DEFINITION of 'Sharding'

Sharding is a database partitioning technique that will be used to dramatically scale ethereum’s blockchain and enable it to process more transactions per second. 


Currently, each node on ethereum’s blockchain stores all states. This means that each node is responsible for storing critical information, such as account balances and transaction history. While it ensures the blockchain’s security, storing all states in all nodes considerably slows transaction processing. Slow speeds for processing transactions do not bode well for a future in which ethereum’s blockchain becomes responsible for millions of transactions. 

Sharding refers to the horizontal partitioning of databases through division into rows. Shards, as the rows are called, are conceptualized based on characteristics. For example, one shard might be responsible for storing the state and transaction history for a specific type of address. Or it might be possible to divide shards based on the type of digital asset stored in them. Transactions involving that digital asset might be made possible through a combination of shards. As an example, consider a rental real estate transaction in which multiple shards are involved. These shards correspond to different entities involved in the transaction, from customer name to digital keys configured into a smart lock that is made available to the renter upon rent payment.

  1. Master Node (Cryptocurrency)

    Master nodes are full nodes that incentivize the node operators ...
  2. Distributed Applications (ĐApps)

    Distributed Applications are software applications that are stored ...
  3. On-Chain Governance

    On-chain governance is a governance system for blockchain in ...
  4. Off-Chain Transactions (Cryptocurrency)

    Off-chain transactions of a cryptotoken occur outside of the ...
  5. Reference Number

    A reference number is a unique identifier assigned to each transaction ...
  6. Digital Transaction

    A digital transaction is a seamless system involving one or more ...
Related Articles
  1. Tech

    Zilliqa Joins the $1 Billion Crypto Club

    Launched last year, Zilliqa, claiming to offer a scalable solution, has secured a $1B market cap.
  2. Tech

    What Is The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance?

    The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance works to customize ethereum's blockchain technology for industry use.
  3. Tech

    How Does Blockchain Work?

    Blockchain technology supports the cryptocurrency space and many other promising applications.
  4. Tech

    Ethereum Experiencing New Hack

    In what appeared to be a coordinated attack just before the much anticipated Devcon2 conference in Shanghai, many nodes on the network of the Ethereum blockchain were crashing.
  5. Tech

    Blockchain Technology's Three Generations

    Much like the internet, it's possible to divide the development of blockchain into stages.
  6. Tech

    Why Do A High Percentage Of Crypto Transactions Have No Economic Value?

    A high percentage of cryptocurrency transactions have no economic value, according to recent research.
  7. Investing

    Why Ethereum Prices Reached Record Highs

    The virtual currency network reached a record high rate of $30/ea. What could be driving the jump?
  8. Tech

    An Introduction to Ethereum Classic

    Ethereum Classic is an open source, decentralized, blockchain-based distributed platform that runs smart contracts.
  9. Tech

    What Is the Byzantium Hard Fork In Ethereum?

    Ethereum's Byzantium hard fork is an important step in its blockchain's evolution. Here's why.
  10. Tech

    Is Ethereum More Important Than Bitcoin?

    Ethereum's market capitalization is only about a third of Bitcoin, but some think it is gaining ground fast.
  1. What Does the Bitcoin Blockchain Record?

    Read about the bitcoin blockchain, a public ledger shared among all bitcoin users that records the information of every single ... Read Answer >>
  2. What are the advantages of paying with Bitcoin?

    Learn how payments made with Bitcoins offer certain advantages over standard currency, including user anonymity, no taxation ... Read Answer >>
  3. What's the difference between cash-on-delivery differ and delivery against payment?

    Find out more about cash on delivery and delivery versus payment transactions and the difference between these two types ... Read Answer >>
  4. Correspondent banks versus intermediary banks

    Correspondent and intermediary banks both act as facilitating third parties during certain transactions, but you should know ... Read Answer >>
  5. When does vertical integration reduce transaction costs?

    Trading is not only based on supply and demand, but also negotiations between companies. Vertical integration can eliminate ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center