Even as bitcoin's block size debate rages on, enterprising developers are looking beyond the infighting to focus attention on what's ahead.Adem Efe Gencer is one such developer. A research assistant at Cornell University's center for blockchain and cryptocurrencies, he believes blockchain technologies will come to be used on a broad scale to track everything from land records to deeds, fine arts and even precious metals.
But as Gencer explained, if we put each each and every asset on its own blockchain, we risk splitting the mining power that secures these transactions and their history. Putting everything on one blockchain, he countered, will lead to cluttering.
So, how will blockchains handle all of these multiple assets? Should we have dedicated chains? Or is there a better way?
At the Financial Cryptography and Data Security conference in Malta yesterday, Gencer offered a solution, outlining an approach called "service-oriented sharding".
Sharding is basically a way of splitting data into parts, and then storing those parts across multiple databases for better throughput.Gencer explained that service-oriented sharding applies that same idea to blockchains, so that transactions for different assets run on independent subchains. Users only keep track of the subchains they are in, and mining is combined.