What is Shardeum?
Shardeum is your latest layer 1 blockchain!! So what’s the big deal? Ok let’s get started and trust me, you are in for a joy and safe ride. Shardeum is an EVM based, linearly scalable smart contract platform. It’s key features include low transaction fees on the network forever (that’s a relief finally especially for developers, isn’t it?), true decentralization and solid security. Essentially, Shardeum will be the network that solves blockchain’s trilemma issue for once and for all. The issue refers to blockchain’s inherent limitation in allowing all its three properties – scalability, decentralization and security – to coexist at the same time. Since security is a core feature of Web 3 technologies like blockchain, existing networks often make a trade off between decentralization and scalability. So a blockchain network today either lacks in speed or decentralization.
Sharding & Dynamic State Sharding
How is Shardeum going to solve the blockchain trilemma? As we mention in this article, the tech industry has recognized sharding centralized databases as a prime solution for scalability in various applications for decades now. Sharding breaks the job of validating and confirming a ton of commercial transactions into small and manageable bits, or shards. This helps the network to process transactions parallelly across shards at a much faster rate.
Further, consensus (security) among unrelated node operators (decentralization) is done and reached at a transaction level as opposed to block level which is the case with typical blockchains today. Once each transaction is validated/confirmed across shards, they are then added to a block at regular intervals. The icing on the cake with Shardeum is it will make use of ‘dynamic state sharding‘ while processing transactions. Without getting into details, I would summarize dynamic state sharding as a key feature that enables linear scalability on the network i.e. the throughput/speed increases as more nodes join the network. This allows for true decentralization and will prevent network congestion/outages we have been accustomed to on many blockchain networks especially during peak times.
Onboarding Billions of Daily Users
Remember, this is not a critical post about why X and Y can’t do it and why Shardeum is able to do it. Yes although Shardeum has innovative aspects to it, we must be mindful that any technology as part of science and research is subject to evolution. We are now moving away from 1st and 2nd generation (Bitcoin and Ethereum) blockchains to 3rd generation of blockchains. In fact, by going live in late 2022, Shardeum is aiming to inspire other networks to revolutionize Web 3.
If we are to course correct the mistakes of Web 2 and add products/services with minimal intermediaries and central points of failure, Web 3 industry must get ready to onboard billions of users and endless amounts of dApps (decentralized applications) in the near future. In Web 2, Visa processes up to 10k transactions per second (TPS). With first and second generation blockchains in Web 3, we barely cross 50 TPS. Today Ethereum boasts of up to 300k validator nodes participating and securing the network. But due to its scalability limits, it averages 20 TPS. With 300k validator nodes, Shardeum can scale up to 300k TPS and that is just a conservative figure for your understanding.
- Alphanet (Testnet) – Q2 2022
- Betanet (Testnet) – Q3 2022
- Mainnet – Q4 2022
Alpha Testnet Demo (Linear Scalability)
Shardeum alphanet demo was broadcasted to community in mid April 2022. It focused on demonstration of its linear scalability feature. Please see the images captured from the broadcast below. Apologies for low clarity. The demo on the right shows TPS with 100 nodes while the demo on the left shows TPS increasing with 200 nodes. If you wonder how a layer 1 blockchain network can fast track from alpha testnet to mainnet within one year, please note that Shardeum’s protocol layer, called Shardus, was launched in Q1 of 2017. Shardus had successfully demonstrated its consensus algorithm to linear/auto-scalability over the last 4 years. Shardus will serve as the protocol layer while Shardeum will be the smart contract application layer.
Alpha Testnet AKA Liberty Launch
Shardeum’s alphanet aka Liberty was officially launched on 26th April 2022 with much pomp and excitement amongst the community. In fact Shardeum community shortlisted and chose the future testnet release names after ‘monuments’ across the world. This is considering the fact that community and the OCC principle (Open, Collaborative and Community Driven) represents the core of Shardeum. Monuments, as the Shardeum community attests, connect with people from every country across the world and we want people to feel they are part of every network release of a globally revolutionizing blockchain like Shardeum.
Shardeum is EVM based smart contract platform and hence it is written in developer friendly languages – Solidity & Vyper. If you are tired of high gas fees and low throughput on other Ethereum based platforms, Shardeum will make it all the more easier for you to migrate and build you dApps on the network and you will never have to worry about rising gas fees. Top dApps will also qualify for grants from Shardeum Foundation. You can follow the developer documentation to deploy your smart contracts and dApps on Shardeum testnet. You can start by claiming SHM tokens (test) from Liberty faucet. They can be used for paying gas fees while deploying your smart contracts.
Claim 100 Test SHM Tokens in 3 Simple Steps
1. Visit the Shardeum Liberty Faucet
2. Use Your Twitter Account to Claim SHM
Once you arrive at the above mentioned page, click on “Tweet Now” link on the page. Please note that , tweet is required to avoid malicious activities or abuse of the faucet and also to spread Shardeum’s mission to bring decentralization to everyone.
After you click the link, it will direct you to your Twitter account. Twitter will automatically open with a pre-populated tweet. Replace the blank address: 0x00000…., with your account address and post the tweet.
After tweeting, you can proceed to click on the tweet to note and copy the URL of the particular tweet.
3. Paste the Tweet URL in Liberty Faucet Page
Paste the copied URL into the Shardeum Liberty 1.0 faucet page and request SHM.
A pop-up message will appear if the request is successful and 100 SHM will arrive in your wallet shortly.
Claim 100 Test SHM Tokens (2 Min Video)
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.
About the Author : Subbu is a fintech blogger @ his website livingstable.com. Through his contents, he seeks to guide people to utilize financial resources online and realize the power they have on their fingertips. Follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter