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Shardeum – A Network Run By Community

History of communication systems have a common theme – a technology comes around, takes over the world, and just when nothing new seems possible, another technology comes around and takes over(1). Here’s presenting Shardeum to you.

What is Shardeum?

Shardeum is an Ethereum compatible smart contract Layer-1 protocol on which decentralized applications can be built. It is built to scale and capture billions of users and transactions while maintaining decentralization. The consensus on Shardeum is done at a transaction level, and not on a block level, thus reducing the transaction times significantly. Each node added to the network adds to the network capacity (TPS). The network also uses separate ‘archive nodes’ for storing data and ‘validator nodes’ to validate transactions. This enables low configuration devices to participate in the network, earn incentives and keep the network truly decentralized.

OCC principle

OCC is the guiding principle behind Shardeum.

Open: The community has open doors and all documents are shared with the community and larger public. Shardeum’s official Discord server can be considered the workplace while meetings are held on YouTube live streams/Discord server etc. which is open for anyone to join. The founding team lead by Nischal Shetty and Omar Syed makes it a point to regularly interact with the community. 

Collaborative: Shardeum’s goal is to increase adoption of decentralized applications. Hence, it does not view anyone as a competitor and collaborates with anyone who share similar goals.

Community driven: Shardeum views community as supreme, not only in decision making, but also in sharing any new information related to the project.

One needs to revisit the history of the internet in order to appreciate the potential of open-source initiatives.

Early history of internet: An excerpt from a brief history of internet, MIT OCW(1)

In the 1950s, multiple researchers independently set out to build a ‘survivable communication system’ – communication systems without centralized points of failure. The first version of the internet (ARPANET) was built to ‘democratize computing’- it allowed people to access remote computers and expensive computing in the late 60s. Several companies set out to build proprietary versions of the internet. And some of them were even technically superior to the prevailing open-source protocols. Early adopters of the internet, though, chose the open-source protocol over the proprietary ones because they were open and free.

The standardization processes were more democratic and barriers to entry were NIL. TCP /IP(Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol), the protocol by which all computers on the internet talk to each other, was born with an open, collaborative effort of multiple researchers. Bob Kahn, one of the key people credited with TCP/IP along with Vint Cerf, laid out 4 ground rules for interconnection, one of which stated- ‘there would be no global control at the operations level’. Experts credit “open access to basic documents, especially the specifications and protocols” as being the key reason for the rapid growth of the internet.

Shardeum Website

Shardeum website is the first community initiative of Shardeum. The project is open to developers, designers, writers and product managers or anyone who think they can add value to the project.

Calls to contribute

Like all announcements, the call to contribute for website was shared on Discord and Twitter.

(i) Discord announcements channel

Shardeum GitHub Discord

(ii) Twitter

Shardeum Twitter

The community is building its presence on other social media channels such as Reddit, LinkedIn and is open to contributors joining in and suggesting new mediums.

Resources

All resources and repository are saved on GitHub and are accessible to public.

(i) GitHub

A snapshot of issues raised on Shardeum’s GitHub so far can be found here: https://github.com/Shardeum/shardeum-website/issues

Shardeum GitHub

ii) Google Drive is open to anyone

The community maintains an open google drive to store all information regarding the project. Shardeum is committed to maintain full transparency with minimum information asymmetry between the team, community and the public.

Google drive : https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1zal5vN3f67Ql-Q8jiSYsp6Nf0xoJuqNI

iii) New Website’s Information Architecture (IA)

IA of new website’s IA can be found here : Shardeum Website – Information Architecture

iv) Design Themes

Web design themes can be found here : https://www.figma.com/file/LvY9Sjq5ml6vcABeGoQLLE/Shardeum—Main-File

v) Workspace & To-Do’s

A trello board to manage task is open to anyone. Here’s the link: https://trello.com/b/O71O5KSh/buidling-shardeum

Meeting Schedules

Community wide meeting schedules are shared on the official Discord server. Various channels on Discord are set up in such a way that people focusing on a specific aspect and objective meet on the server for brainstorming and ideating.

Shardeum OCC

Shardeum Logo

Logo was one of the first community initiatives of Shardeum. It was again open to all community members on Discord with multiple designers providing core concepts to design the logo.

Calls to contribute

=> Call to contribute to the logo was shared on Discord channel

Shardeum Logo Process

=> Core concept to design the logo was also shared on Discord

Shardeum Logo Process

=> Dedicated channel to design logo was created on Discord. And these were the initial designs ideated

Shardeum Logo Process

=> Logo ideation call was organized to track the progress of logo design

=> 2-3 logos were shortlisted and final logo was selected out of the shortlisted logos. Here is the thought process used to design the final logo

Shardeum Logo Process

=> An alternative was introduced later which was inspired by the above logo and is currently the official Logo for Shardeum. Note minor iterations further are expected

Shardeum Logo Process

How you can join early and contribute?

1. Hop into the discord channel and introduce yourself

https://discord.gg/fbs6hWZkrM

2. Fill the contributor form and submit

https://forms.gle/Tf4fW7hkMUqBx8TVA

3. Anyone can start off as a contributor and you don’t need any approval

4. People are working in the following key areas. However you are free to pick up an area to contribute and get started. The community can support you if you need any help. Drop in a message on Discord.

(i) Content: text/video/audio/vernacular languages/social 

(ii) Web Design

(iii) Marketing

(iv) Community building – multiple languages and countries

v) Product Managers

vi) Developers

References:

  1. A brief history of the internet, MIT OCW
  2. Shardeum announcements channel: https://discord.gg/knvFDCG5

Disclaimers : This opinion piece was originally published by author on medium.com which is edited and re-published here. Opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author(s). They do not necessarily purport to reflect the opinions or views of Shardeum foundation.

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About the Author(s) :

Shuwam Rana is a Technical Analyst, Digital marketer and SEO expert with a passion to help businesses grow. He also has an engineering background. You can follow him on Twitter

Harsha Karanth has been in the energy and e-commerce industries before he came across web 3.0. He is enthusiastic about building impact projects on web 3, particularly in the environment, animal care and education sectors. You can follow him on Twitter

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