Ethereum Dev claims to have coded proof-of-concept for sharding

Technology central to scaling plans for dApp-driven future could finally be more than just a concept. 

Vlad Zamfir, who’s been central to Ethereum development since jumping on board in 2014, claims to have coded a successful proof-of-concept version of the much vaunted sharding concept.

Zamfir’s success – which was reportedly bought together alongside fellow coders Tim Beiko, Steve Marx, and pseudonymous contributor ‘maurelian’, as part of the Ethereum Hackathon Berlin (after a fair amount of pre-preparation) – represents a big step forward for one of the central ideas touted as allowing the blockchain platform to scale to the demands of dApp mass adoption.

The core of the concept revolves around splitting the Ethereum blockchain into smaller shards in order to ease strain on the network, and has been touted as one of the next big additions to Ethereum’s roadmap. Zamfir apparently considers his current code “not even close” to being suitable for roll-out, however – though he believes, that the core ideas are sound.

“It’s really a proof-of-concept of the most core component in my sharding roadmap,” Zamfir told Coindesk, but it’s one that does show ETH can be sent across the sharded blockchain. The code is now available for review via Github, though Zamfir also said: “We’re still working on the integration but check back in a week and it should be something where we have instructions and you can follow the instructions and get it running on your computer.”

Zamfir’s comments conclude, however, by saying that his work has “almost no significance.”

“All it is doing,” he adds, “is demonstrating the cross-shard message passing in the way that it works with the fork choice rule.”

Zamfir has long been the ying to Vitalik Buterin’s yang as far a Ethereum development goes. The pair seem to be rivals, or at least philosophically incompatible colleagues in the development of the cryptocurrency and smart contract platform. Buterin took time in recent tweetstorm on development plans to point out their differences of opinion – and, according to comments made by the Zamfir, sharding could be another area where the two take a very different view.