What is sharding?

Created as part of the upcoming changes in the Consensus Layer, sharding was proposed by Ethereum developers to split the infrastructure of the Ethereum blockchain into smaller pieces to support more users, improve efficiency and speed up the verification process. You can think of Ethereum as a birthday cake. Delicious on its own, but much better when it’s broken up into smaller pieces so everyone can enjoy it.

How does it work?

Currently, data that is added to the Ethereum blockchain has to be verified by everyone participating on the network. While it is a proven system that works, the speed of verification is tied to the slowest participant as everyone must complete their check before it can be added. In reality, this means higher costs for users and a slower overall process.

Sharding fixes this by breaking the task of verification up amongst different groups, each responsible for verifying just the data they’ve received. Using this method, the entire blockchain can process separate chunks of these transactions simultaneously, increasing both capacity and speed. To put this into perspective, when sharding is deployed alongside the full Ethereum 2.0 upgrade, it is hoped that the network will be able to process up to 100,000 transactions per second or more.

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