Survey: Sharding in Blockchains

Guangsheng Yu, Xu Wang, Kan Yu, Wei Ni, J. Andrew Zhang, Ren Ping Liu
2020 IEEE Access  
The Blockchain technology, featured with its decentralized tamper-resistance based on a Peer-to-Peer network, has been widely applied in financial applications, and even further been extended to industrial applications. However, the weak scalability of traditional Blockchain technology severely affects the wide adoption due to the well-known trillema of decentralization-security-scalability in Blockchains. In regards to this issue, a number of solutions have been proposed, targeting to boost
more » ... scalability while preserving the decentralization and security. They range from modifying the on-chain data structure and consensus algorithms to adding the off-chain technologies. Therein, one of the most practical methods to achieve horizontal scalability along with the increasing network size is sharding, by partitioning network into multiple shards so that the overhead of duplicating communication, storage, and computation in each full node can be avoided. This paper presents a survey focusing on sharding in Blockchains in a systematic and comprehensive way. We provide detailed comparison and quantitative evaluation of major sharding mechanisms, along with our insights analyzing the features and restrictions of the existing solutions. We also provide theoretical upper-bound of the throughput for each considered sharding mechanism. The remaining challenges and future research directions are also reviewed.
doi:10.1109/access.2020.2965147 fatcat:vtvhdid44vckfao3qpgfuvjbn4