"Sharding is coming," wrote Vitalik Buterin in a three-word tweet yesterday that received nearly 2,000 retweets and over 4,000 likes as of press time.
The creator of Ethereum included a hyperlink to a newly consolidated GitHub code repository containing proofs-of-concepts for sharding's new fork choice rule, including research files containing four related Python implementation scripts. A fork choice rule is essentially a mechanism that lets nodes identify the canonical chain in the event of a fork.
The social media posting is Buterin's latest in recent weeks to inform the ecosystem of forthcoming changes to the functionality of the Ethereum blockchain. Designed to massively improve transaction speeds, sharding uses "shard chains" – or blockchains attached to the main Ethereum chain – so that the main Ethereum chain can run faster.
As stated by the Ethereum developers, "the primary goal is a massive scalability improvement," to which Buterin added yesterday in his informal – yet highly useful – tweet storm: "The overriding principle is 'get maximally close to equivalent properties to a single chain.'"
"I would not say the spec is finalized at this point," wrote Buterin, "though the 'bag of ideas' is [in my opinion] pretty well-established. The latest research consists of combining together existing ideas about scaling and latency (i.e., block time) reduction.
ETHNews will continue to monitor sharding developments.