QuarkChain 100 Q&A Q3: What is Heterogeneous Sharding?

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Sharding technology is a main solution used by many projects to improve the scalability, including Ethereum 2.0. Heterogeneous sharding is an advanced version of sharding, which not only solves scalability problems, but also provides flexibility for underlying infrastructure. QuarkChain has applied such technology.

Single Blockchain - Sharding - Heterogeneous Sharding
If we compare single blockchain to one-drive way, then sharding is like multi-lane highway
Single Blockchain:One-drive way
Sharding:Multi-lane highway that can add lanes adjust to the traffic.But each lane has to be exactly the same, that is follow the same construction standards
Heterogeneous Sharding:Highway with multi-lane, but each lane can be customized as needed, no need to be the same

Currently, The essence of all blockchain platform, including BTC, come from the arrangement and combination of the following four components:
- Consensus (POW, POS, DPOS, PBFT),
- Transaction mode (BTC transaction mode, privacy transaction mode, virtual machines ),
- Ledger (UTXO, Account Base)
- Token economics.
At present, the four elements for 99% of public chains are fixed. Once selected, hard to be changed in the future. This limits the flexibility and adaptability of the whole blockchain system. For example, ETH1.0 can only use EVM as virtual machine, PoW as consensus. Same as EOS, once the consensus, virtual machine ledger and token economies are selected, it has to follow the original choice and cannot be changed.

QuarkChain‘s heterogeneous sharding technology can solve the issue by allowing each chain to configure different consensus,different virtual machines, different ledger and different token economics. Such design allows new technologies to be incorporated into a new shard chain without hard forking.

As shown in the figure, each vertical bar is a shard chain. Shard 1 has all the functions of Ethereum, shard 2 has all the functions of EOS, and shard 3 applies a new consensus pox. Cross chain is supported between each shard chain to exchange data/information easily. Each newly added shard can select four elements mentioned before as needed. In this way, the whole network does not need to be fixed in one combination. The emerging technology can be added to the network in a new shard and coexist with other chains.

As industry grows, enterprise would require a comprehensive infrastructure solution to connect consortium blockchain and public blockchain to satisfy all the requirements. This is exactly what heterogeneous sharding is aiming at to solve, some shard chains are designed as public chain, and other shard chains are designed as consortium blockchain.

Community: https://community.quarkchain.io/
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