a scaling process to overcome their increasing speed? The scaling process is essential to ensure that your data is complete and secure. This is why it is also crucial to find out what sharding definition is and what role it has. 

Sharding has received much attention in recent years, thanks to its use in the blockchain networks on Ethereum. However, there are still many people that do not understand yet what sharding is and how it can be beneficial to their data. Keep reading to find out the answer.


Sharding Definition

The sharding process is actually a technique for partitioning databases. This process is vital for many blockchain companies in terms of scalability so they can process many more transactions every second. The sharding process also splits a blockchain company's whole network into small partitions called "shards." Each of the shards has its data. This makes it unique and independent when you compare them. 

The sharding process can help lower network slowness, known as latency. This happens because sharding divides a network of blockchains into several different shards. The bad news is that the sharding process may be threatened with security issues: the shards may get attacked! 


The Role of Sharding

Cryptocurrencies, especially the blockchain networks, are trending as they can be accessed widely through apps. This includes financial transactions and stock of chain management. As the blockchain gets more popular, the commercial volume and the workload managed by the network get their own popularity, too. 

Imagine a blockchain as a database that is shared. As the data added increases, the network must find a new way to process the entire data quickly and efficiently. That's where the sharding gets its role: forming partitioned shards to help the network process its data quickly and efficiently. 

The Distributed Ledger

One of the benefits of the sharding system is the distributed ledger that lets you do and share any transactions consensually throughout many sites in the world. Because transactions are on record, the copies are delivered to the whole network and shared only in seconds to create public "monitors." 

If a part of the network becomes the victim of deception or a virus attack, the other part of the shared network can be notified of any changes the fraudsters make. This technology is excellent in helping reduce fraud and cyber, malicious attacks like hacking.  

The Scalability

Keep in mind that there is also a massive challenge in blockchain technology: hurdled scalability or latency. To make it simple, it is a challenge in which networks are incapable of handling the increasing flows of transactions and data as a lot more industries are applying the technology. 

In this case, sharding can be a good solution to allow scalability free from latency. The sharing system is indeed designed to create smaller partitions out of the network load, which can help cut down on the risk of latency and smoothen the flow of transaction processes done by the blockchain. 


How Sharding Works

After the sharding definition discussion, it is time for you to explore how the sophisticated system works. First of all, find out how your data is processed as well as stored. 

The Nodes of Blockchain 

At present, a network's every single node has to deal with the entire transactions, data, and operations. Note that all of a blockchain's nodes are independent and responsible for preserving the data inside a decentralized network—including the history of all transactions and account balances. 

Even though there is an assurance that a blockchain will remain secure when you store any transactions in the whole nodes, this slows down each transactional process. It is undoubtedly what many parties want to avoid as a blockchain is responsible for millions of transactions in the future. 

To reduce the burden of the blockchain's node, sharding can be of such help by dividing the workload into smaller partitions (shards). This way, the workload will be sorted out well and the speed won't be an issue anymore. 

Database Partitioning 

How to make a sharding process possible? A horizontal database partitioning through a row division. Rows, also known as shards, are arranged in accordance with characteristics. For example, a single shard may be in charge of the commerce history and state storing based on a particular type of geographical location. Shards can also be divided according to the digital asset type stored. Hence, a shard combination can let transactions involve the digital asset. 

The Shard Sharing 

The great thing is that every shard can still be shared among the entire shards. This will maintain a significant aspect of blockchain technology, the decentralized ledger. That means every user can easily access the ledger, allowing them to check out all the transactions made there. 


Sharding and Its Security Challenges

Sharding can be a solution, but it does not make it free from problems. One of its major issues is security. Although every separated shard only processes its data, it can still be corrupted—a shard may take over another shard, resulting in data or information loss. There is also a risk that a hacker could take over a shard to swap the actual transactions with the fake ones or trap it in a malicious program. 

Also, keep in mind that the sharding system is actually still at the beginning of a testing stage. Consequently, the risks of having cyber attacks have not been met yet. Nevertheless, a leading blockchain company known as Ethereum is one of those that first started testing to overcome latency issues in the blockchain network. 

Sharding is, after all, a part of Ethereum 2.0. It is an upgrade series to the Ethereum blockchain officially released on December 1, 2020. The sharing system will more likely be included in the later stages of the upgrades due to its complexities and potential issues. 

The information above will also be the end of this article that tells all about sharding definition and roles. Hopefully, it can be helpful in your exploration of the cryptocurrency world. 

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