The long-awaited proof-of-stake (PoS) upgrade to the Ethereum network is finally almost here. But with it come a whole host of new features and changes, one of the upgrade’s most intriguing of which is sharding.
Sharding is a process by which the Ethereum network is split into shards, or small segments, each of which can process transactions independently. This allows the network to scale much more effectively, as it no longer needs to process every transaction on the network.
Ethereum’s founder, Vitalik Buterin, proposes yet another scenario as to what the database partitioning technique might look like.
Introducing Proto-danksharding (aka. EIP-4844)
Buterin has tweeted his idea of proto-danksharding. This is a scenario where data verification is focused on transactions that carry blob data and cannot be executed by the EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine).
My own EIP-4844 (aka. proto-danksharding) technical FAQ:https://t.co/SlgNERBYVc
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) March 19, 2022
Blob-carrying transactions are extremely large (~125 kB) and unique since they have variable intrinsic gas costs. Thus, a transfer that could be included in one block may be invalid for the next.
Proto-danksharding is a new sharding model that could replace danksharding — another novel technique designed to address scalability issues while bypassing a deep flaw in the system called Miner Extractable Value (MEV) — therefore maximizing decentralization and security. In proto-danksharding implementation, only one proposer chooses all transactions and all data that goes into this or that slot instead of a separate proposer for every shard. That said, all validators and users still have to directly validate the availability of the full data.
The proposed EIP-4844 solution “can be an interim variant as it includes implementation of some danksharding elements. At the same time, it leads to increased data usage as it needs a much more greater block size.”
Buterik suggests deleting large data files every 30 days to prevent the network from becoming overloaded.
Proto-danksharding has a lot of potential as a novel model to organize data logistics and it could potentially be even more effective than danksharding. It is designed to improve on the shortcomings of current models and could provide a more secure and efficient platform for decentralized applications by bypassing reorganization techniques.
Proto-danksharding has the potential to revolutionize the way Ethereum is used, and could help to make it a more widely adopted platform.
If successfully implemented, proto-danksharding will be a a huge step forward for Ethereum, and could make it one of the most scalable blockchain networks in the world.