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Sharding and Casper

Sharding and Casper

One of the most sought innovation and technology is the fast initiation and completion of transactions. The blockchain of the most popular cryptocurrencies executes transactions within seconds and this is referred to as TPS – Transaction per second. For the bitcoin blockchain, the TPS is between 3 – 7 transactions per second, while for the Ethereum blockchain, the transaction per second is about 12 – 30. If compared to that of MasterCard, it is observed that that of bitcoin and Ethereum is relatively low. With the integration of blockchain-based applications in various services, it shows blockchain cannot be used as an alternative to perform daily transactions. The typical issues that is related to this low TPS of blockchain and which needs to be analyzed and rectified include; scalability issues, low throughput, and problems with latency. Nonetheless, there has been increasing research by blockchain experts to enhance the processing and completion speed of transactions under the blockchain network. One of the recent technologies to bring this improvement is known as Sharding. 


This method of improvement is mostly used to effect effectiveness and efficiency in databases. A shard acts as a component of the database and different servers are utilized for the storage of individual shards. This helps to increase the efficiency obtained from the database due to the fact that the load is distributed. Sharding is achieved by altering the blockchain protocol. Access of the data on the network will be granted to each node, however, only parts of the data will be made accessible rather than the entire. Thus, this makes information to be stored on the shard and this helps to enhance the scalability of the blockchain protocol as a result of the inability of each shard to access the entire information which is kept in other shards. Sharding is used as a Proof of Stake algorithm rather than a Proof of Work. 


There has been increasing use of the Ethereum blockchain in numerous applications, this is owed to the fact that it improves the productivity of such applications. However, a major setback faced by the Ethereum network is the inability to be used generally for mass adoption. This is resolved with the introduction of a concept known as Casper. Casper is a technology which helps to abate the process of coin mining while improving the security system of the Ethereum blockchain. The risks associated with the centralization of the blockchain is also eliminated through the use of Casper. Casper operates as an integration of PoS and PoW algorithms in the initial stages, but later, it fully bases its functions on Point of Stake protocol at the 100th block. Casper, which is the bedrock of the Ethereum blockchain will be effective in tackling the issues that challenges the mass adoption of the Ethereum network. 

The Casper concept which was initiated by Vlad Zamfir, has been in vogue for sometime now, it dates back to early 2014. The incorporation of Casper to the Ethereum blockchain could result to an end to mining but if that is the cost for a more effective Ethereum network, then why not. The transition of the Ethereum blockchain to the incorporate the Casper concept needs to be done with extra caution to avoid the end of the network of Ethereum.

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