According to a recent release from the team behind Status, a mobile Dapp browser on the Ethereum network, the crew has been building its own sharding client, Nimbus, to address scalability concerns with the blockchain. The client is written in Nim, a programming language focused on the ability to handle complex computations on resource-restricted devices (like certain smartphones).
The research project is designed for Ethereum 2.0, or essentially, the next generation of the blockchain, replete with improved scalability and privacy. Status believes this new iteration of Ethereum "will mostly live in embedded systems," so the team is developing its client to work well with the internet of things. The crew also aims to make the client expandable, adaptable, and modular – or possessing the ability to be upgraded or built upon – to better allow the implementation of scaling developments as they arise.
The organization provided various goals for Nimbus, which include creating a mobile-first client that features decentralized logic, storage, and messaging; optimizing the client for embedded devices (think everything from point-of-sale systems to cellphones); developing a client that ultimately promotes research; and implementing a system that will help bolster the blockchain "against single client failures."
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin indicated his enthusiasm for the project on Twitter:
News of Status' sharding client arrives amid Ethereum's march toward system-wide improvements, namely the Constantinople hard fork, intended to go live in October before Devcon4. This is the second part of a two-part upgrade called Metropolis. The first part, Byzantium, was implemented in October 2017.
Another ongoing initiative is called Casper, which will switch Ethereum's consensus protocol from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake.