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Caching Codebytes: Speeding up Smart Contracts on Shardeum

We’re thrilled to announce a significant leap in Shardeum’s journey – the completion of the desiloing and caching codebytes milestone! 🎉 This breakthrough enhances our network’s efficiency, optimizes storage, increases scalability, and alleviates network load. It’s not just a tiny tweak; it’s an optimization of paramount importance! How exactly? Keep reading 🙂

What are Codebytes in Blockchain?

In the realm of distributed ledgers, particularly with Shardeum, the concept of codebytes revolves around pinpointing and storing specific locations, termed ‘codebyte addresses,’ where smart contract bytecode is maintained. This bytecode is the fully executable form of a smart contract, tailored for interpretation and execution by the ledger’s Virtual Machine (EVM, in our case). Upon deploying smart contracts on the network, they receive unique addresses, housing the bytecode—their operational core. This strategic placement ensures smart contracts are instantly accessible for execution, thereby boosting the network’s operational efficiency and enhancing the performance of smart contracts.

Shardeum’s Journey to Optimizing Smart Contracts

Previously, without desiloing and caching of codebytes, our network faced certain limitations. Codebytes addresses were not optimized, were scattered and not efficiently cached, leading to increased latency, higher storage demands, and placing more stress than required on the network. Each transaction was like a hunt through a digital maze, seeking the required codebyte addresses scattered across the network. This approach was time-consuming and resource-intensive.

Caching and Desiloing Codebytes Explained

Desiloing Codebytes

In certain blockchains, a technique may be employed where codebyte addresses—essentially, the storage locations of smart contract bytecode—are manipulated to reside physically close to their corresponding contract addresses. This strategy aims to enhance performance by reducing the time and resources required to fetch and execute these smart contracts, as both the contract and its executable code are located in proximity within the storage system.

However, this practice can lead to the formation of ‘silos’ or isolated clusters of data. While grouping related data closely together might seem advantageous for performance, it can inadvertently lead to inefficiencies, particularly in systems designed to be distributed and decentralized, especially those using sharding mechanisms.

The issue with silos in sharded systems is that they can restrict the inherent benefits of sharding. If data and code are localized within specific clusters, it can challenge the principle of distributing workload evenly across the network. In a sharded system, the aim is to spread out data and processing as evenly as possible to maximize efficiency and scalability. When certain data clusters become isolated due to address manipulation, it can lead to uneven distribution of data and workloads, potentially bottlenecking performance and undermining the system’s scalability.

Desiloing, therefore, becomes a critical process for sharded chains like Shardeum. It involves eliminating the practice of artificially keeping codebyte addresses close to their contract addresses. Instead, the approach is to distribute the storage of codebytes more uniformly across the network based on demand. By doing so, desiloing ensures that the benefits of sharding—such as improved scalability and network throughput—are fully realized. It allows the network to leverage its distributed architecture more effectively, ensuring that data is accessible in a manner that supports the high-performance execution of smart contracts without creating bottlenecks or underutilized resources. This redistribution further aligns with the decentralized ethos of DLTs and the technical goals of sharded systems, promoting an efficient, scalable, and robust network infrastructure.

Caching Codebytes

Caching, a cornerstone technique in the realm of computing, enhances efficiency by keeping frequently accessed data in locations that allow for rapid retrieval. When this principle is applied to codebytes within a blockchain network, it specifically targets the bytecode of smart contracts—this is the pre-compiled, executable version of the contracts that the network’s virtual machines run. Each smart contract has its bytecode, which needs to be executed by the network’s nodes to fulfill the contract’s functions. This bytecode execution is fundamental to the operation of decentralized applications (dApps) and various blockchain-based services.

The caching of codebytes involves strategically storing this bytecode in such a manner that it becomes immediately available for execution, minimizing the need for the system to retrieve it from less accessible storage layers. This is particularly important for smart contracts that see high volumes of interaction, as it ensures that their execution can occur without unnecessary delays. For instance, a smart contract for a popular decentralized finance (DeFi) application might be accessed thousands of times per hour. Caching the bytecode of such a contract means that each execution can happen more swiftly.

In a Nutshell

Desiloing ensures a balanced data spread conducive to sharding, while caching optimizes access times for codes including high-demand codes. In essence, by caching codebytes, the network minimizes retrieval times for executing smart contracts, an efficiency gain that synergizes with the desiloed, evenly distributed storage. Together, desiloing and caching alleviates network strain. For the end-users, the benefit is a smoother and faster interaction with dApps and services that rely on smart contracts, making Shardeum attractive and competitive. For the developers, low latency leads to quicker testing and deployment cycles, improved smart contract and application performances without worrying about underlying infrastructure limitations. Beyond reducing latency, the Shardeum network will benefit from enhanced throughput and scalability, elevating its overall performance and capacity.

Benefits of Caching and Desiloing Codebytes

While we touched upon the benefits of caching and desiloing codebytes above, here is an exhaustive list of benefits for Shardeum and its ecosystem atleast as of this writing.

  • Improved Performance: By caching the codebyte addresses of frequently accessed smart contracts, the network can reduce latency in contract execution. This makes the network more efficient in processing transactions and executing smart contracts.
  • Optimized Storage: Desiloing helps in distributing the storage of codebytes more evenly across the network. This can lead to more efficient use of storage space and reduce the storage requirements for individual nodes and other network resources.🗄️
  • Increased Scalability: Both these techniques contribute to the scalability of the network. By optimizing how data is stored and accessed, the network can handle more transactions and smart contracts without a proportional increase in resource usage. 📈
  • Reduced Network Load: Locally caching frequently used data reduces the need for nodes to constantly fetch this data from other parts of the network, thus reducing the overall network load. 🚀
  • Quick Querying: Accessing codebytes is now faster than ever, akin to flipping to your favorite book page instantly. 🔍
  • Global Accessibility: Improved performance means a seamless experience for users worldwide, from bustling cities to remote corners. 🌍
  • Consistent Experience: Regardless of demand fluctuations, our network remains steady and reliable. 🤗

Conclusion

As we embrace this milestone, we’ve elevated Shardeum to new heights. The desilo and cache codebytes initiative marks more than a technical upgrade; it’s a testament to our commitment to building a robust, user-friendly, and future-ready network. Together, we’re not just witnessing history; we’re making it. Let’s continue to soar in the boundless skies, with Shardeum leading the charge! 🌟


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