Ethereum Sharding Explained: What is Sharding and when is the release?

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Ethereum logo next to computers.
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Ethereum sharding is another crucial element of the Ethereum ecosystem after the Ethereum Merge.

As a crucial part of Ethereum 2.0, sharding will help improve the blockchain.

Along the merge, Ethereum will also be implementing another upgrade dubbed Ethereum Shanghai to help those withdraw from Ethereum staking. But aside from these updates and the latest Ethereum news, let's outline the importance of the Ethereum sharding upgrade and illuminate why sharding is important for the Ethereum blockchain.

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What is Ethereum sharding?

Ethereum sharding refers to a process of partitioning the entire blockchain ecosystem into compact parts called Shards.

Blockchain developers often execute sharding as a part to scale their blockchain's comprehension capabilities and provide the system with the unique ability to process more transactions.

The divided pieces or shards function independently after Sharding and comprise their own set of protocols when compared to other shards or pieces.

Sharding is essential for a blockchain ecosystem as it helps in scaling the blockchain up a notch and helps in improving the speed at which the system processes crypto transactions.

Ethereum is scheduled to undergo a sharding process after shifting its mechanism to a proof-of-stake consensus.

Per the Ethereum Foundation, Ethereum sharding will exclusively help the network to facilitate secure distribution of data storage requirements alongside enabling rollups to become cheaper, and helping nodes to become easily operable.

Ethereum sharding will also make it easier for the users to become validators using simple technical tools such as their laptops and phones to participate and help run clients on the network. The blog post adds:

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Sharding will eventually let you run Ethereum on a personal laptop or phone. So more people should be able to participate or run clients, in a sharded Ethereum. This will increase security because the more decentralized the network, the smaller the attack surface area.

In addition to this, the upcoming Ethereum sharding will also lay credible emphasis on improving cross-communication between different shards as the shard on the blockchain possesses its own unique set of functions and protocols.

The plan was always to add extra functionality to shards, to make them more like the Ethereum Mainnet today. This would allow them to store and execute code and handle transactions, as each shard would contain its unique set of smart contracts and account balances. Cross-shard communication would allow for transactions between shards.

Ethereum sharding release date prediction

Ethereum sharding is scheduled to go live after the main Ethereum Merge is deployed on the network After The Merge deployment, the next Ethereum Shanghai upgrade will be launched to address the existing L2 anomalies. Sharding will come after this.

Per Ethereum Foundation, the upcoming Ethereum sharding will be released sometime in 2023.

“Sharding should ship sometime in 2023, depending on how quickly work progresses after The Merge. These shards will give Ethereum more capacity to store and access data, but they won’t be used for executing code.”

We'll keep this page updated when more specifics are added.