Bitcoin ABC Developer Reveals Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Blockchain Sharding Plans
Bitcoin ABC Developer Reveals BCH Sharding Plans
The drama in the BCH community continues. This time a proposition for scaling has been made, this one involving sharding to compute blocks faster in a form of parallel processing. The solution was suggested by Bitcoin ABC member Shammah Chancellor.
“In order to make use of additional cores effectively, the data which they use must be process localized. This process of organizing data for local processing is called sharding. However, Bitcoin currently employs data structures for computing the Merkle root of the block header which prevents data from being localized. By changing the ordering of the Merkle root computation via a canonicalization, the data may be sharded.”
Sharding is a concept in database design, and as implied by its name, sharding involves creating smaller parts from a larger one. In the context of databases, sharding results in the creation of smaller partitions in the ledger. These partitions are thus referred to as shards. A shard may contain data that is in all the other shards; however, these partitions are designed to include data that is accessible only through it, which means that the data in each shard is unique to it.
The current BCH sharding proposal is simple sharding or as some call it private sharding as it allows you to in effect add more processing units, so giving you more “power.” Far more difficult is to shard the data itself, or the nodes, with the only ethereum, as far as we are aware, working on what can be called full sharding.
BCH transactions are about 10% of the Bitcoin network load, with around 24,000 transactions in 24 hours. Scalability is a big issue and is a multifaceted problem with many ways to tackle it. Every gain helps. Specialized hardware cannot solve this issue alone. The protocol must facilitate node software that is capable of being scaled horizontally because vertical scaling will not work beyond blocks of roughly 1GB in size. This change is for Bitcoin, layer 1 so that miners can collect fees at a global scale. Bitcoin incentives must and will be maintained.
If by any chance BCH implements Sharding, it will become even more practical, since it will be better positioned to handle large-scale transactions without any problems in the system.