NEAR protocol started the transition to sharding

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The NEAR protocol team launched Simple Nightshade as the first step towards a fully sharded and scalable blockchain.

Sharding is embedded in the design of the protocol, however, in preparation for the launch of the main network in 2020, NEAR decided that there was no point in its implementation at that time, the developers specified.

According to the blog, the number of daily transactions has since grown to 300,000. The project team expects this number to only increase in the coming months with new projects based on the protocol.

“Although the network is still using only 13% of the total capacity at the moment, we decided to start the transition to sharding right now to avoid unpleasant surprises and ensure support for all NEAR applications,” the statement said.

Simple Nightshade is the initial phase of the transition. Once deployed, the network health check is split into four shards. However, all validators still participate in block validation.

A mechanism for further dividing shards has also been created, which will allow the protocol to scale linearly.

Simple Nightshade is expected to significantly increase network bandwidth already.

At the beginning of 2022, the team plans to conduct the next stage, during which some of the validators will start working in a specific shard. At the same time, they will be able to use less productive and inexpensive equipment.

After the next phase is implemented, there will be no need for any validators to track all shards. The network will become fully segmented, but with a fixed number of fragments. This phase is scheduled to be completed in the third quarter of 2022.

During the final phase of the transition, the protocol team intends to create the ability to dynamically split and merge shards depending on the network load.

“This will make NEAR nearly infinitely scalable and resilient to short-term spikes in usage,” the developers said.

They expect to complete the last stage in the fourth quarter of 2022.

In October, the NEAR team launched a $ 800 million fund to fund developers and individual projects in the ecosystem in the form of grants.

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