The NEAR Foundation announced that the Protocol Work Group will shortly begin stage 2 testing of sharding. Phase 2 of the NEAR project implements significant enhancements to its core protocol architecture, facilitating increased decentralization and scalability for the network. On February 1, the fourth iteration of Stake Wars, a community-based incentive testing program, will commence.
An entirely upgradable blockchain layer is essential to accomplish NEAR’s goal of chain abstraction and promote broader adoption of decentralized applications. NEAR was created to improve and increase widespread acceptability. A key advantage of the new sharding execution will be a 10x speed increase over NEAR’s current rapid transaction output. Sharding is NEAR’s method of upgrading, dividing the blockchain into numerous aligned shards. NEAR has the lowest transaction fees in Web3, and with sharding scalability, it will be at the top of the list for potential and upgradeability.
Illia Polosukhin, CEO of NEAR Foundation and co-founder of NEAR Protocol, asserts that the organization is perpetually engaged in developing a Chain Abstraction framework capable of accommodating over a billion users. This will facilitate enhanced user exposure for applications intended for end users.
The most significant modifications to the NEAR Protocol will occur during Phase 2, which will ensue after its mainnet deployment in 2020. Implementing stateless authentication, an innovative method of stage transition, was the most crucial. At present. NEAR authenticators can authenticate state changes without the need to retain the state of a shard. They are also capable of redeeming all information required for such authentication.
Stateless authentication will enable NEAR to achieve optimal sharding performance, wherein shards can operate autonomously during the consensus phase. This will increase output and decentralization while maintaining the highest safety standards. Additionally, the hardware requirements for operating the authenticator nodes are reduced. This improves the degree of decentralization within the network.
Bowen Wang, the Director of Protocol at Pagoda, asserts that the organization is optimistic concerning the stateless authentication feature of the futuristic NEAR protocol architecture. From a research standpoint, it is expected that as zero-knowledge gains experience, other protocols will follow suit. In this case, fewer machines will initiate transactions and generate proofs, while a larger authenticator configuration will verify the proofs.
Phase 2 represents a departure from the initial Nightshade sharding architecture that NEAR introduced in 2020. Doing so circumvents certain critical obstacles in the protocol design pertaining to the execution of challenges outlined in the Phase 2 concept while simultaneously granting access to supplementary advantages. In addition, Phase 2 network enhancements incorporate in-memory trie, enabling validator nodes to load the complete state into RAM to optimize performance.
Stake Wars lV: Attack of the Transactions, which promotes rigorous testing of the most recent sharding framework, will be released in the near future. It will solicit community participation to test the features and gain traction. Using this deliverable, NEAR will be among the limited number of networks in Web3 to implement stateless authentication, thereby facilitating network expansion and enhancing upgradeability.