Wazir X Nischal Shetty founder and blockchain architect Omar Syed has launched a new platform Web 3.0 called Shardeum, which has been built to tackle one of the fundamental problems with Web 3.0 platforms: scaling. Web 3.0 refers to the third generation of the Internet, which is primarily built on blockchain technology and is powered by cryptocurrencies.
According to Shetty, blockchain scalability is one of the biggest barriers to cryptocurrency adoption as existing infrastructure is slow and expensive. He isn’t the only one who thinks this way, either. Platforms like Algorand have been built in order to solve the scaling issues in existing ones like Ethereum and Bitcoin.
The rapid growth of the user base on all the major blockchain networks has slowed them down due to network congestion, which has made them expensive. Scaling issues can arise due to storage issues or due to fees (called gas fees) attached to cryptocurrency transactions.
Unlike Web 2.0 storage networks like Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud, Web 3.0 platforms are decentralized and data is replicated across many locations, creating scaling issues.
Shardeum claims to address this problem by using a method called hashing, which distributes the processing load of the blockchain by dividing it into smaller segments called shards. The nodes will only have to validate the data on the individual shards instead of validating each piece of data on the network. This is supposed to reduce the node's workload and therefore network congestion. Which leads to an increase in transactions per second.
Shetty and Syed's platform is certainly not the only one that’s exploring sharding. In fact, sharding has been proposed as an additional feature for upcoming versions of the Ethereum platform. Ethereum 2.0 is supposed to split the network load into 64 shards, though sharding may not come to that network till next year.
Shetty states that implementing hashing on Ethereum may not be as easy as expected, since moving an unsegmented network to a segmented network can be difficult. The process of changing the current network will be very long. That is why when Ehereum starts hashing, it will also have a limited number of shards,” he said, adding that Sharedeum is custom built using hashes as a starting point and will have unlimited shards.
Shetty said that the need for more nodes on the network will increase as the number of users increases. More blocks will be created as more nodes join the network, and transactions per second will improve accordingly.
The company will also launch a utility token called SHARD ($SHM), which will also be used as a reward for validating and running decentralized applications (dapps). Shetty said that low transaction fees and an immediate end to transaction processing could make Shardeum an appealing proposition in emerging markets like India and Brazil, where cryptocurrency trading has soared recently.
The first version of Shardeum, Alphanet, is expected to be released in April 2022, which will be followed by a second version, called Betanet, to follow in Q3 2022. Mainnet, which is the final version, will be released in late 2022. Shetty He said that the white paper on the project will be published soon.
He also said that Shardeum will take a "community first" approach, much like other web 3.0 platforms today. “We will be building openly, so we haven't raised any money yet,” he said. "First we wanted to open up the project and engage the community. We will sell the minorities to investors, while the majority will be real to the community in terms of mining and air drops," he added.
Also Read: Explained: New tax rules on cryptocurrency investments