What is Sharding?

  1. You do not need to plan how to split your data up in advance;
  2. Your database isn much less ‘“lumpy’” — you can dynamically scale how much of the whole database any one server needs to service.

Why is Sharding Important?

If a server cannot handle the requested number of operations, you can split that data set into parts that can be stored on different hosts.

What is Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT)?

A Distributed Ledger is a database that is replicated, shared and synchronized across multiple sites, countries, and institutions. A DLT contains a consensus algorithm — a mechanism for agreeing between the parties on what the most up to date version of the ledger should be, and for resolving faults, errors or conflicts.

What are DLTs used for?

DLTs can be used for creating the following:

  • digital currencies;
  • digitally unique objects;
  • digital objects with intrinsic value (like tickets).

How does sharding a DLT introduce the potential for fraud?

To understand a distributed ledger is to grasp the notion of ‘“spend’”: that which is spent on one place in the network is gained somewhere else. Sharding a public DLT is difficult because you must be able to ensure that a spend has happened only once on the entire network. This is already tricky without sharding, and having multiple shards makes this even more difficult.

Conclusion

These problems illustrate ways in which sharding a distributed ledger is difficult: ledgers are a transaction record, and they exist to make sure that each spend happens only once. In a distributed ledger, the shards that form the ledger are not all in the same place. According to the CAP theorem of distributed databases, a distributed data store (or ledger, in our case) cannot simultaneously provide more than two out of the following three guarantees: Consistency, Availability or Partition tolerance.

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