IEEE, the world’s largest professional organization advancing technology for community, has been showing its great interest in blockchain recently. It is reported that IEEE has sponsored the 2019 International Conference on Decentralized Application and Infrastructures (DAPPCON 2019). The objective of this conference is to facilitate the exchanges among researchers and practitioners in the area of decentralized applications based on distributed ledger technologies, blockchain and related technologies. DAPPCON 2019 will discuss key theories, algorithms, infrastructures, and significant applications, as well as emerging research topics.
Currently, DAPPCON 2019 is in the phase of call for papers (click here for more info: https://www.dappcon.net/#cfp). Dr. Qi Zhou, the founder and CEO of QuarkChain, is a member of Technical Program Committee (TPC) of DAPPCON 2019, whose responsibility is to review the submitted papers. PhD from Georgia Institute of Technology and expert in high-performance systems, Dr. Zhou has more than 15 years of experience in software development. He was a former Googler and Facebook employee. Considered his contribution to blockchain scalability and deep understanding of sharding technology, Dr. Zhou was invited to join TPC.
As one of the leading public blockchain projects, Ethereum just concluded its influential DEVCON. One of the highlights of this conference is state sharding technology, allowing the system to process many transactions in parallel. While using state sharding, Ethereum network will be split into little pieces called “shards”, each shard can handle different transaction at the same time, thus the transaction speed can be improved. However, the Ethereum’s idea could only be implemented as early as 2020. Many people have asked: Will it be too late by then? Luckily, QuarkChain, a novel state sharding-based blockchain architecture, has already realized this idea. QuarkChain network contains an elastic sharding blockchain layer, which contains a list of minor blockchains (shards). Each shard processes a sub-set of all transactions independently. Therefore, as the number of shards increases, shards can process more transactions concurrently.
Sharding technology is actually much older than blockchain technology and has been implemented maturely in a variety of systems. Giant companies like Google, Facebook have already been using it for a long time. Started by a group of Google engineers as self-organized discussions on blockchain topics, ABC Blockchain Community soon has many more outside engineers, researchers, financial professionals, entrepreneurs, and blockchain enthusiasts. ABC currently has an ever-increasing 1000+ members, ranging from top professionals to renowned researchers, and plays a pivotal role among the U.S.A. blockchain technology communities. Such an excellent community, highly admired QuarkChain’s codebase after the code review.
ABC Blockchain Community summarized that QuarkChain made some customizations to fit their sharding design and added a significant number of tests to ensure compatibility. One example is the account and address model: 4 additional bytes are added to the account address as shard ID, extending which from 20 bytes to 24 bytes. In addition, 4 new fields are also added to the transaction model and transaction validation logic is thus adjusted accordingly.
As a high-throughput and novel sharding-based blockchain underlying architecture, QuarkChain aims to achieve millions of transactions per second (TPS). Compared with other blockchain projects which also adopt sharding technology, QuarkChain, inspired by Google Bigtable, applies the concept of “clustering”, where each cluster (full node) consists of one master node and many slave nodes. Each cluster (full node) contains all the information in the blockchain network. In each cluster, one shard is processed by one slave node. However, one slave node can handle multiple shards. When new blocks come, master nodes will assign the block to its corresponding slave node. Such design not only simplifies the routing among different shards (via master nodes), but also makes master node a single point failure in the cluster, though such failure won’t affect the security of the whole network because of replica. This design also allows light nodes to become a cluster and operate as a full node which helps to ensure the decentralization of the blockchain.
The advantages of functional design and code quality are closely related to the background of QuarkChain’s core team. In addition to Dr. Zhou Qi, Du Ting, the CBO, has made great achievements in product management and data field. With years of experience in venture capital and project incubation, he is an expert in blockchain ecological construction and business application. Anthurine Xiang, the CMO, combing the background of working at Argus, LinkedIn, Wish, with six years of experience in Wall Street and Silicon Valley, she has an in-depth understanding of crypto investments and blockchain ecosystem building.
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