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What is Blockchain Sharding and How does it work?


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Over the years, numerous innovations including blockchain sharding have been introduced to improve the scalability of blockchain. With these innovations, blockchain technology has maintained a dynamic posture which makes it prone to changes and development.

Hence, with these innovations, blockchain technology has continued to remain relevant, birthing it more adoption. As one of the leading innovations sharding, otherwise referred to as “Token Sharding,” helps reduce hardware requirements on a blockchain while also enhancing its speed and security.

What is Sharding?

Sharding in blockchain is a technique for database partitioning, ensuring that each data is distinctive and independent from others. The smaller partitions derived through the blockchain sharding process are called “Shards.” That said, each shard comes with its own data, thereby reducing the latency of a network and enhancing its speed too.

As mentioned earlier, sharding in blockchain helps ensure the distribution of the workload of a network to different nodes. This approach makes it possible for the whole network to process more transactions and work more efficiently. Overall, Sharding is best described as one of the top solutions for blockchain scalability. Since it increases transaction throughput and decreases blockchain storage requirements, it has been embraced by many networks.

At a time, even one of the most popular blockchain networks, Ethereum considered embracing the innovation. Later, the developers abandoned the plan and instead embraced Danksharding. While both concepts are similar, Danksharding distinguishes itself with the use of data rollups and blobs relayed from a second-layer solution to Ethereum.

That said, sharding is also growing popular in the bustling space. However, one of the factors that have impacted its widespread adoption is the security concerns associated with it. Since every shard is independent and processes its own data alone, there are concerns about the possible corruption of any of the shards. When this happens, it might affect the efficiency of other shards and the overall performance of the network as a whole.

That said, the next section of this guide will provide detailed insights into how sharding works for blockchain.

How Sharding Works?

Don’t forget that sharding helps in removing the need for the nodes to store or confirm the entire blockchains. Hence, it allows the majority of the nodes to only save confirmations. 

Horizontal partitioning is one of the ways in which sharding works as it allows the division of information into rows. In this system, the shards are computerized based on characteristics. 

For instance, one can divide shards based on the type of virtual assets they store. Also, one shard can be dedicated to saving the state and transaction record of a certain type of address. Consequently, one has to combine these shards to confirm transactions involving its designated virtual asset.

Similarly, shard sharing is another dimension in which sharding takes place. In this system, instead of partitioning each shard, they share information among themselves to help maintain the key features of the blockchain technology. Deployed in either way, the sole purpose of implementing sharding is to reduce the workload on a blockchain network.


While sharding seems to pose as one of the best ways of combating blockchain scalability issues, the technique also has its shortcomings. One of the major shortcomings is its security which can be compromised if hackers overtake a single shard. 

Hijacking a shard comes with ease due to how it only requires minimal hash power to control a sole segment. After hacking a shard, the hacker can send illicit transactions to the main network to trouble the entire network. 

Meanwhile, since each shard operates independently, it is essential to establish a communication link between them. However, implementing this channel comes with high technicality which sometimes may be difficult to set up. Also, failure to implement the link properly can birth double spending and make the entire network more vulnerable.

Nevertheless, sharding remains one of the most effective solutions to combating the scalability issue of blockchain. Sharding as earlier discussed is designed to spread the burden on a blockchain network into partitions.

Being effective, it will help reduce the latency and aid the blockchain to be faster. Despite having some downturns, it has proved effective in increasing the efficiency of a blockchain in processing transactions. 

Olaleye Komolafe
Olaleye Komolafe
Olaleye is a professional reporter with vast experience in web3, cryptocurrencies, and NFT journalism. He enjoys writing about the evolving metaverse sphere and the prevalence in the crypto sphere. Notably, some of his contents have been published in numerous international publications. Away from the crypto world, Olaleye is a political scientist and a lover of football

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