Dynamic Blockchain Sharding

Authors Deepal Tennakoon , Vincent Gramoli

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Author Details

Deepal Tennakoon
  • University of Sydney, Australia
Vincent Gramoli
  • University of Sydney, Australia

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Deepal Tennakoon and Vincent Gramoli. Dynamic Blockchain Sharding. In 5th International Symposium on Foundations and Applications of Blockchain 2022 (FAB 2022). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 101, pp. 6:1-6:17, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)


By supporting decentralized applications (DApps), modern blockchains have become the technology of choice for the Web3, a decentralized way for people to interact with each other. As the popularity of DApps is growing, the challenge is now to allocate shard or subnetwork resources to face the associated demand of individual DApps. Unfortunately, most sharding proposals are inherently static as they cannot be adjusted at runtime. Given that blockchains are expected to run for years without interruption, these proposals are insufficient to cope with the upcoming demand. In this paper, we present dynamic blockchain sharding, a new way to create and close shards on-demand, and adjust their size at runtime without requiring to hard fork (i.e., creating duplicated instances of the same blockchain). The novel idea is to reconfigure sharding through dedicated smart contract invocations: not only does it strengthen the security of the sharding reconfiguration, it also makes it inherently transparent as any other blockchain data. Similarly to classic sharding, our protocol relies on randomness to cope with shard-takeover attacks and on rotating nodes to cope with the bribery of a slowly-adaptive adversary. By contrast, however, our protocol is ideally suited for open networks as it does not require fully synchronous communications. To demonstrate its efficiency, we deploy it in 10 countries over 5 continents and demonstrate that its performance increases quasi-linearly with the number of shards as it reaches close to 14,000 TPS on only 8 shards.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Computing methodologies → Distributed algorithms
  • Reconfiguration
  • smart contract
  • transparency
  • shard


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