Bitcoin and Ethereum fall short of their goals as cryptocurrency networks when assessed from a scalability perspective. For blockchain developers, scalability tops the list of considerations that must be made. In recent months, multiple major corporations have begun to integrate blockchain technology; heavily disrupting the industry verticals they are in.
When considering large-scale blockchain-based solutions, scalability is arguably the most important issue. Sharding is a potential solution to the scalability problem — but presents its own problems, as it operates as an “off-chain” solution to on-chain problems.
Advantages of Sharding
Sharding is a concept widely used in databases to make them more efficient. A shard is a horizontal portion of a database, with each shard stored in a separate server instance. This spreads the load and makes the database more efficient.
When applied to a blockchain network, sharding forces each node to collect only a part of the data on the blockchain. Shard network nodes maintain information only on that shard in a shared manner. So, decentralization is still maintained within the shard. However, each node doesn’t load the information on the entire blockchain; thus, minimizing the load on each node and enhancing scalability.
Disadvantages of Sharding
In order for sharding to be implemented at scale, blockchain and crypto developers need to work on the communication between nodes. The communication within a shard is smooth, but inter-shard communication is currently difficult and requires the development of separate protocols.
If this key requirement is not met, wider adoption of sharding cannot be implemented. Consequently, a more scalable network with higher transaction throughput cannot be created without introducing complex protocols or other second-layer solutions. Sharding is also inefficient for securing large amounts of data — highly secure consensus models such as Proof of Work are far more efficient.
RIFT Enables Transactions within Mini-Blocks
The RIFT Protocol is a unique approach to scalability and makes syncing large amounts efficient and easy on-chain. Unlike sharding, where nodes maintain information in a shared manner (off-chain), RIFT enables transactions inside the blockchain but within the second layer – a Mini-Block Layer.
RIFT is a redesign of the blockchain solving the scalability problem while maintaining the principal boundaries of being decentralized and having peer-to-peer synchronization. RIFT consists of two layers of blocks: a layer of “parent” blocks that are mined, and fractal, replicate blocks which are not mined but containing the hashes of the parent blocks. This block architecture enables a transaction throughput speed of 33,888 TX/s if block generation is executed every 5 minutes.
RIFT Solves Present and Future Challenges Faced by Blockchain Technology
As defined by RIFT, the Mini-Block Layer has a reference to the parent block (from the Block Layer) and another reference to the last Mini-Block (in the Mini-Block Layer).
- Each Block in the chain references the last block in the Block Layer.
- Each Contains physical reference to the block and its size.
- Each Mini-Block in the chain references the parent block in the Block Layer.
- Each Mini-Block in the chain references the last block in the Mini-Block Layer.
- Each Contains physical reference to the Mini-Block and its size.
RIFT technology has the potential to completely solve the scalability and transaction throughput challenges that large-scale adoption demands. Using the RIFT Protocol, it’s possible to create fast, secure and completely decentralized blockchain networks suitable for use cases across both enterprise and public spheres.
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